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Out of Class and into the Real World by Nandie Mirembe

I started my accountancy training internship at Interface Consulting on 22nd June, 2015. My first day involved applying the knowledge I had acquired during my initiation, and preparing a comprehensive table showing available training days for the GFA project. The first task was quite slow and confusing but I accomplished it in the end. I learnt the basic principles of accounting. It became apparent to me that the rudimentary methods of book keeping and accounting were being replaced with fast paced technology.

Using accounting technology like QuickBooks was very tricky at the beginning. However, with time I mastered its functionalities. Accounting is not only about data entry; it is also about keeping hard copy records of your transactions. I discovered early on that I was not particularly the best at keeping track of paperwork or organizing it appropriately. QuickBooks taught me the importance of this because whatever transaction I recorded in this programme had to be a reflection of the paperwork stored in the department files.

Nandie (left) and Reagan (right)

Nandie (left) and Reagan (right)

Speaking of accounting software, we held a meeting to discuss the merits and demerits of an alternative to QuickBooks called SAGE Evolution ERP. I got exposed to its components, user friendly interface and the cost of software. At the end of the meeting I was able to write a memo on its pros and cons, as well as analyse the presentation made by the seller of the software.

Interning at Interface introduced me first hand to the real work environment. There was a clear structure and friendly hard working staff who made accomplishing my tasks easier. Some of the people I worked with included; Emmanuel Mambo – the financial accountant, Louise Kiddu – the Human Resources an Administrative Assistant, Reagan Muyanja – the Marketing and Sales intern and Eng. Victor Male – the Managing Director. They taught me about project administration, the importance of organisation and facilitated my learning experience.  I am grateful for the support passed on.

Consultancy was not new to me. I had heard about this kind of work before; about the long hours and the time invested into building a practice, whether it was in research or training development. At Interface, I got the hands on practice of consultancy and project management. It was different; larger in both the income generated and the knowledge and expertise invested into the project. I contributed to preparing the budget for an invitation to tender and it was surprising to see how much effort, planning and money went into bidding for the project.

Interface has been a good foundation from which I have gained experience and learned a lot about the engineering and project management sector. I have harnessed my accounting skills and learnt more in practice in the last two months than in my first year at University.

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