What did you do before joining the scheme?
Prior to Imperial I studied Environmental Economics and following this a Masters in Environmental Policy. After graduation I volunteered with Oxfam for six months and then lived in Berlin for six months studying German language. Prior to this I had had an internship at JPMorgan, but otherwise no experience working in finance.
What attracted you to the scheme?
Wanting to pursue a career in finance and having an interest in academia and university environments, the finance scheme was an ideal combination of the two. Imperial has a wide range of financial departments, making it an ideal learning environment for someone seeking a variety of challenges. Furthermore, it was important for me to work in an institution that values continuous study and professional development; the scheme offers full sponsorship towards becoming an accountant under ACCA, in addition to a range of external and in-house training.
What has been the highlight of your time on the scheme?
Since joining the scheme I have been working within Support Services Finance. The work I do supports an integral part of the University’s functioning. It involves liaising with budget holders and learning about the parts of the college they look after, in addition to some longer-term, autonomous projects that were undertaken. For example, I was tasked with redesigning the monthly reports provided to budget holders, making processes more efficient and user-friendly. Undergoing varied tasks like this has been particularly satisfying for me.
What has been the biggest challenge?
Having had no accounting experience, the learning curve has been somewhat steep. Quickly getting to grips with Imperial’s financial systems was imperative to my role, but the support I received has been amazing and stopped the process becoming overwhelming. Alongside this I have been studying for my formal accountancy qualification. Whilst my work and studies complement one another, good time management and maintained motivation have been critical.