An Introduction to Project Management and the Finance Stream

Introduction to experiences from the Finance graduate scheme

For a short introduction, my name is Johanna and I’m studying Economics and Finance at the University of Strathclyde. I’m on the Finance stream and after my first weeks within British Gas at Centrica, I thought now was a great time to update you on my experience so far.

My experience is a little different to the other Finance interns as I am in a project management role, within Finance – more specifically, Financial Planning. I am currently working on a major business change that is occurring across British Gas. This change is the implementation of a new system called Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) which will deliver benefits across British Gas through significant time savings, reduction in manually intensive tasks and increased consistency of data between departments.

Within the BPC project, I work directly with the project manager and the IT consultants. I am managing the communications and training side of the project which means I have a lot of contact with the end users (around 200 employees). My role also allows me to gain a high-level view of Finance within British Gas, which is really unique. I have also been assisting with business readiness as we progress through the different stages of the project, from user testing to training.

The aspect which I particularly enjoy about my role is the exposure with a wide range of people across British Gas and Centrica – already I have worked with business analysts, Information Systems and Internal Communications. However, this excludes the many end-users from across departments (and locations) who I frequently communicate with to ensure they have the prerequisites for the project implementation.

This week I developed an online booking system for our training courses. I created this tool as an alternative option to the one which the team had been presented with, and to my joy, gained my manager’s approval over the established option for its user-friendliness. My invention will now be used within the project which is a great feeling.

I am looking forward to the coming weeks as the project moves to a new stage, from testing to training, to gain some hands-on experience with the systems and to witness first-hand what project management really involves.