Eunice Fuentes, Transport for LondonPosted: 23rd of July 2019 by Naomi
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm originally from Bolivia and moved here when I was 12. I am a fluent Spanish speaker which helped immensely in my operational placement of my apprenticeship scheme as I was able to assist Spanish speaking customers who were really grateful.
Tell us about your current role and organisation
I am a finance apprentice at TfL and throughout my time on the scheme I have been able to be in 6 different placements.
What was your background before becoming an apprentice?
I was in college for 4 years, the first two years I studied Business, Spanish, travel and tourism and did an extended project on the economy of Bolivia. The other two years I studied engineering. As I wasn't sure if university was for me I took a year off, travelled and worked at British Airways before applying for the TfL apprenticeship. I really think I have made the right decision.
Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
I wasn't sure if university was the best option for me so I looked at other options and getting fully qualified with no debt and relevant experience was really appealing to me. It allows you to get hands-on experience of real-life situations.
What do you see yourself doing after your apprenticeship?
I would like to roll off on to an assistant finance business partnering role. I had the opportunity to experience was a Finance Business Partner does in my Major projects Directorate Finance placement. I thoroughly enjoyed this placement and found it very interesting so in the future I
would like to be a Finance Business Partner for some of TfL's major projects.
What has been your biggest highlight / challenge?
At the beginning, my biggest challenge was to understand the financial aspect of my tasks. As I have progressed through my studies I have a better understanding and am able to make suggestions and implement changes for improvement.
My biggest achievement is contributing to increasing and improving the communication within the business. I believe this is really important to be able to work efficiently and collaborate pan-TfL. I presented my experience of my scheme to the Finance Leadership Team highlighting the extra projects I have worked on; being part of the Apprentice Sub-group, improving processes and the Apprentice promotional video for which I received positive feedback.
How does your employer support you?
My line manager has monthly 121s to check how everything is with my placements and studies. We always set placement objectives and check and update these regularly as I progress. My placement manager has been really important as I aways have someone to go to for advice or guidance. I have a buddy who is one of the apprentices on the year above. He already has experience and has finished his exams so he was able to help if I was unsure of anything. TfL also provides internal training which has allowed me to further my skills on different programmes.
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