What did you do before joining the training scheme?
After graduating in 2013 I joined a Finance Graduate Programme at an international healthcare and technology company. I worked there for eight months and while I definitely learned a lot, due to the size of the organisation, many of the finance operations were outsourced which meant that it was hard to get “hands on” accountancy experience. Having not studied accounting at university, I decided to look for a graduate programme where I could get more involved.
What attracted you to the scheme?
Finance at Imperial College London is all “in-house” which makes it a fantastic organisation for anybody wanting to see how things work first hand and understand processes from start to finish – as I had little accounting background I thought this would make Imperial the perfect organisation to develop my finance knowledge and career. The University also provides fantastic support towards professional and personal development. Not only are you supported towards completing the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualification or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification, but there is also a wealth of further training opportunities available at the Learning and Development Centre.
What has been the highlight of your time on the scheme?
Since having joined Imperial I’ve completed two placements – one in central Management Accounting, and one in Estates Finance. In both roles I’ve undertaken a number of important projects – ranging from forecasting income and student numbers for the future to managing department budgets to developing appraisal models for new building projects. While these tasks can be challenging and carry a lot of responsibility, it is also rewarding to know that your work is adding value and to be trusted with such roles so early on. Through my work I’ve gained a detailed insight into how Imperial works to continually improve the university experience for its students and worked with some of the most senior professionals in the College.
What has been the biggest challenge?
Having already completed eight months at another organisation I already knew that one of the main challenges in any new job is learning how to use new finance systems and adjusting to a new working environment. This combined with having to study towards the CIMA qualification and moving to London for the first time was a little bit overwhelming at first, but the team at Imperial offer invaluable support and training so you can develop your skills and get settled in quickly.
Andrew is currently Head of Treasury and Investment Finance.