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Irina’s Space!

Bonjour, Bongiorno and Buenas Tardes to all my dear colleagues within Norse and to all external readers, and of course, potential future graduates! On this occasion, I would like to congratulate our now official “postgraduates” Tom Gowman and Robert Porter for their new roles as Commercial Support Managers.

Who am I…

I started with Norse in January 2016 after completing my degree in Accounting and Finance from Aberystwyth University. I have carried on my studies and through sponsorship from Norse, I am currently enrolled on an MSc in Business and Management which I will complete by the end of August 2018.

I am a very optimistic person and I get involved with all my heart and soul, in all the projects that I take on. My main aim is to become a highly skilled manager and to play an important role in the future growth of Norse. I am a “doer” and a firm believer that hard work, involvement and communication are the key ingredients to success.

Applying for Norse… At the start of my journey, I had minimal exposure to the business world, but was willing to work and learn and initially applied for the Graduate Management role within the Grounds division. I was over the moon when I got invited for an interview and equally nervous. In doing my research for the interview, it came to my surprise reading about Norse’s history, financial achievements, growth and impressive CSR. There was no doubt for me…I wanted to be part of this company!

Although I did not secure the position within the Grounds Department, the Group HR Director considered I would be better suited at Medway Norse within the Catering division. So there I went, for my second interview with Medway Norse’s Managing Director…and the rest is history!

My time with Norse… I spent my first year at Medway Norse participating in the daily management of the Catering Department. Medway Norse began trading as a partnership with Medway Council in July 2013, with revenue just shy of £5m and through continued growth and diversification Medway Norse have grown to be one of Norse’s largest Joint Venture with an annual turnover of c£13M in 2016/2017. It was a great start to my career and a unique experience taking part in such a rapidly growing business.

In my first few weeks I visited the sites, met the team and familiarised myself with the stakeholder groups; as well as company procedures. I then slowly started to get myself involved in a variety of activities such as: comparing supplier’s prices and making efficiencies by standardising products and menus, pricing products and services, dealing with customers complaints and managing the diversification of the business with the implantation of vending machines. I additionally took part in monthly business and account reviews with the Finance Business Partner and played a key role in order to make the Profit and Loss Statement per site accurate, as well as profitable. This included code correction to ensure accurate KPI reporting and management of these KPI’s, for example food/sales ratio, budget to actual variance. I also aided the drafting of the 17/18 catering budget.

I have now taken the role of Assistant Management Accountant, producing Interprint’s monthly Profit and Loss draft statements and completing the Balance Sheet Reconciliation in compliance with IFRS. I have also spent time with Interprint’s senior management team, in building up their corporate Business Strategy for the financial year 2017-2018. I am excited about this new challenge and seeing the positive results.

Norse for me… To summarise, Norse for me means: chance, diversity, opportunity, career, team, people, motivation, achievements, passion, success, future, innovation and growth! This is what I love about Norse the most! No day is the same. There are so many industries and markets that Norse operates within, so many different types of leadership and management styles and so many inspirational people who I take as role models in my life. Every situation is different and I find myself un-leashing skills I was not even aware that I have.

For me Norse is more than just a company, it is THE company where I see myself for many years to come. Norse stands out for its unique culture and through the passion, people have for their work.

As Matt mentioned in a previous blog, the graduates consider ourselves very lucky being mentored by Norse’s SMT and having such a transparent relationship with them. It is very rare one finds this high level support and experience in the early stages of their professional journey.

I am thoroughly enjoying my journey at Norse and I am looking forward to the road ahead.

Ciao all and thank you for reading,