Role: principal engineer, business development
Education: MEng (Hons) chemical engineering, University of Edinburgh
Graduated in 2007
‘CIMA has added another dimension to my technical role’
How did you get into your role at CLYDEUNION Pumps?
I was looking for a new challenge away from plant operations and the classic chemical engineering career path. I joined CLYDEUNION Pumps as the only chemical engineer at the company. My studies with CIMA have strengthened this uniqueness and helped add commercial acumen to my technical background.
Why did you choose to study CIMA?
Having no previous experience of finance, apart from limited exposure to project payback models in my degree, I thought the CIMA certificate in business accounting would enable me to speak the language of business and present financial information confidently, allowing me to take on a more active project management role on live product development.
What does your current role involve?
My job is to analyse and understand new oil extraction processes, identify where our product lines may fit and provide the external connections, internal education, technical specification and economic justification to take our products to new markets. This draws on my experience in chemical engineering, product development and project management, and adds a new dimension, as I’m working with clients, partners and the global sales, engineering and marketing teams.
How has CLYDEUNION Pumps supported you through your CIMA studies?
As well as funding the course financially, CLYDEUNION has been very supportive of my CIMA studies. Through the CLYDEUNION academy facility they provide an IT suite with flexible opening times to give peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the office. We also have fortnightly study sessions in the IT suite with the other CIMA students to allow us to share our experiences and commit some time to studying.
Can you describe some of the challenges in studying for your qualification?
Although I’m extremely driven, motivation is the key challenge I have come across with studying by distance learning. However the bitesize nature of the CIMAstudy resource really helps me with this and means I can pick up and put down my studying as time or motivation permits!
How do you see CIMA contributing to your future career progression?
It’s always great to add things to your CV but for me, as an engineer, to get a CIMA qualification on there will feel like a great achievement. It will help me stand out from the crowd and add an extra dimension to my career. I’ve already deviated significantly from a ‘normal’ chemical engineer’s career route and this will allow me to gain respect and confidence in the business world. I think for an engineer to be able to talk finance is a great benefit and should really help me progress in my career.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of studying towards the CIMA qualification?
Don’t be put off if you haven’t got a finance background. Consider not only how CIMA can help you in your current role but, in a fiercely competitive job market, what doors it might open in the future. Having the CIMA qualification will give you something different and help you stand out from other non-finance employees.
See a video interview with Owen: