Meet Rachel Brown
We talk to BSc Business Management with Economics student Rachel Brown about her time at Salford and her placement experience at the NHS.
Securing a Placement:
I was interested to gain hands-on experience and develop my skills in a working environment. I thought that by obtaining a placement, it would help develop my skills already attained at Salford and give me valuable work experience to put on my CV.
To find a placement, I searched Salford Advantage which is a Salford University website that lists a variety of placements, internships, part-time work and graduate jobs for Salford students. Through this platform, I applied for placements they had on offer and secured a one-year finance placement at NHS.
The Placement Experience
The Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) is one of the largest acute Trusts in the UK, employing over 28,000 staff. I worked within the finance sector completing a range of financial skills including payroll analysis, reviewing financial transactions and budget statements as well as producing journals. The exposure to many different financial tasks whilst working alongside different teams increased my problem-solving, critical thinking and communication skills.
Using the skills acquired at Salford University I was able to further develop my knowledge and technical skills in Microsoft Excel. This was by using a range of advanced features in Excel such as creating pivot tables, using functions and formulas to analyse data and quick shortcuts. Also, I was exposed to using the database system named Integra which was essential when I completed activities including running transactions for different cost centres, submitting journal lines, and searching invoices. This not only strengthened my ICT skills but accelerated my confidence in using excel which is used at numerous workplaces.
Working for the NHS significantly improved my time management and attention to detail as I was assigned to complete a range of duties within a certain time. Hence, I structured my working hours to ensure I worked productively to achieve tasks by their set deadlines whilst creating a balance to keep me stimulated throughout the day.
Throughout my placement, there have been many highlights including:
- Part of the HIVE - new electronic patient record and a great digital transmission for MFT
- Attending Conferences
- Networking opportunities with industry contacts
- Using Integra system
Overall, working as a finance student for NHS has been most rewarding to further develop my employability skills which employees seek whilst networking and engaging with a variety of people in the profession of my interest.
The Salford Business School Experience
Throughout the delivery of the modules, I was constantly learning new skills as well as enhancing already acquired knowledge. Salford University aims to increase students' knowledge and prepares them to face any obstacles in the future.
Thus, effective learning and support from lecturers play a significant role in building professional confidence. As students, we are encouraged to ask questions and seek help when we struggle with modules. Therefore, during my placement, asking for further training about a task was never a problem.
As Salford students, we also have unlimited access to the career team, who can guide you in preparing your professional CV and cover letters. They also provide workshops ensuring that all students are well-equipped for their work experience
Placement Top Tips
- Before embarking on the journey of finding a company, match your values to their mission statement and then work on your CV.
- Research the companies of your interest to gain a deeper understanding of the industry and this knowledge help at interviews/assessment centres
- Be resilient and do not give up if you have not been successful when applying to one placement. Practice is key and you can learn from your setbacks when applying to other placements.
- Do not be afraid to ask questions whilst on placement as you are there to learn and employers are happy to help