Report on work placement in Cardiff Bay

I absolved my work placement in a small investment company which is called „CR Strategic Investment LTD”. It is based in Cardiff Bay in Wales and consists of 2 bosses, Ceri Rees and Paul Clark and of 2 employees, Clare and Elaine. This company works for a lot of companies and helps them to grow and show them how to run a business.

 Angeilka Klaus

After one week language course I started my work on 9th July 2012. On this day, I’ve met my colleagues. Moreover, my boss initiated me into the company’s work and he has given me my first project.

This project was a research project on Royal Mail Post Offices.  Lots of Royal Post Offices in Wales have to close, because the government doesn’t support them anymore. The problem is that many managers of those post offices don’t know how to run their business, thus they don’t earn enough money to exist.  CR Strategic Investments Ltd (CRSI) wants to invest in those Post Offices and wants to help them to exist. However somebody wants to invest in something, he needs a lot of information and that’s the reason for my research project.

To begin with, I started looking for post offices on Sale in Welsh Cities with over 5000 inhabitants on websites like www.rightbiz.co.uk, www.business4sale.co.uk or www.businessesforsale.com. Secondly, I had to look for information like annual salary, sales revenue and profit and in addition to that, I had to find out if the post offices are on sale with the building included or if it’s just the business that’s on sale. Furthermore, I looked for post offices’ distances to other post offices and how the area around the post office looks like. I also checked if there are Coffee Shops nearby and if there are, I had to count and list them. Finding out the post offices’ addresses was quite difficult, but I’ve done it by doing some Google Map research and by contacting clients via email. After finishing this research project I’ve done an extensive spreadsheet with all my research results on it. For their next Project, CRSI needed banks which don’t offer merchant processing. So my next task was to look for banks in the world which don’t offer merchant processing and after that I’ve collected all my results in a spreadsheet.

After those research projects me and Clare created a website for a company which wants to set up an online college. I’ve put online courses on the website and edited them that they look fine and attracting to clients. Furthermore, I added the online courses’ prices.  After I had finished this, I started creating a profile for this virtual Online College www.linkedin.com, a popular social network for businesses. I added the company’s details, the logo, information about the college as well as the courses and edited the profile to make it attracting to clients.

My next work was about working with the accounting software www.xero.com. I’ve put the company’s bank statements from over the last 4 years on the system and classified them under different accounts. In addition to that, I’ve looked for invoices in files, uploaded them and added them on Xero. After I had finished the accountancy work, I had to process the company’s monthly expenses. I sorted out sales receipts and then I’ve done a spreadsheet on Microsoft Excel which shows the monthly expenses from 2010 to September 2012 for different business transactions.

Between those big task, I had a lot of meetings with my boss Ceri in which we discussed projects and my work. On top of that, I’ve done a lot of paperwork, f.e. designing file labels, looking for particular emails and documents on the server and creating a power point presentation.

To sum up, my internship was very interesting. I had a wide variety of task to do and learned a lot of things about accounting and property investment. However, the most important thing for me is that I improved my English skills. Firstly, I gained a higher level in listening, reading and writing English and secondly, I became more confident in speaking English. Furthermore, I used my organizational skills like time and priority management. What’s also important is that I became more self-confident. In my opinion, my three months abroad have been the most exciting experience in my life. It was amazing to live somewhere else where I got to know a foreign culture and lots of new people. From my point of view, the combination of working and gaining work experience during the week and travelling on the weekends, is the best way to improve a foreign language and to develop somebody’s personality.