Hello Zara & Sarah!
Glad to have you both sharing your insights on the APEXX Internship programme
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your background
SJ: I have recently just finished my Masters in Accounting and Finance at the University of Bath and before that I completed my undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Science at Cardiff Metropolitan University. In my spare time, I play hockey for my club Wimbledon and for Wales Senior Women. I have played for Wales since I was 13 and I am currently training for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games this summer.
ZC: Well, currently I’m doing my Masters in International Human Resource Management at Queen Mary University of London, and before that I did my Undergraduate degree in English at The University of Leicester. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, taking photos and exploring new places with my friends.
2. What are you interning in?
SJ: I am the Finance Intern and I am mainly working alongside the rest of the Finance department - Sandra, Head of Finance, Shahnaz, Finance Coordinator, and Shailen, Financial Accountant.
ZC: I am the People (HR) intern. I mostly work with Katie Williams, Head of People, and Kathryn Doe, Talent Acquisition Executive, at APEXX.
3. What’s an average day like for you at APEXX?
SJ: One day is never the same as the next. I am working on a number of different tasks day to day from publishing invoices to helping with the implementation of the new accounting software. This is one of the best parts about working for APEXX as every day brings about new and exciting challenges.
ZC: Everyday I'm doing something different - it’s exciting! At my old job everyday was kind of similar, which got a bit boring, but here I really like how I get to work on something new each day. Some days, my work is heavily based on helping with recruiting and other days it might be assisting with onboarding new employees.
4. What are some projects you have worked on? What's your favourite project that you've worked on?
SJ: Although I haven’t been working on one specific project, I have been helping the finance and operations teams with the implementation of the new accounting software. I have found it so beneficial to sit in on calls and I have gained a real insight into how much goes into a software change.
ZC: Currently, I’m working on a really exciting project with Katie called Culture Champions. It’s basically a way for members of the organisation to come up with ideas on how we can improve our work culture. The work culture here is great, but there’s always room for improvement. So, it’s good to have an idea of what they are thinking to help build employee satisfaction.
Plus, we all the Culture Champions team got sent a Vinny box which included some really delicious and healthy plant-based snacks in them!
5. What do you like most about working at APEXX?
SJ: The thing I like most about working at APEXX is how collaborative it is as a company. It is so exciting to see how every department pulls together to help towards the success of APEXX. Additionally, the global payments industry is new to me and therefore I have really enjoyed learning more about how a fintech company works.
ZC: For me, personally, I really like being able to apply what I’m currently learning at University to APEXX. It feels like I'm doing something productive and worthwhile which is great. I also really like the exposure I'm getting from working here. I have the chance to work and collaborate with people from other departments like marketing. I’m also enjoying working in the Fintech sector, since I haven't worked in this sector before.
6. What is the work culture and team like?
SJ: The work culture at APEXX is great! Everyone has been so lovely and welcoming to me whether that be virtually or when I have been into the office, and have made my first few weeks at APEXX so enjoyable!
ZC: It’s really good! Everybody here is super friendly and lovely. I booked meetings with people in different departments just to introduce myself to them and everyone was really welcoming and really friendly. People here really go out of their way to make you feel like you are part of the team which is great. If I ever need help or if I'm stuck on something I know who to go to and know they wouldn’t mind me asking for help or asking a question.
7. What do you think the most challenging part of your job is?
SJ: For me, I think it is continuing to learn as I go along. I completed my Masters in Accounting and Finance which was all online due to COVID and therefore this internship is allowing me to put what I learnt into practice. This has been challenging but it has also been exciting to be able to apply my knowledge.
ZC: Learning how to use a Macbook, haha. One of the perks of working here is getting a Macbook Pro. It took me hours to learn how to scroll…only to find out that there is a whole tutorial on how to use it in one of the company pages.
8. Have you gained a lot of experience in your internship?
SJ: Yes, as mentioned before, I've been pushed out of my comfort zone and everyday I am working on something new and I have already gained so much knowledge in such a short space of time. I'm excited for the next few months at APEXX, as I know that I will only continue to learn more about the global payment industry and what it is like to work in finance.
ZC: So far, yes absolutely, it’s only been a month since I started interning here at APEXX and I have already learnt so much about Human Resources and the Fintech industry. The skills and experience I have gained can easily be applied elsewhere.
9. If you could describe working at APEXX in one word what would it be?
10. If you could give any advice to any new starters or new interns what would you give?
SJ: I would say just to throw yourselves into it! It is up to you what you want to get out of this internship, and therefore I’d say it is really important to step out of your comfort zone and collaborate with people from all different areas of the business. I’d also say that no question is a silly question so don’t be afraid to ask if you need help!
ZC: Do your research on Macbooks, I'm kidding. My advice would be to make yourself known to people within the organisation, introduce yourself to others and build connections. Also, keep track of what projects you work on so you can reflect back on how you’ve helped the organisation and add that to your CV.
11. What is your go-to coffee order?
SJ: It depends on the occasion! It would be a simple latte if I was travelling into the office or maybe a Caramel Frappe if I was feeling a bit extra!
ZC: I was a barista for three years. I take my coffee very seriously. My go-to would be a coconut milk latte with hazelnut syrup or an Americano with coconut milk or nut blend milk (at starbucks)
12. What’s your favourite movie?
SJ: This is a tough one, but I’d have to say it is New Year's Eve!
ZC: I have so many, but I think my all-time favourite is Pride and Prejudice.
13. Favourite restaurant in London?
SJ: Flat Iron
ZC: Chai Ki
14. Favourite dessert?
SJ: Sticky toffee pudding
ZC: all of them.
Find us here: Sarah Jayne Thorburn & Zara Chaudhry