Role: finance graduate
Education: MA (Hons) in business studies and accountancy, University of Edinburgh
Graduated in 2007
‘The strategic side of business interests me’
How did you start out?
I made the decision to study the CIMA qualification whilst I was still at university. My interest lies in decision making and customer support roles rather than pure number crunching, and CIMA provides more strategy and business relevance than any other professional accountancy qualification.
I managed to gain ten months’ worth of work experience at RBS, spread over three summers, whilst at university, working with the same team each summer. Based on their advice, I decided to apply for the finance graduate programme and was successful in securing a place.
Tell us a bit about your current role.
I currently work in RBS Group treasury, for the cash management team. I really enjoy the camaraderie in the team, and also the responsibility which comes with helping to manage the group’s cash position on a daily basis. I also like the fact that it is not a typical finance role, which is helping to widen my knowledge and experience.
RBS have been very supportive during my CIMA studies. I have had all my courses and study materials paid for, as well as exam entry fees. I have also been granted study leave, no matter which team I was working in at the time.
Can you describe some of the challenges in studying for your qualification?
The toughest part for me was having to study and attend classes on evenings and weekends, whilst also working full time. I found some of the technical aspects of the financial strategy paper quite tough as well, as I hadn’t covered much of the syllabus since university, having received exemptions from the financial papers at operational and management levels.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of studying the CIMA qualification?
Analyse what the CIMA qualification offers, compare it with other accountancy qualifications and then make a decision based on your own areas of interest. This decision can define your career so it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
If CIMA was a holiday destination where would it be and why?
Somewhere like a Pacific island – difficult to get to but worth it in the end!