Role: assistant to group accountant
Education: A levels in accountancy and law,
‘Doing CIMA straight from school enabled me
to pass all of my exams by the age of 21’
Why did you choose to study CIMA after your A levels instead of a degree?
I knew that I wanted to work in industry and study a qualification that was as much about strategic thinking, project management and business awareness as numbers.
Studying CIMA straight from school has given me the opportunity to secure an amazing role, in a dynamic multi-national company, without the ongoing financial burden of student debt. I have managed to gain four years' experience and progress to a higher level role in the time it would have taken me to complete a degree.
How did you start out?
I joined Perseus Pinacl Holdings Ltd after my A levels as a junior finance administrator and soon progressed to assistant accountant. I was lucky enough to receive financial support from them which enabled me to complete the CIMA certificate level qualification within six months.
How did you land your current role?
After being made redundant, I joined an accountancy agency who introduced me to my current employer. The fact that I was studying towards the CIMA qualification and was so far through my studies helped me enormously.
What do you enjoy most about it?
I work in a fantastic environment among 10ft sharks, otters and tropical fish! I love the variety of work: I work across all nine of our UK sites, looking for ways to improve the systems and working practices.
Do people have any misconceptions about your role and accountancy in general?
Unfortunately there is a misconception that accountancy is boring and is just about the numbers. In reality there are many aspects to the role, including working with people at different levels, not just inanimate spreadsheets. You have the opportunity to stamp your personality on all the different roles you undertake.
How do you see CIMA contributing to your future career progression?
Being an internationally recognised, professional qualification, CIMA is the foundation on which I can build my career, not only in the UK but anywhere in the world. Management accounting will always be the cornerstone of successful businesses and in the future I hope to have an input at a senior level.
What advice you would give to anyone thinking of studying towards the CIMA qualification?
Studying the certificate level straight from school allowed me to progress quickly and pass all of my exams by the age of 21. I would strongly advise others to seriously consider this direct vocational route.