What did you do before joining the training scheme?
Before joining the Graduate Finance Scheme, I graduated with a BA in English Literature. I also completed internships in two investment banks, firstly in a more technical front-office role, secondly working in a financial services support role. I was able to gain a breadth of experience and awareness of the diversity of roles in financial services.
What attracted you to the scheme?
While I was at university, I became involved in a student newspaper, focusing primarily on financial news and performing budget analyses on the behalf of our student union. This is when I first became interested in the complexities of accounting and financial management in Higher Education. What particularly drew me to Imperial’s scheme was the opportunity to rotate around a variety of placements: where other schemes were offering positions firmly in Audit or Tax, Imperial allows trainees to gain a wealth of experience in a variety of areas. I was also impressed by the support Imperial offered to trainees while they qualified to become Chartered Accountants, and their offering of the ACCA, the qualification I am now studying towards completing.
What has been the highlight of your time on the scheme?
I have only been on the scheme for a few months and I am currently in my first placement, learning Management Accounting in the Faculty of Natural Sciences. The highlight of my time on the scheme so far is being asked to help work on a report about pension provisions for the annual audit. I was given the opportunity to learn a great deal about pensions, which I found really useful and interesting. It also allowed me to learn how to structure and compile a financial report.
What has been the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge for me has definitely been learning how to use the different finance systems and various technical programs, as I hadn’t had any prior experience of this. Both my team and other current and former finance trainees have been invaluable in supporting me through these difficulties. Starting to study towards ACCA has given me a helpful insight into the role of the accountant and the technology that supports that role, which has also helped put everything into perspective.