Role: Finance Analyst, British Airways
Education: Law LLB (Hons), University of Manchester
'Studying law before CIMA provided ME with an excellent foundation to build on.'
Why did you choose to study CIMA after you studied a law degree at university?
I looked to my future aspirations and where and how I wanted my career to develop. Finance appealed to me as it focuses on my key interests; working with numbers and people, being challenged on a daily basis, and having an influence and contribution that makes a valid difference. Studying law provided me with an excellent foundation on which to build on; whilst the subject matter is different, there are many principles which are the same.
Please tell us why you chose to study CIMA instead of another professional qualification
I chose to study CIMA as it is a dynamic, forward-thinking and commercially-focused qualification that provides the skills and knowledge required to meet the requirements of modern business. CIMA is a growing, international qualification which will provide for extensive career opportunities in industries worldwide. The scope of the CIMA qualification also gives flexibility to move into countless non-finance roles, should my career develop in a different direction.
Please describe your current role and what you most enjoy about it
I am currently a finance analyst on the finance leaders for business graduate programme. My role is to offer comprehensive finance support across the BA strategy directorate, with a primary focus on supporting the alliances and network teams. I love the challenge that my role provides, along with the level of responsibility that I have been given at this early stage in my career. It is extremely rewarding to know that I am making a valid and direct contribution to BA’s future business strategy. I am also fortunate to have fantastic travel opportunities, both for duty and leisure.
Is there anything unusual about your role?
BA offers countless opportunities for its employees to get involved with different initiatives and activities across the airline. For example, as BA is a key sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games, I have been given the exciting opportunity to represent the airline as a host at the Olympic Park during the games. I have also been fully trained to volunteer in the event of disruption at London Heathrow, and also to act as part of an emergency response team should there be an aircraft incident anywhere around the world.
How has British airways supported you through your CIMA studies?
As part of the BA finance leaders for business graduate programme, I am sponsored to complete my CIMA studies through BPP Professional Education. In addition, BA provides a generous study leave package and mentoring programme with senior finance leaders from across the business. Graduates, both finance and non-finance, have a strong network at BA. This provides significant mutual support, especially when your peers are also studying CIMA.
Do people have any misconceptions about your role and your profession in general?
As accountants, we are often assumed to be boring, one dimensional characters who find it hard to look beyond spreadsheets. I think this could not be further from the truth. In fact, CIMA qualified accountants play a vital role in businesses worldwide by providing the understanding and analysis required to make credible business decisions.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of studying towards the CIMA qualification?
Do your research. CIMA is a fantastic qualification which will open up a lot of opportunities in your career; however it requires dedication and hard work in order to qualify, and to fully benefit from the content of the qualification. The requirement to study whilst working takes a lot of commitment but the end result is definitely worth it. The recent economic downturn has highlighted the fragility of job security. In my opinion, acquiring the CIMA qualification offers an insurance policy for the future.
If the CIMA qualification were a holiday destination, where would it be and why?
If the CIMA qualification were a holiday destination it would be Sydney, Australia. Sydney is a cosmopolitan, modern and forward-thinking city, and a place that prides itself as being a melting pot of different people, cultures and talents – just like CIMA. It also takes a long time to get there but it’s worth it in the end!