Global Challenge 2014: GSK Finance internship, Morocco – Blog 4

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8:30, Monday morning the 21st of July. Time has flown… I’ve already completed half of my internship with GSK Morocco. The last 6 weeks were a great experience both on the professional and personal level. I managed to gain valuable knowledge on the business affairs in Morocco and North Africa and on GSK operations in the region. I learnt about the internal structure of the company and the role, activities, and importance of every department. Moreover, I succeeded in gaining a very clear grasp of the financial department activities in our company with regards to the budgeting process. Last but not least I made lots of friends and I met so many amazing people.

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The budgeting process for the North African region has begun this week. Due to some changes in the finance department personnel, I was assigned to a new mentor, Naoual, the interim Finance Controller. I met her for the first time when I visited the Marketing Department and I was very impressed with her as she is very ambitious and hard working. On our first meeting we discussed about the phases of the financial planning process that need to be completed in the following two months. Moreover, she provided me with guidance regarding the first stage of the budgeting process, namely filling in the third budget update for 2014. Afterwards I attended a meeting with the budgeting team, namely Naoual, Mohammed, and Hassan (Sales and, respectively, Expenses Financial Analysts). The purpose of the meeting was to establish a clear schedule of the budgeting process, to set the tasks and deadlines and assign them to the people responsible for each part. The meeting was very interesting as I learnt about the reporting deadlines set at the regional and global level and the approval process.

I was thus assigned to work on the first draft of the financial report. Thus I had the opportunity to participate in elaborating the final update of the budget (UP3) for 2014 and the plan for the following three years (2015-2017) for GSK Morocco. The deadline for completing the report was the end of the same week as we had to send it to the commercial department by then. I was supervised by both Naoual and Mohammed (my first mentor) in carrying out this task and I successfully accomplished it on time. By completing this report I had the opportunity to become very familiar with the format and formulae of the financial reports used by GSK Morocco, which helped considerably my work and improved my speed and accuracy. I became more proficient with the company’s products and previous budgeted figures, I improved my excel skills and I definitely became more detail oriented. Accuracy is vital when working with numbers! The other two North African Markets, namely Tunisia and Libya were handled by Mohammed who kept me up to date with all the reports he completed in order to allow me to understand the dynamic of these two markets too.

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I took advantage of the free day we had off due to the end of Ramadan celebration and I made a trip to the South of Morocco. I visited Marrakech, where I spent a great time enjoying the beautiful surroundings and lovely architecture. Then I travelled to the Atlas Mountains while heading to the dessert. The scenery was amazing, and the road crossing the mountains was breathtaking. Then I reached Ouarzazate, where we visited the famous film studios and then continued the trip to Zagora. Had traditional dinner at a Berber camp in the dessert, where I spent the night enjoying Berber songs and stargazing. This was a truly unique experience.

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About careersbham

Student Engagement Officer for Careers Network University of Birmingham

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