​This week I became the youngest member of the Propel team when at only 15, I started a week of work experience within the Finance team.

Day 1 and a seriously early start began with a commute into London and I quickly realised how smelly and noisy London can be first thing in the morning. Luckily once in the cool offices the smell improved!

My mentor for the week was Ceri Roberts. Ceri runs the contract administration side of the Finance team within Propel. I was handed a lap top and my own email address and cracked on with collating all the weekly timesheets, setting up payment runs and raising invoices under the watch full eye of the team. Being up at 6am is somewhat outside of a 15 year old boy’s comfort zone so a number of cokes, a larger bacon and cheese burger followed by a bag of Haribos got my head back in the game and ready to handle a bit of credit control and inputting aged debtor forecasts. First day completed – I was off home!! I was asleep on the sofa by 10pm! Total lightweight worker.

Day 2 and another ridiculously early start with no seat on the train to London, then a crammed tube from Waterloo to Leicester Square. I made it in with the aid of a chicken and bacon sarnie from Pret. The first part of the morning was repeating the work from the day before and then at 11am I went over to the offices of FCB Inferno for a tour. FCB Inferno are a super cool, award winning Integrated Creative Agency in Covent Garden. I met with Rhian and she talked me through how the agency works and the kind of work they produce for Nivea, BMW, Sky and Grants Whisky. I also met Paul Blundell who is the Head of Digital and was shown this really cool campaign called “This girl can!” The offices were really nice and all the meeting rooms were named after queens! There was even one called Elton!! It was really interesting to see the agency at work and I was offered the opportunity to follow it up with an internship when I finish school.

Day 3 back in Finance. Mobile phone bills were my mission and the employees of Propel spend a lot of time talking on them. I had to put the invoices into Excel and then carry on with the daily duties of the contract admin business. I learnt who owes Propel money and whom Propel owe money too. I was taken out for lunch by 2 of the guys that work in the business, Paul Lewis, a fellow Gooner and then Alex Straw who unfortunately supports Tottenham! Strange mix for a lunch date but a good burger from Byron and some lad’s chat that will be bantered around the office for a while I’m sure (much to my Mum’s, Emma McNamara’s, dismay).

Days 4&5 were a bit more chilled. I had clocked up 32 hours in 3 days and had retorted to going to bed earlier than midnight! My 4th Day was all about inputting data into Bullhorn and on my last day I wrote this blog and sorted my Work Experience diary.

I had a good week and have learnt a lot about how a finance function in a business works and the ins and outs of a rather busy sales team. At least with school I can get up when its light! A few more years of dossing left before the big world envelopes me and I become the next FD of Propel.

A massive thanks to Ceri for all her support.

Baillie McNamara