He has a degree in Accounting and Finance and a master’s in Investment Analysis. He is currently studying the CIMA Professional Qualification as part of his Level 7 Management Accounting apprenticeship.
What is your current role and what does it involve?
I'm on a graduate finance training scheme at St George’s hospital. I rotate into a different team every 6 months and, right now, I’m working in financial accounting. So for me, it's daily cash flows, capital management in terms of requisitions and making sure we're sticking to our budget and when approvals come in, documenting it so that the head of the department can see as well, along with reconciliations.
Why do you choose to build your accounting career in the public sector?
I like that I’m working towards making people's lives better. That was one of the main reasons why I picked this role. I feel like I need to give something back.
Why did you choose to study with CIMA?
My degree covered business management, accounting and finance. But I’ve always liked the management accounting side because it’s varied, less structured and I find it more exciting. I also like analysing, so I decided management accounting was the best career for me and CIMA was the best option to build that career.
What do you think CIMA adds that your degree and your masters don't give you?
I think CIMA provides a lot more focus. I can actually apply what I'm learning through CIMA to my work every day. I think a degree takes you right to the top of whatever you'd be doing, but CIMA helps bring it all together. I’ve just finished my Case Study for the Operational level and a lot of that was applicable to what I’m doing in my role now.
Can you tell us a bit more about your apprenticeship?
I’m doing a Level 7 Management Accounting apprenticeship. The apprenticeship normally lasts three years, but I’ve got exemptions from some CIMA exams because of my degree and master’s, so I’m hoping to finish it in just over two years. Once it’s finished, I’ll hopefully stay at the NHS and work in a more senior position.
There’s often a misconception that apprentices are only for school leavers. What advice do you have for someone building an accounting career after a degree or postgraduate qualification?
Definitely consider an apprenticeship. You get paid about the same as an entry level accounting job and there’s less pressure than trying to complete a professional qualification alongside a full time job, because you get days off to study – you won’t have to study at the weekend. You also get all the support that you need to finish your qualification and you still move up to a more senior role when you're qualified. With an apprenticeship, the company are investing in you - they're building you for a role within the organization.
Do you think CIMA is a good fit for your role in the public sector?
Yeah, because there are a lot more management accountants in the public sector than in the private sector. In the NHS, there are also a lot more budget holders than you’d find in the private sector, which CIMA goes hand in hand with.
What’s been your biggest achievement so far in your career?
In my last rotation, I was being given actual budgets to hold and manage myself. It was at a time when the NHS was pretty overwhelmed, so it was all hands on deck. But it was helpful for me to have that experience. I think them trusting me to do that work, that was also quite an achievement.
What’s next for you when you finish your apprenticeship?
I definitely want to spend a couple of years working as a finance manager in the NHS. At some point I’d like to move into centralized NHS, working on NHS improvement, rather than specific trust. I think you get a wider appreciation of the whole system and there’s more opportunity for financial analysis, which makes more sense for me because of my master’s in Investment Analysis.
Finally, what is the biggest opportunity that CIMA has given you?
CIMA has given me the opportunity to take my career exactly where I want it to go. It’s preparing me the kind of finance roles that the NHS needs. That's the greatest benefit I've gotten from it.