My final two weeks with GSK Morocco were very challenging as the financial planning process moved towards the final stages. My supervisor, Naoual, asked me to complete the revenue report for Morocco with the forecast sales for the last quarter of 2014 and the annual figures for the following three years. Based on the analysis received from the commercial team, after checking it from a logical and mathematical perspective, I updated the 2014 forecast and 2015-2017 plan at the required level of detail. I filled in the revenue report and completed the gross to net sales analysis. In the process I collaborated with my two supervisors, Naoual and Mohammed and I delivered a well-informed report on time, which received very encouraging feedback as I managed to finish the report with minimal training and supervision.
Without realising, my last week of the Global Challenge internship has begun. I must admit, I felt way more melancholic than I imagined. There I was, a part of an amazing team working on a key project of the finance department. At the beginning of my internship I had found it quite difficult to approach my colleagues, due to their intimidating level of experience and different culture and lifestyle. However, during my collaboration with the Finance department I started to feel very attached both my organization and my colleagues from the finance team and the other departments as well. I became familiar with the Moroccan culture and lifestyle, and I knew I was to miss their friendly attitude and welcoming nature.
The final task I received was to make an analysis of the sales report on the top 10 brands by sales value, namely to fill in a report showing the sales volume and value compared to forecasts, plan, and previous year. I identified unusual variations and discrepancies in the growth analysis and challenged the commercial department to provide explanations/supporting documents for assumptions used. Then I discussed the results with Naoual, and we decided on what adjustments are needed and why. Although I have not been involved in the whole budgeting and forecasting process, during these three months I have become aware of its importance in the organization as being one of the key tools to give a strategic direction of the Company, a measuring tool for performance, a red flag for any unwanted deviation when compared to actual figures, as well as an informative tool for all employees of where the company wants to be in the future. I have understood the interdependencies between departments, the need to support forecasts and budgets with qualitative information and with assumptions well documented, the need to prepare budgets and forecasts timely in order to be useful tools in results analysis, and the significant importance of the final step –a thorough analysis on forecasted/budgeted data itself and against actual data in order to determine the current position of the company, to materialize it strategic objectives as the measures required for achieving these targets.
Friday, 19th of August was my last day with GSK Morocco. I visited my colleagues from all the departments I collaborated with during these three months, to say goodbye and share final thoughts and wishes. I had a feeling of both accomplishment and melancholy at the same time as I gained friends I really admired and worked with people with extraordinary backgrounds and outstanding personalities. During the afternoon I had my exit interviews with the HR manager, Redouane and with my two supervisors. My discussion with Redouane was very productive as he advised me on GSK’s recruitment process for graduate schemes and he helped me with valuable tips for job selection and application in general. My two supervisors have expressed their appreciation for the contribution I made to the financial planning process and emphasised on my in the job development during my internship. Naoual provided me with constructive feedback and encouraging advice for my future career and offered to refer me for future graduate jobs. We finally discussed about the most suited career path for me and which helped me realise the exact path I wish to follow.
As I reached the end of my internship I realised what an amazing opportunity I had. Not only did I manage to gain invaluable hands-on experience in finance, but I also had the chance to meet extraordinary people, to learn and be trained by experts in the field, to benefit from the resources offered by a highly reputable multinational company, to build and impressive professional network and last but not least to gain new friends. Thank you Global Challenge!