Education: BA (Hons) Finance, University of Strathclyde
Talk us through a typical day at Shell
My role involves communicating with different areas of the business. I often begin the day chairing a conference call involving as many as 20-30 people from all over the world.
I spend quite a lot of time looking at financial controls, making sure accounts have been properly reconciled and that our records will stand up to the scrutiny of our auditors.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I get to work with a variety of people from many different departments on a global scale.
Shell is a huge organisation and I get a real insight into how the various parts of the business operate and interact.
I find this continually fascinating, and I really do learn something new every day!
Is there anything that would surprise us about your role?
I think people would be surprised by just how much of what I, and my colleagues do, is as much about communication as it is about accountancy.
It’s not the kind of job where you sit crunching numbers all day, despite the stereotype!
Please tell us why you chose to study CIMA instead of another professional qualification
CIMA is more business focused. My long-term career goals are to work in a financial role within industry for a company like Shell, rather than in an accountancy practice.
I think CIMA matches my aspirations.
Do people have any misconceptions about your role and accountancy in general?
Some people might assume that it is quite a dry and dull occupation but that is not the reality.
At Shell you get a real sense of how important the finance function is to the rest of the organisation, and how our work impacts the wider business. I think that makes what we do quite exciting!
Can you describe some of the challenges in studying for your qualification?
Possibly the biggest challenge is time – you have to be able to fit studying around your working hours, while also leaving time to relax and socialise.
It can be difficult but ultimately if you have the motivation you will manage to make time.
How will getting your CIMA qualification make you feel?
Immensely proud – it will be a real achievement, and I’m sure it will make all the hard work seem worthwhile.
CIMA accreditation is respected even by people outside of accountancy, so it will be a great boost to my career.
How do you see CIMA contributing to your future career progression?
Being CIMA qualified will open doors for me.
Within Shell CIMA is a highly regarded qualification to have on your CV, and I am sure that goes for most organisations.
Combining the knowledge I’m learning while studying the qualification with the practical skills I’m developing will no doubt prove invaluable throughout my career.
If CIMA was a holiday destination where would it be and why?
Macchu Picchu in Peru, because it’s a really exciting place to go but it’s hard work getting there.
Although it might feel like an uphill struggle at times, it will all be worthwhile when you reach your final destination.