Our company is a listed industrial company that operates in Europe, Asia and Americas. My key responsibilities include management reporting, budgeting, rolling forecasting (year-end-estimates), financial planning, internal fees, and finally sales and cost analyses.
I don't actually have "a typical day at work", because what I do and my workload are highly dependent on the season. In the spring time we prepare our financial figures for our 3-year business plan whereas during the fall it feels like all we do is budgeting. This also means that I don't have too much routine in my work, which is a huge plus in my opinion. Anyways, for example after every quarter-closing , the following tasks are on my desk: I prepare sales analysis for our CFO (mainly analysis of price, volume and mix effect), I calculate internal fees for our businesses, we forecast our new year-end-estimate (first businesses prepare their own part and we adjust it on the group level), I do costs analyses and functional cost reviews, and last but not least I produce typical quarter and monthly financial analyses for the EMT (Executive Management Team).
What should be mentioned considering my job is that our Management reporting team consists of 6 people of which 4 are sitting abroad (Belgium, France and the US). This means that we have a lot of conference calls and also use Lync a lot for working. Sometimes it's a little frustrating because of the time difference and it would just be easier to have your college in the same room, but on the other hand I think it's good to have people from different cultures in your team, it gives new perspective and definitely a lot of fresh ideas for your work.
Variety, not too much routine. I also love that even though I'm working in the finance department and as a controller, my job is strongly tied to business so we are not just calculating numbers, you always have to understand the big picture and think strategically.
Sometimes it's difficult to be between the EMT and business area leaders, you can't please everyone and people are complaining to you about things you can't influence on.
Just to gain work experience. Of course you have to learn the basic financial and accounting stuff at school, but to handle the pressure and at the same time to be collaborative and accurate, I think the best way is to start working as early as possible.
Now when I think of it, my expectations and this job do not differ at all! Which is great, because of course I applied a job with high expectations :)