How to land a role at AstraZeneca

If you are looking for a career that will give you the opportunity to work for a company that makes a real difference to people’s lives and their health and build a sustainable career, then you could consider a role at AstraZeneca.

AstraZeneca is one of the world’s most exciting global bio-pharmaceutical companies. From Scientists to Supply Chain, IT to Engineering, they are on a mission to turn ideas into life-changing medicines that improve patients’ lives and benefit society. Based in over 100 countries, with over 64,000 employees worldwide and 7,400 in the UK. They need great people who share their passion for science and have the drive and determination to meet the unmet needs of patients around the world.

What does an apprenticeship at AstraZeneca involve?

An apprenticeship at AstraZeneca will give you the opportunity to work in real roles, whilst studying for a relevant qualification with an approved education provider to qualify with industry recognised associations.

Typically, the delivery model is a blended learning approach. It can be a mix of online and classroom delivery, together with an online learning environment to support ongoing learning throughout the term of the apprenticeship. The programme aligns with globally recognised professional accountancy qualifications, as well as providing structured support and guidance.

What skills are needed?

Emma Wood, Talent Acquisition Partner – Early Talent at AstraZeneca, explains that AstraZeneca is looking for people who are curious, keen learners with the desire to grow and make a difference through the work they do.  

“We are looking for enthusiastic, passionate individuals with great potential to be strong collaborators – they will be challenged and supported to showcase their unique abilities to make a difference,” she says.

AstraZeneca is a huge advocate of early careers and in return for the passion and energy you will bring to the function, you will be supported in your apprenticeship and encouraged to fulfill all of your potential. 

We provide the opportunity for our Finance apprentices to build a solid foundation of knowledge, skills and behaviours required for a modern day Finance professional. Combining their on the job learning in their roles at AstraZeneca, with the AAT programme, this will give them a great platform to springboard their careers into the Finance profession.

What does a career at AstraZeneca offer?

“AstraZeneca is a world-leading biopharmaceutical company,” says Emma Wood. “Our people are proud of our contribution to healthcare and to society and are always looking for ways to innovate and grow.  As a company we place a heavy emphasis on inclusion and diversity and creating an environment where each employee can bring their best self to work every day.”

She says that AstraZeneca has made the decision to hire even in these difficult times because the continuous development of early talent is critical to the future of many organisations. 

“At AstraZeneca, we are committed to doing everything we can to help people and society in both good and challenging times,” she says.  “We think it is important, now more than ever, to give those with the interest and determination to make a difference, the opportunity to do so.”

How does the finance function fit into AstraZeneca?

Finance lies at the very heart of driving AstraZeneca’s success – both through past achievements and future aims. The company’s agility, flexibility and pioneering approach to new ideas helps it capitalise on innovation. 

The emergence of a new Finance, one that is committed to driving sustainable performance and outstanding delivery, is developing. AstraZeneca Finance is invested in its vision to ensure that the company can deliver growth through innovation. It supports the development of its Finance professionals, both with entry level roles on structured development and learning programmes and also supporting to continue the AstraZeneca culture of lifelong learning.

In AstraZeneca Finance there is the advantage of many disciplines “under one roof”. From Purchase to Pay, to Order to Cash, Record to Report to Planning and Management Reporting, to Controls, Intercompany, and Enabling – candidates joining the Apprenticeship Programme have the opportunity to develop through a variety of experiences.

What are the benefits of undertaking an apprenticeship? 

AstraZeneca recruits apprentices from age 18, with no maximum age limit onto apprenticeships from level 3 to 7.  All opportunities offer career progression and often access to other higher levels of apprenticeships. 

You can find out more about apprenticeships here.

What are the opportunities for me within AstraZeneca?

Global Business Services (GBS) is the heart of the AZ Finance function. It is accountable for the design and delivery of high quality, simple to operate transactional finance processes. The areas cover record to report (R2R), procure to pay (P2P) and order to cash. In addition, the finance function also plays a role in tax, planning and forecasting, and management reporting to customers across AZ globally in Commercial, Science, Operations & Enabling Functions, Tax, Treasury and Group Finance. 

AstraZeneca includes a Great Place to Work as one of the three pillars in its global strategy, alongside the other two pillars – Deliver Growth and Therapy Area Leadership, and Accelerate Innovative Science.

Find out more about how to apply for an apprenticeship at AstraZeneca here.

Further reading:

Marianne Curphey is an award-winning financial writer and columnist, and author of the book How Money Works. She worked as City Editor at The Guardian, deputy editor of Guardian online, and has worked for The Times, Telegraph and BBC.

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