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Real Business : Issue 1 2009
CPA Australia Internship Program The CPA Australia Internship Program offers paid placements across Australia, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore with great employers across a range of industries. The 2008-2009 internship program offered student placements at 68 organisations, including Australian State Audit Offices, BP Asia Pacific, Coca-Cola Amatil, GE International, Origin Energy, Suncorp, Nestle, Flight Centre and state Departments of Treasury and Finance. Students completed six-to-12 week placements between November 2008 and February 2009. CPA Australia is committed to providing the next generation of accounting, finance and business professionals with quality, paid professional experience and will be providing an internship program again during 2009-2010. Watch out for information about the internship program on the CPA Careers website and in CPA Update in the coming months. http://www.cpacareers.com.au two students share their experiences of internships in australia and singapore Jeremy roth coca-cola amatil What are you studying? I’m studying commerce / law and majoring in accounting at the University of New South Wales and am currently in my second year. You recently worked as an intern at Coca-Cola Amatil as part of CPA Australia’s Internship Program. What did this involve? The internship took place at Coca-Cola Amatil’s head office in Circular Quay, Sydney and lasted for approximately eight weeks. Coca-Cola Amatil is the largest drink bottler in Australia. In addition to bottling the Coca-Cola brands, it also bottles its own water, alcoholic beverages and juices. What activities or tasks did you perform while working as an intern? The activities I performed included updating daily sales trackers, helping improve their spreadsheets and undertaking ad hoc analysis requests. This was all in addition to attending the Coke Christmas party and taking home free samples! What did you find most useful about the experience? The internship gave me an opportunity to experience the business world first-hand as well as the challenges and demands of working in an office. This should hopefully make me better prepared for my work after university. The experience taught me how important teams are to large corporations and how cooperation within teams is essential. At times, I had no particular task assigned, so it required initiative to go ahead and create a new report or spreadsheet which would hopefully be useful to the managers. There were opportunities to create value for the organisation. As an example, I remember one of my managers wanted to have a simple report of the last three months of weather to compare against sales. Instead of creating a one-off report on the weather, I created a spreadsheet which could easily be updated for future use. What was most challenging? The most challenging part of the experience was learning Coca-Cola Amatil’s numerous abbreviations and practices. Nearly every second word involved some sort of abbreviation, and I’m not sure that I was really there long enough to master the jargon. Working out who was who within the organisation and how they fitted in within the structure also took a very long time, and even though this was assisted by an organisation chart, it was still hard to remember everyone’s name. Finally, for a university student who is used to getting up late every morning, the early start every day was definitely a challenge! In what industry or areas do you see yourself working after graduation? I still have another four years until I have to decide [what industry or area I want to work in] but working for Coca-Cola has definitely opened my eyes to the wide variety of jobs available. These could range from working at an accounting firm to an in-house analyst within a commercial firm. Who really knows? What advice do you have for other CPA Australia Internship Program students? there were opportunities to create value for the organisation My advice would be to be prepared to not know everyone in the office, as with an organisation as large as Coca-Cola Amatil, there are always going to be people that you never meet. Also, since you are not a regular part of a team as an intern, there won’t always be work for you to do, in which case you might have to find tasks that would help the firm in the future. It is also important to understand in large organisations how your small team or area fits into the bigger picture, otherwise you might not understand the context of your assignments. l internship 6 REAL BUSINESS ISSUE 1, 2009 internship
Issue 2 2009
Issue 3 2008