Blog Duncan


The Countdown to Christmas

09 December 13

The countdown to Christmas has begun and everything in the business is as busy as ever!  We’re all working hard to ensure that great results are delivered and that we can start 2014 in a strong position. This is where I think the role of Finance within RB can make a difference. The RB graduate scheme looks for people who can change the game.  The role of finance has evolved over the years and we want individuals to join us who want to move away from the traditional supporting function to really adding value to the business. For me, adding value is about constantly challenging, thinking outside of the box and running with ideas from start to finish. There is always room for improvement and at RB, everyone is focused on trying new ideas and making a difference. There is nothing better than presenting your ideas, getting buy-in and seeing it through to execution. In Finance you’re critical in establishing these ideas but also working with others to recommend and implement improvements with your financial experience.

I’ve just returned from travelling around Eastern Europe where we have been performing an audit in several countries. When a business is made up of multiple offices, it’s critical to have good communication to share ideas and work together.  As part of my audit role we must present our findings back to the senior management teams in each market. This is never an easy task as we must inform them of potential control risks in their business departments. It’s important that you describe the points clearly and have the key information to hand should further detail be needed. A key learning I’ve taken from working in Audit is the different ways in which stakeholders want to have information presented to them and having to tailor your approach accordingly. A skill of presenting is being confident, succinct and providing the detail when it’s required. My graduate rotation in to Audit has given me the opportunity to be in meetings where decisions are made and strategy is formed – this exposure has been fantastic.

My recommendation to anyone applying to RB is to think when have you added value or developed an improvement. Present your ideas in the assessment process and sell yourself. Desire to make a difference for me is one of the things that sets apart an RB graduate to others.


My first RB blog

12 September 13

Hi there. I’m sat writing this blog on a train travelling from Belgium to Amsterdam. Having visited both, I’ve learnt how despite sharing a border, two countries can differ greatly in terms of store portfolio and customer buying behaviour. As I said in my video, my current role involves a lot of travelling, something that I really enjoy. This allows me to see many different parts of Europe and learn first-hand how cultures differ from country to country.  RB truly is a global firm and as a result, meetings are often made up of people from all over the world. I think this is fantastic as the combination of such different experiences really allows for new idea generation and improves overall learning.

Since the filming I’ve been studying for my final CIMA exam. As part of the RB Finance Graduate scheme, graduates can choose to study CIMA in order to become a qualified accountant. The course takes roughly 2 years, depending on the exams taken and on the individual. Qualifying is extremely hard work and requires studying during evenings and weekends. RB does however offer a great amount of support, both financially and in providing grads with study days and internal support for revision.  If you asked an accountant, I’m sure they’d tell you that although the exams are tough, the qualifications are something that can’t be taken away from you, making it all worth it.  For me the end is in sight and hopefully all the hard work will have paid off.  Fingers crossed!

Amsterdam is fast approaching so I best sign off but I’ll be sure to keep you updated on some of my exciting experiences over the next few months.