Joshua Haywood is on our Graduate Programme in Finance. Josh joined us in September 2017 and has kindly given us an insight into his journey so far at British Steel.
Position: Finance Graduate
University: University of Lincoln
Course: Business and Finance
What is your role and how long have you been in it?
“I’m currently part of the finance department at British Steel, concentrating on the Construction business. I’ve currently been in this role for about 4 months and I’m based in Scunthorpe, however I do get opportunities to travel to different places such as Wolverhampton and Teesside.
“Since starting my job I’ve been given a variety of work and responsibilities. Within my role I undertake daily tasks such as revenue monitoring to ensure it all matches up with sales tonnage, and creating reports to identify which customers debts are overdue. I also undertake pricing and costing analysis to make sure the prices charged on our products are in line with costs and that costs are also reported accurately so we can produce accurate analysis and reports for the business leaders.
“Alongside these day-to-day tasks there are also jobs that need to be done on a monthly basis, such as month-end reporting. This includes gathering all the data from various places to accurately report the business’ result for the month. This includes balance sheet and profit statement reconciliations, ensuring everything balances with the underlying data.
“The project work I get involved in is generally around benefit analysis and investment appraisal. So in simple terms I investigate whether a project will add value financially or whether it may not be worth doing.”
Why did you choose to work for British Steel?
“From having a background in finance and economics, I had a prior knowledge of the steel industry as it was often used as a case study at university. The market had always intrigued me and when I saw the position available I immediately got excited about possibly working in the industry for British Steel.
“I was also excited to be able to work for a company that has shown resilience to overcome many challenges in its short time as British Steel. These environments are great to learn from and take with you as your career develops.
“Another aspect was that the salary offered was significantly better than those of similar roles being advertised at the same time.
“Once I had applied for the role the assessment centre also helped persuade me to take the job. The Early Careers Team made the process so straightforward, answering any questions before the day very quickly as well as making me feel at ease on the day of the assessment centre. I immediately felt welcome.”
How they would describe the culture of British Steel and how you fit into it?
“I would describe the culture at British Steel as many things, but most of all refreshing. There is so much care about the employees, and everything is done with the employees in mind.
“There’s also health and safety at the heart of everything the business does. From when you first start in your induction, it’s drilled into you the importance of looking after yourself and others. If a job can’t be done safely it won’t be done at all.
“A continuous improvement culture is currently being embedded into the business. Every day is about improvement, growth and learning, and all ideas are taken into consideration. From a personal view, as long as I can keep improving day by day, with the help of the business, then anything is possible and we can achieve great things.
“I would also say it’s welcoming and friendly. From day one everyone makes time to talk to you, whether it’s about work or just wanting to know more about yourself. The majority of people you come into contact with seem to have a positive attitude and mindset which is often contagious.”
How do you think your role at British Steel will help with your future career goals?
"British Steel outlined in its job offer that it’s willing to invest in its employees and allow them to gain internationally recognised professional qualifications to further their knowledge and skillset. This is important in the world of finance and so far they have lived up to this statement.
“The opportunity of gaining a professional accountancy qualification, with help and funding from British Steel, will open new doors for me personally. It will also help me to move through the company and further my career, while giving back to the company at the same time.
“The internal set-up within British steel is also fantastic. Every graduate and placement student is given their own personal mentor and champion that they can chat to confidentially about any topic, at any time, whether it be work-related or personal. These mentors and champions already have the experience within the business to guide you through the early stages in your career, and allow you to grow both professionally and personally.”
What do you think the best thing about working for British Steel is?
“The best part about working for British Steel is the people. Everyone is always friendly, and always willing to help.
“My first 3 months were spent as part of the construction team. During this time I worked very closely to people from all kinds of backgrounds and disciplines, and having got to know most of them very well, there is always someone who is happy to lend a helping hand.”
What do you find most challenging about British Steel?
“So far, the most challenging part was having very little experience in the industry. At first, it was always tough to get into the conversations and know what to say right away. However, people don’t just expect you to know everything, so if ever there’s a problem, all you need to do is say so. When you need anything clarifying, if you ask someone they will be more than happy to help.”
Can you describe British Steel in 3 words?
“If I could describe British Steel in 3 words, the first would be versatile. There are a lot of different scenarios in every job and it’s central to your role that you’re able to adapt your skills and mindset for every situation.
“The second word I would choose is interesting. Every day brings with it new processes, people and situations. I would like to think everyone at British Steel would describe their role as exciting because there’s just so much opportunity.
“The last word I would use to describe British Steel is developing. Both the business and its employees are growing in confidence and abilities. This role will definitely equip me for the future.”
Have you got any advice for people currently applying to work for British Steel?
“My advice for anyone wanting to apply for British Steel would be to read up about the company, and read the online hints, including the CV tips. Take your time and plan your answers for the video interview, and when on the assessment centre, just stay calm and relaxed, because its designed to get the best out of you, not trip you up, so try and enjoy the experience.”