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Finance Management Graduate Programme

FirstGroup PLC is the leading transport operator in the UK and North America, providing solutions for an increasingly congested world, keeping people moving and communities prospering. We operate 5 divisions, 2 in the UK – Bus and Rail and 3 in North America – Student, Transit and Greyhound. During the last year, our 110,000 employees helped 2.2 billion passengers get to work, school or college, to visit family and friends and so much more. We operate, manage or maintain a fleet of 69,000 vehicles and have annual revenues of approximately £5bn.

What does the programme involve?

Starting out as a Finance Graduate you’ll be developing the skills to become a future leader from day one. So we’ll be looking for some solid financial awareness right from the start. It’s about your ability to look at the wider issues, the bigger picture. Your understanding of the knock on effect every decision you make will have. It’s about spotting opportunities, and reacting quickly and effectively to any challenges. You’ll be as comfortable analysing data as you will be presenting proposals on new opportunities to improve the way we work.

During the programme you’ll get fully involved and will experience the following:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Financial Planning, Budgeting and Analysis
  • Financial Projects and Business Analysis
  • Internal Audit
  • UK based Divisional Finance Team placement (UK Bus or UK Rail)
  • US based Divisional Finance Team placement (First Student, First Transit, Greyhound)
  • Placement with the Director of Finance

Throughout the programme, we’ll provide you with training courses to help you to develop your skills and knowledge. These will be a mixture of internal and external courses led by leading subject matter experts to aid with your development.

We will support you every step of the way by providing you with a syllabus and assigning you a mentor who will work with you to ensure you realise your full potential. It’s very much on-the-job learning for people eager to learn from others, yet passionate to drive their own development too.

Who are we looking for?

  • High-reaching graduates with their sights set on a management role
  • Some solid strategic awareness and the ability to see the bigger picture
  • The ability to build positive relationships and collaborate with colleagues at every level
  • Graduates with a real customer focus, being able to put the customer at the heart of everything you do to ensure the best customer experience
  • A focus on safety and the importance of ensuring safety for yourself, the customer and your colleagues

Where will I be located?

Ours is an industry that’s always on the move. So you’ll need the flexibility to adapt to an ever changing environment, as you’ll go on placements throughout the UK. You’ll move around our various divisions to ensure you obtain as much exposure as possible to our industry. We’ll also arrange and fully support you to complete a placement in one of our US businesses if you show consistent high performance and exceed expectations in performance appraisals.

What qualifications do I need?

We aren’t strict with our entry criteria, there’s only a few things we feel are essential:

  • You’ll need to have achieved or be expected to achieve at least a 2:1 in Accounting, Finance, Economics, Business Administration or any other relevant university degree.
  • You’ll need at least 1 years work experience, including any part-time jobs you’ve had whilst studying. Finance related experience is advantageous but not essential.
  • You don’t need any previous experience in the transport industry, just the passion, enthusiasm and curiosity to understand how the business operates and the ability to align yourself with the business goals and values.

What will I receive in return?

We offer a competitive salary as well free bus travel, reduced rate rail travel, pension scheme, buy as you earn and save as you earn schemes as well as discount and cash back with high street and online retailers.

We’ll also offer you the opportunity to become a chartered accountant by funding and fully supporting you through the CIMA Professional Qualification.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

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