Sandwich Placement – The first slice

By Sam Lee
Find me on: LinkedIn 17-Feb-2016 15:32:43


I chose my University degree to be a four year ‘Sandwich’ Degree, extending my study from 3 years to 4 with the third year being educational from a completely different perspective – a year working in industry. Forget the text book, this kind of education isn’t something that can be taught in a lecture theatre.

The placement year was the most important aspect for me when I was applying for University and one of my reasons for choosing Business Studies at Bournemouth University. Students of Bournemouth are known to be very employable after graduating. The courses are designed to develop the skills needed for both inside and outside of education. The University leader boards scored them 63.4/100 on Graduate prospects for 2015.

The 2016 report written by High Fliers states that ‘Recruiters have confirmed that 32% of this year’s entry-level positions are expected to be filled by graduates who have already worked for their organisations’. I believe a successful placement year is a must for any University student.

The company

My Sandwich placement is at Intelliflo – the market leader in providing web based software for the UK financial services industry.

Why did I choose Intelliflo?

The placement scheme was designed around my wants and needs, splitting my time, working 4 months in finance, 4 in marketing and 4 in customer support, all 3 areas vital to the running of the business. This would allow me to get a real in-depth knowledge of the company and industry.

After many interviews and meetings, I felt like I knew the company inside out, it is a company that thrives on the innovation of its employees, and consistently aims to provide development opportunities to develop employees.

Getting into the ‘flo

I started my placement in the Finance department. The first thing I discovered, not everything can be found in a text book! Instantly I got on the job training, learning how to use systems such as NetSuite and Salesforce and completing the Intermediate Microsoft Excel course (something useful for anyone in this day and age). I was instantly given huge responsibility, setting up a new innovative process for the way the finance department could operate. I felt valued straight away with experienced members of staff asking me - the 21 year old student - how to do things! During my time in finance I dealt directly with customers, experienced working in credit control, analysed data, given the responsibility of invoicing customers and collecting payments.

One of the most important things in Intelliflo is the family like culture. Everyone was happy to answer questions and lend a hand which was extremely important to me, especially for the first few months whilst settling in, also providing me with a personal mentor who was my point of contact for any queries I had.

So far, working at Intelliflo has taught me a lot, in particularly how important it is to be proactive not reactive, how staying ahead of the game is vital for success. This is a thought that is applied in every aspect of the company and something I can apply to both inside and outside of work.

Click here for the next part of my journey with the marketing team.