Global Challenge Finance Internship with GSK Part 2

In my second week, I dealt more with the Training part of the Matrix. Jonathan (the Financial Controller of GSK in Dubai) has given me a list of the online courses that I had to assign for each member of the Finance Team.

In order to make an informed decision when allocating the courses and also, to further extend and my accounting knowledge, I took the courses. They have greatly helped me understand GlaxoSmithKline not only from an accounting point of view, but also from an economic and pharmaceutical viewpoint because I took courses such as

   External Analysis: PEST Analysis
   External Analysis: Porters Five Forces
   External References
   Internal Analysis: SWOT Analysis
   Product Portfolio: Growth Share Matrix
   Product Portfolio: Product Market Expansion Grid

  Revenue Recognition
  Arrangements that may contain a Lease
  Associates and Joint Ventures
  Deferred Taxation
  Embedded Derivatives
  Equity and Current Asset Investments
  Impairment of PP&E and intangible assets
  Long Term Employee Benefits
  Property, Plant and Equipment
  Government Grants

They have given me a solid understanding of how a global company like GlaxoSmithKline operates both internally and externally. I have looked for and  suggested another courses which where relevant especially for the key  members of the Finance Team:  Financial Controller and Finance Director as they need to understand  the big picture of what is happening inside the company but also “outside it”. After this, I put everything together and finalised the matrix. I have also performed some accounts expense reconciliations during the week. And not only  did  I understand  how to do it, but, more importantly, I understood the underlying reason for doing it, namely that reconciliation of financial transactions is a key element of a company’s internal controls because it reduces the risk of fraud happening in a company. Later in the week, I received my second big task: to understand and update the Risk Management Matrix. Risk Management is simply managing the risks that can severely damage a company by identifying, evaluating and addressing them. Failure to do so can be fatal to a company’s strategy and even to its survival.  I was really excited about this task because understanding this matrix and the concept of risk in a business would very much help me in my career in Assurance. So, I had a meeting with Jonathan who explained me what is meant by risk, what kind of risks affect GlaxoSmithKline business in Dubai  and how the fact that we cannot eliminate risks, but we can reduce them by implementing control measures. After this, I also took five online Risk Management courses and read the SOP relevant to this topic which greatly enhanced my understanding in this area. There are two main types of control: preventative and detective controls. And looking back to the previously done tasks, I realised that the Finance Roles and Training Matrix was an example of preventative control because it prevents fraud happening in the company through the well-defined responsibilities and the Accounts Reconciliation was an example of detective controls since by comparing the two sets of records you verify if there has been any fraud/ misstatement. This weekend will be my last one here in Dubai, because next Friday I will be flying back to UK, so I want to make sure I will make the most of it. On Friday and Saturday morning I went to Jumeirah Beach. This is home to some of the most prestigious hotels in the world. One example being Burj Al Arab Hotel, which is the only 7 star Hotel in the world and one of the defining trademarks of Dubai. Also, Palm Jumeirah is located just off Jumeirah Beach. This is a man-made island in the shape of a palm tree known as the 8th Wonder of the World.

(Jumeirah Beach)

(Jumeirah Beach)

The water was so genuinely blue and clear! It was lovely to walk along those fine white sands, feeling the constant pull of the water between my toes and the soft breeze touching my face. It is one of those little simple things in life that makes you feel good. In the evening, Ahmed and I had a very important mission: to go at the top of the tallest building and free-standing structure in the world: Burj Khalifa!! It has the highest rising elevator in the world which brought us up in nearly one minute. Standing there at the top of the tallest Skyscraper on the planet and seeing the world’s first vertical city in miniature was such a fantastic experience.  It is 828 metres high, being twice the size of the World Trade Centre.  However, the best part was watching the Dubai Fountain from the top. At that point in time, it was beautifully choreographed to “I will always love you” by Celine Dion. The water was dancing like swans in a ballet. Absolutely wonderful experience! It definitely takes your breath away.

View from the top of Burj Khalifa

View from the top of Burj Khalifa

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Me climbing the tallest Skyscraper in the World, Burj Khalifa)

The next evening, I went to see Dubai Marina area. It is the tallest residential skyscraper cluster in Dubai. It contains over 200 gigantic magnificent architectural wonders of Dubai, which include super tall skyscrapers like Dubai Marina Towers, Infinity Tower, and The Princess Towers. ! I even found a skyscraper that seemed spinning towards the sky!



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About careersbham

Student Engagement Officer for Careers Network University of Birmingham

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