What did you do before joining the training scheme?

ClairePrior to joining Imperial, I studied French and English law and completed a Masters in Management, both in France and in the UK. I did various internships in law firms, strategy consulting and in the finance department of a public sector company in France. 

What attracted you to the scheme?

My past internships made me realise the value of being able to understand the finances of a company not only in broad business terms, but also in a more technical manner. This is why I was keen on qualifying as a chartered accountant and Imperial offered an excellent support package to complete ACCA. In addition, in the last years, I had developed a particular interest in disruptive innovation in higher education, in how universities cope with this, and wrote my masters thesis on the subject. Joining the Finance Trainee scheme at Imperial was therefore a unique opportunity for me to develop those technical skills through qualifying for ACCA whilst working in one of the most impactful and innovative universities in the world. 

What has been the highlight of your time on the scheme?

During my time as a Finance Trainee so far, I was able to work in various teams and in different areas where my interests were taken into account by my managers. Within the Management Accounting team for instance, I supported the implementation of the new Learning and Teaching Strategy aimed at changing the way teaching is done within the College and was also involved in the development of new online activities from the financial side. This allowed me to work with a wide range of departments which was particularly enriching. On the other hand, working in Financial Planning was a great way to better understand the sector and the external environment of the College by tackling higher level issues.

What has been the biggest challenge?

Having never worked in the UK before, my biggest challenge was actually to adapt to the British work culture! This being said, making sense of the finance systems used and of the technicalities of accounting were the two other main challenges. The teams are incredibly available and supportive though, and completion of exams definitely helps in the job on a daily basis.