JoeWhat did you do before joining the training scheme?

Before joining Imperial College London in August 2016 I completed an undergraduate degree in Economics. My professional experience includes a three month summer internship as a lifeguard in Florida (the natural choice for a budding economist). My only experience of accounting was a module that I had studied at university, however I was keen to develop my knowledge in this area.

What attracted you to the scheme?

I knew that I wanted to enter the world of finance, but didn’t know which area would be right for me. The finance training scheme at Imperial offers a breadth of experience across different areas of the University. This enables you to gain an appreciation for multiple aspects of finance as well as a better understanding of the challenges in the higher education sector. Imperial is committed to your professional development, highlighted by their generous support in completing the CIMA (Certified Institute of Management Accountants) professional qualification, and also personal development through opportunities in the Learning and Development Centre.

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

Thus far I have completed placements in Group Accounting, Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A), Management Accounting in the Faculty of Engineering and I have recently begun a placement in Treasury. In both FP&A and Treasury I have been tasked with producing information to be presented to the College’s Finance Committee. This included demonstrating how the College is performing in relation to our strategic goal of diversifying revenue streams as well as analysing College’s financial position with regards to financial debt covenants. Both of these offered great exposure to senior management and proved to be personally rewarding challenges.

What has been the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge for me was getting to grips with terminology. It became apparent very quickly that Imperial undertakes a wide range of activities extending far beyond teaching and research. Trying to understand the full reach of College’s activities can be quite a challenge, however I received support from numerous areas to help me settle in and put together a complete picture of Imperial’s global footprint.