Meet Ruksana Akter
As part of her BSc Accounting and Finance with professional experience year, Ruksana Akter worked in the Finance department of Salford City Council to build her real-world experience. She tells us about her experience.
What does a typical day look like for you?
My typical day starts off with downloading the bank statements every morning and converting them into excel. Other than that, each day is different and every week I have a different task to do. The first week is budget monitoring, the second week is usually Urban Vision week, the third week is VMS and then we go through the whole process again.
One major task I have been working on is the reconciliation statement. It has taken so long to learn the ins and outs of it, I’m always learning something new and looking at different accounts. Each month there is always a new problem and I have to use my knowledge to understand what’s going on.
What have you learnt from this experience that you think will help you in the future?
I have learnt so much in the space of six months. I’ve learned the about SAP accounting software and I feel like a pro at Excel now, I feel like I can just do it in my sleep. It has also increased my knowledge of the public sector as well as providing me with the employability skills required for real life work.
I feel that it will help me to make better career choices when I leave university as I am already thinking about what field I would like to be part of and what additional qualifications I want to complete. I think that this experience will help me to stand out from the competition who may not have opted to do a placement.
How do you think your course at university has prepared you for working life?
The course provided me with basic knowledge of certain aspects of accounting, after spending six months working in the industry, I am now able to form my own journals. When you do it in a real-life setting, you understand it a bit more, because you’re physically having to work out the problems.
I hope to join a graduate scheme after finishing my studies. I believe that this will help me to choose a better route for myself and give me the chance to work my way up the ladder and experience new settings. Hopefully after that I will have a clearer idea of where I want to be.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering doing a placement?
Persevere until the end, through the summer I went into university just to look for placements. When I was applying people told me “you’re not going to do much”, “you’re probably going to make tea and that’s it.” To be honest, it’s been a whole lot more, I do feel stressed and I do feel the pressure sometimes. Just make sure you do a placement, it’s so much better than not.
Are you looking forward to going back to university for your final year?
I’m really looking forward to going back to university. I want to become a student again because I feel like I’ve learnt so much and I’m ready to put it back into theory use.