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Building the foundations for a successful career at Vodafone

Ayesha Khan

Finance Discovery Graduate

As a Finance graduate, my work involves creating reports for analysis to support internal business stakeholders in their decision making. I’m currently working as a Finance Analyst in the Group Financial Planning & Analysis team. Prior to this, I had two six-month placements in the S16 Lease Stabilisation Team and Financial Operations and Controls.

My professional development journey

 What can I say about my time here so far? I feel that I have been supported at Vodafone, in terms of my professional development. I’ve been encouraged to have regular discussions with my line manager, to create goals and then develop clear steps to reach those goals. I decided to pursue my professional qualification whilst here and I’ve taken the FLP (Finance Leadership Programme) route, which has been truly beneficial. I am learning new things, it’s exhilarating.

At times when I felt I could be challenged further, I was offered stretch opportunities in projects outside of my immediate team to help develop a different set of skills. I was also offered the opportunity to attend regular masterclasses where senior members of Finance teams (such as M&A or Investor Relations) are invited to speak about the sector and answer questions from graduates. I found this useful in giving me a really practical view of things, which is hard to glean from books and classes alone.

I’ve also been developing my interview skills at Vodafone through practice interviews and regular workshops that have been held for our final placements. This helps me allay some of my fears and boosts my confidence, slowly but surely.

I am working towards a CIMA qualification (which combines accounting, finance and management with business skills) while working. This qualification gives me the fundamentals and contextual knowledge which I can immediately apply in my day-to-day work when I build reports that add value to the decision-making process.

Mentorship has made a big difference

 Within each of the teams that I have joined, I have had an unofficial but dedicated mentor who has guided me through, in terms of the work I manage and my understanding of issues throughout the placement. The team at Vodafone are very helpful, open and caring which I can see is a big part of the culture here.

Career growth

 When I first joined the graduate program, I heard about how Vodafone is an organisation that encourages you to push yourself to be better every single day. Here, I have gained a lot of exposure across different areas of finance. I feel it helps me become better equipped to find my place in the scheme of things. I’ve also learned more skills, which is great, by the way. I have a much better handle on the inner workings here. So, overall, I believe this graduate program has been significant in supporting my career and I am so glad I decided to join.

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