Introducing Sam Jones, SafeLane’s Finance Apprentice and a Ross-on-Wye local lad.
Sam left school and sensibly decided to combine further study with the opportunity to earn money and the opportunity to contribute to an organisation that saves lives every day.
Staff Spotlight is the regular feature that shines a light on members of an incredible team that works for you.
How long have you been at SafeLane?
6 months tomorrow!
Can you explain a bit about your role at SafeLane?
So I'm a Finance Apprentice. This means I help with the basic finance throughout the office, from project management accounts to financial operations.
I’m essentially learning a blend of financial accounting and management accounting. I work for the international team so there is such a variety of tasks.
How did you find the opportunity?
I actually found it through an open evening in Hereford, organised by the Hereford Group Training Association.
The same as a lot of people, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I left school so I went to see what was available locally, and to get some more information. But then I was really sold on SafeLane because I met Rhiannon and Joe!
So what was it about them that sold the role?
Rhiannon is the Head of Marketing and Communications and has a lot of passion and excitement about the company.
Whereas Joe is a Management Accountant! It was good to meet someone who I would end up working with every day.
In truth, they both just described SafeLane as such an interesting company and I think we can all agree, it’s a bit cool, getting rid of bombs.
Plus it’s only 4 / 5 minutes down the road from me so that was pretty tempting too.
What made you decide to go for the apprenticeship instead of going to uni?
I liked the idea of earning and working because I’d get my qualifications whilst in industry so I could get hands on experience and learn on the job.
I definitely prefer application to theory, so thought it may be a better fit for me.
I also liked the idea of avoiding student debt! It is nice to be working and learning and earning because I actually have some money to enjoy.
Sometimes I get to do a task at SafeLane - and then at college we’ll go over it and I’ve already done it so have a bit of a head-start. That’s kind of cool and it reinforces what I'm learning.
What is your favourite thing about working at SafeLane?
I think it’s a mixture of the variety of the work and the interesting nature of what the company does combined with the fact it is such a friendly workplace. Everyone is friendly and welcoming, it’s a good culture.
I think I would get bored doing the same thing every day so it's so good to have that variety. I do think it’s very different to general accounting!
Also, I get given opportunities to do things that are important and worthwhile for the company. I really enjoy being trusted with some more challenging tasks, that’s nice.
And does the variety help you learn?
Definitely; I’m exposed to a lot more challenges every day. I’m definitely getting a varied experience, the international work helps with that.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve learnt working at SafeLane?
I think it’s probably understanding the size of the job we do, I never realised there was such a huge global problem with landmines and explosive remnants of war.
I never knew it was such a massive humanitarian problem and learning about the extent of it was interesting and truly shocking.
What side of the business is most interesting to you, management accounting or financial accounting?
Definitely the management accounting side of things, I really like all the international stuff. Working in such a variety of countries is so interesting, there are so many different things to consider.
One funny job was having to count all the different currencies and learn about all the exchange rates, I doubt I’d be learning about stuff like that for a company that wasn’t international.
Financial Controller, Jonathan Kennedy said 'I think Sam’s biggest achievement is to have fitted into our unique organisation as seamlessly as he has and made a positive contribution in his first 6 months.'
Thanks for joining the team, Sam!