GEM finance society student Michelle Tong reports back.
Cédric Bouan, Financial Gouvernance & Capital Management Director.
How is it like to work at Volvo Trucks? What is the corporate culture?
As Volvo is a Swedish company, the working environment bears a particular imprint of the Swedish style. Trust and delegation are the two main themes of its corporate culture. Employees enjoy a high extent of autonomy and freedom. For instance, as there is no strict working schedule, employees can arrive at any time around 8:30 to 9:30. Besides, the Swedish management style is regarded as an egalitarian approach. Managers are seen more as facilitators and listeners who tend towards a consensual approach and openness of discussion. They value more the results instead of the process. Information tends to flow smoothly between departments and functions. Therefore, there tends to be less social distance between managers and subordinates. Management denotes a level of work-related responsibility rather than a hierarchical status.
Tips for GEM’s students who want to work in corporate financial management/ management accounting later?
Firstly, be curious and logical. In the working place, once you identified an asymmetric data, you have to investigate into it. For instance, when the value of inventories on the accounting book does not correspond to the reality value, you will have to go to the manufacture department and communicate with them, in order to understand the causes and situation. Then you will report to the management and provide your suggestions.
Secondly, when you apply for the job or internship, you need to have a very thorough comprehension of the functions. This would not only help you succeed in the following interviews, but also match your skills and interests to your future career.
Caroline Sauze, Internal Controller in South EMEA of Volvo Group, Lyon (GEM promo 2015)
I wanted to be more involved inside business activities rather than being an “outsider” who audits the business from an external perspective. Since now I have my fixed team and department, I have a stronger sense of belonging to the corporation. I am also amazed by the different business activities conducted by Volvo Group.
If you want to work as an internal controller in Volvo Group, you need to have great problem-solving ability, as you need to support not only the management, but also the chief accountants, business controllers and credit managers. You need to have excellent communication skills in order to contact with different departments. Furthermore, in order to evaluate various legal entities and secure each transaction, you need to be meticulous and pay attention to details.
Being an internal controller also requires certain extent of mobility. This June, I went to the UK Volvo subsidiary and this coming October, I will go to South Africa filiale with my team.