What did you do before joining the training scheme?
After graduating in July 2012 with a BSc in ‘Accounting, Auditing & Finance’, I joined the finance training scheme at the end of August 2012. I had previously gained 15 months’ work experience with Ernst & Young as part of my degree and having being exposed to various accounting processes; I was keen to further develop my understanding of accounting and financial reporting.
What attracted you to the scheme?
I was very attracted to the flexibility of the finance training scheme - completing placements of varied lengths in different areas of College finance seemed a very strong way to build up my knowledge in the practical aspects of finance and its applications. Also, being fully sponsored to become a qualified accountant under ACCA was an additional benefit of the scheme, as I have always been enthusiastic about beginning my professional studies soon after graduating. Completing a relevant degree meant that I gained exemptions from five ACCA exams.
What has been the highlight of your time on the scheme?
For my first placement I took on the role of the Trust Accountant for the Imperial College Trust – an independent charity whose objects include the promotion of charitable purposes for the benefit of the College. I was responsible for preparing the Trust’s financial statements for the year ended July 2013 which were fully audited by the external auditor. I was commended for my ability to respond to auditor queries in a timely manner and for preparing the financial statements with very minor adjustments required. So far I have passed four ACCA exams and I am well on my way to qualifying with the support of the College.
What has been the biggest challenge?
During my placement with Ernst & Young, I had the privilege of gaining an understanding of the processes followed by different accounting software, so I was very aware of the challenge ahead in understanding the finance system being used by the College. Initially it seemed difficult, but after receiving appropriate training I am now a competent user and look forward to gaining more experience when I move on to my next placement.