BA (Hons) Economics. University of Leicester. Graduated 2008. Graduate Finance Executive, Tesco.
'I want to become a business partner and actually make a difference.'
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The pace and change of the retail industry means that Tesco is always evolving and this makes for an exciting place to work.
One of the best parts of my job is that I am able to get involved with so many different things. The fact that at such an early point in my career I have a project that will make a large impact on the UK reporting system is great and will provide me with skills that no other graduate scheme could have.
Why did you choose the CIMA qualification?
Having studied economics I did not have much accountancy knowledge before starting at Tesco, so for me, the CIMA certificate level has been invaluable to get up to speed.
I was offered a job in practice studying ACA. However, I chose to take the job with Tesco because I wanted to study the CIMA qualification.
I always knew that I wanted to work in industry as well as study a qualification that is forward thinking and progressive rather than looking at past performance. Unlike other accountancy qualifications, the amount of business emphasis that CIMA has makes it great for anybody pursuing a career in industry.
Do people have any misconceptions about what you do and accountancy in general?
The largest misconception is that accountancy is boring. Most people think it is purely about auditing accounts and are often very surprised when I explain what I actually do.
When I say that I work for Tesco people often think I can make changes for their specific needs, such as their favourite items no longer being stocked. Sadly I don't have that kind of authority. Well not yet anyway.
Any thoughts about the future?
The opportunity to work abroad really appeals to me and with Tesco having a strong presence in 15 countries this is certainly a possibility. The graduates in the year above me are flying out to our support centre in India this week for a seven month placement, and I hope to be on that flight next year!
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of studying towards the CIMA qualification?
Make sure you are willing to commit to the qualification. It will be hard at times but also extremely rewarding. Gain the backing of a large organisation like Tesco. The support, both financial and personal, is fantastic and really makes a difference.