Written by: Jason Yung
I’ve realized that the learning curve is steep. Just finding my way around has been a challenge, Exel’s America’s Support Center (the corporate headquarters of the Americas) is split between 2 buildings on 5 out of the 10 total floors. I’ve never worked in an office so navigating the maze of cubicals was a challenge the first day. I spent the first day accidentally turning into other people’s cubicles thinking it was an aisle.
I received a photo id badge as well as an RFID card because all of the doors into and out of the office requires an RFID card in order to get through a door. Even the elevator requires an RFID card!
Aside from getting used to the campus, I had to learn how things worked. My internship is rotational through the accounting department, so I will be rotating between the accounts receivable (where I start), accounts payable, and fixed assets. The program that Exel uses to keep track of journal entries, run the ledger, and fill out memos is Oracle. I wasn’t on the system until Wednesday so there wasn’t much I could do. I made quite a few copies and boxed plenty of papers during the interim. I started learning how to use oracle on Wednesday. It’s been a lot to process and has took up the rest of my week. I know that also still have lots to learn.
I’ve also started directing email’s that go to the Accounts Receivable email to different team members to get processed. The spanish classes that I took in high school and college came in handy because Exel has operations in North America as well as South America, so the inbox gets messages that are completely in spanish.
Overall everyone has been very helpful so far. My manager as well as my co-workers encourage me to ask questions whenever I don’t understand things, which is very frequent. There’s a lot of terminology that I’ve never heard of before, including from classes. Asking questions, I’ve quickly, is going to decide if I sink or swim.
On Friday, my managers and I went out for lunch together and I learned a lot. It was just a casual lunch at a restaurant, mostly intended for me to get more comfortable around them. I learned about an organization called Toast Masters, it’s supposed to help you with public speaking. I plan on attending a meeting at some point to see what’s all about. I also learned about “sites.” I had mentioned that my next lunch and learn is going to be at a site, a distribution center for Thirty-One Gifts. And my fixed asset manager, who actually took his position this week making the move from Senior Finance Analyst, told me about sites and how they work. He had to budget for these sites and I guess everything revolves around how much time it takes to do things. Efficiency is the key since the largest cost is the labor. They even buy bikes for employees to cut down on the travel time! I definitely didn’t think that I could learn so much over lunch!
It’s been quite an experience so far. I’m looking forward to the rest of the summer, especially since I will start completing credit and debit memos and will be learning more about how to use Oracle!