27 March 2020: Coronavirus Update. The situation is fast moving and we are continuing to monitor the global situation and its impact on our members, staff, exam candidates, students and the profession. More information for Members and Students in My CIMA.

Sereena Malkani

Assistant Financial Analyst, Sky

“People assume accountancy is boring; my role is anything but boring!”

Education: BSc business mathematics and statistics, London School of Economics (LSE)

Why did you choose to study CIMA instead of another professional qualification?
CIMA is more business focused. Some of the alternatives are more technically focused and after finishing my degree I really wanted to concentrate on learning exactly what I would need and use in my day to day job.

With CIMA I really feel that’s the case; I go to college one week and the next I find I’m using what I learnt to complete tasks at work.

How did you get into your role at Sky?
When applying for graduate schemes, I considered the kind of company that I would like to work for and Sky immediately came to mind.

I found out which graduate schemes were available at Sky and finance was a great match for my skills, educational background, and future career aspirations.

The application process was very thorough and ranged from online tests to an assessment centre.

The assessment centre was really enjoyable and it was after going to the site, meeting the people and getting a feel for what it would be like to work at Sky, that I knew I really wanted the job.

Is there anything unusual about your role?
I think the main thing that is unusual about my role is how commercial it is. It is finance; but a lot of what I do still relates to Sky as a company and the TV advertising market.

Something about my role that surprised me is the level of responsibility you get so early on.

You really are accountable for your own work. I’m given meaningful and important work to do: within a couple of months I was owning the month end processes for my area.

I get face time with senior managers, and there are many opportunities for me to present in team meetings and take ownership of team tasks/projects.

What skills have you gained from studying the CIMA professional qualification? 

Prior to joining Sky, I had no experience or knowledge of finance or accounting. Through studying CIMA, I have learnt the basics in a very short time and have quickly been able to apply this knowledge to my job.

How has Sky supported you through your CIMA studies?
Sky provide a great support system for its finance graduates studying CIMA, and this is evident from the fact that they have won CIMA’s large employer of the year award.

Sky fully fund the completion of the qualification, students are given ample paid study leave and are able to sit mock exams during work time.

We have regular grad events and nights out, all of the graduates form a strong network and we support and advise each other.

Do people have any misconceptions about your role and your profession in general?
When I tell people I work in finance, and often when I tell people I’m doing CIMA, I’m branded ‘an accountant’ which a lot of people assume to be boring.

My role at Sky is anything but boring – the company is dynamic and always changing, and finance has to play a big part in that.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of studying towards the CIMA qualification?
I would advise anyone interested in finance, accounting, or business in general to study CIMA.

At a time where the job market is so competitive, having a globally recognised qualification will definitely aid in setting you apart from other candidates.

CIMA gives you the knowledge and skills you need for a career in finance, and is also a great base for those who decide to pursue careers in other sectors such as management consulting, or business in general.

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