What did you do before joining the training scheme?
Before I joined Imperial College London, I had completed my undergraduate degree in Accountancy and Finance. My degree also included an industrial placement year where I worked for a global technology company within their UK and Ireland finance department. Whilst I enjoyed my degree, I decided after my year in industry, I wanted to focus my career towards the public sector.
What attracted you to the scheme?
Whilst at University, I was a Course and Industrial Placement Representative and volunteered for several Open Days – I enjoyed being involved in extra activities to promote the University and seek improvements. I was keen to carry on this interest, so applying for the scheme at Imperial was a logical fit.
Also, I knew I wanted to continue to study towards my CIMA qualification and to begin a career in finance – but I did not know what area would be right for me. Therefore, having the chance to rotate around different areas of finance whilst studying was very attractive. Having the chance to gain a wider breadth of experience and knowledge of how finance works in a University is invaluable.
What has been the highlight of your time on the scheme?
After my first year on the scheme, I moved roles to cover maternity leave for the Senior Finance Officer of Chemistry and Life Sciences – which involved line management. I have not had experience in line management before, so it was a great experience to adapt different working styles and to challenge myself!
What has been the biggest challenge?
Taking on the new role of the Senior Finance Officer, as it was a steep learning curve because not all questions and queries can be covered within handover notes. There was not much time to learn as I had to perform the role as soon as I joined.
However, it was an excellent opportunity to learn new skills, to challenge myself and to see how different areas of the College function. It also helped that my team around me were all extremely supportive! This role also enabled me to build up strong and varied experience to form part of my CIMA Professional Experience Record.