On this page we have posted interviews with graduates that we hope you will find inspiring and will help you to create your own career path so that you obtain your career goal.
Interview with JOHN SNEDDON
1. When did you graduate? I graduated in 2010
2. What professional/ academic qualifications have you gained since graduating? I am ATT qualified from 2012, also Enrolled Agent (US Qualification) from 2012. I also took my CTA exams in May 2013 and I get my results later this month.
3. Who do you now work for? Frank Hirth Plc
4. What is your current job? Tax Senior
5. What are your primary responsibilities? My responsibilities include reviewing both US and UK, individual and corporate tax returns. I am the main point of contact for our clients, who are normally high net worth American expatriates working in the UK. We also deal with a lot of general non-domiciled individuals who have come to the UK to work.
6. What work experience did you have before you graduated? My work experience before graduation was a placement year which was split between 6 months at Begbies Traynor and 6 months at the university due to restructuring within the former. I also had a couple of months at Pizza Hut UK at their head office in a financial capacity but left when the Frank Hirth opportunity came up.
7. How did you get your first graduate job? I got my first graduate job by searching various job sites and finding a tax specific role. We had two interview stages at Frank Hirth, the first being a group interview with discussions and a math and literacy test. The second interview was face to face with senior management within a particular department within the company.
8.What one piece of career advice would you give? As opposed to really trying to find something you love, try and find something you’re good at. Often you will discover that by doing something better than other people, you will naturally enjoy it more. Also, the feeling of progression in your career and the rewards that come with that will come quicker too.
Interview with JANET OYEDELE
1.When did you graduate? I graduated in 2009
2.What professional/ academic qualifications have you gained since graduating? CIMA: Exam-qualified
3. Who do you now work for? The Children’s Society- a charity working with disadvantaged and vulnerable children across the UK.
4. What is your current job? Assistant Management Accountant
5. What are your primary responsibilities? My role involves the production and critical analysis of monthly management reports to aid strategic decision making. This involves costing, forecasting and efficient financial management. I am responsible for ensuring accuracy and completeness of the division’s month-end processes, including journal preparation, budget corrections, and income holding account reconciliation. I am also involved in the coordination and monitoring of the budgeting process and reporting on financial matters to stakeholders.
6. What work experience did you have before you graduated? I undertook a 12 month work placement before completing the final year of my degree at Hertfordshire Constabulary. I spent 6 months working within the Financial Accounts Team, and the remaining 6 months in the Financial Systems Team.My work placement not only enabled me to apply my academic knowledge, but it also placed me in a professional working environment where I was able to develop interpersonal skills.
7. How did you get your first graduate job? I got my first job after searching for accounts and finance related jobs. The job was not specifically tailored towards graduates but it was fundamentally a role suitable for a graduate level recruit.
8.What one piece of career advice would you give? Accounting & Finance is a broad career field, so find your individual path and pursue this. Identify your skills and interests and align your search
Interview with Julieth Jennings
1.When did you graduate? I graduated in 2010
2. What professional/ academic qualifications have you gained since graduating? I passed my final CIMA exam a year ago (2012) and I am now completing the work experience required in order to become fully qualified.
3. Who do you now work for? I work for Bouygues E&S, a Facilities Management company.
4. What is your current job? I am a Finance Analyst, currently working at the Home Office contract.
5. What are your primary responsibilities? I prepare the monthly management accounts, reports and various ad-hoc analysis for managerial and strategic purposes, as well as, preparing the budgets and investigating variances and I am also responsible for monitoring profitability and completing the Management Indicators.
I deal with various departments within the company from Procurement to Development and there are monthly meetings where all departments meet and discuss issues as well as opportunities. This also helps me identify any potential risks that may arise from operations which could ultimately have adverse financial implications.
6. What work experience did you have before you graduated? I did not really have any work experience as I had never worked in an office environment before. However I made up for that by being involved in organising charity events and mentioning interpersonal skills learnt whilst at University, such as team work, dealing with difficult people and people from various backgrounds.
7. How did you get your first graduate job? I looked for graduate schemes and trainee positions on various job sites. The first stage was the phone interview, secondly the assessment day – face to face interview, individual presentation, maths and literacy tests, group work and presentations – and finally an interview with the Human Resources and Finance Directors. During the final interview, I was asked if I had any CIMA or ACCA exemptions and I am definitely sure that having 9 CIMA exemptions helped me secure the job!
8. What one piece of career advice would you give? If you know what path within accounting and finance you want to follow then you may want to start thinking about the professional qualification that suits your career ambitions. These days a university degree alone may not be enough!
If you are unsure, a graduate scheme that offers you placements in different areas would be great. That way you can experience short placements in different departments and by the end of your scheme will be able to choose which area to focus on.
Interview with Koby Dankwah
1.When did you graduate? I graduated in 2009.
2.What professional/ academic qualifications have you gained since graduating? Since graduating from the University, I have become a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) after successfully completing my ACA exams in 2012.
3. Who do you now work for? I currently work for Ernst & Young.
4. What is your current job? I am an Audit Executive working within the assurance service line of the firm.
5. What are your primary responsibilities? My primary responsibilities are to organise and lead audit assignments under IFRS and UK GAAP, with a client portfolio consisting of companies operating within the pharmaceutical, media, technological and telecom industries.
6. What work experience did you have before you graduated? Before I had graduated in 2009, I had completed a one year industrial placement with Haslers, a UK top 40 accountancy firm (2007). During my placement year, I had worked within the audit department of the medium sized firm, with clients from many industry sectors and annual turnover ranging from £1m to £50m.
7. How did you get your first graduate job? After completing my industrial placement, I was offered a three year training contract with Haslers to study for the ACA qualification and joined the summer after I had completed my degree.
8. What one piece of career advice would you give? You are sure to have great career aspirations and should thoroughly research all related graduate opportunities before you complete your degree (at least 12 months in advance) and then consider what suits your skills and desired goals. Never be disheartened on how long and gruelling it may take for you to achieve your initial career goals. Whilst studying at the University of Hertfordshire, my aspirations were to become a Chartered Accountant and work within a Big 4 accounting firm. I did not know how long it would take to achieve my career goals; but I continued to work hard, remain disciplined and believe it was possible! I trained and qualified with a medium size firm and recently joined Ernst & Young in a senior role.
Interview with Zhe Li
1.When did you graduate? July 2012
2. What professional/ academic qualifications have you gained since graduating?
MSC financial and management at University of Exeter from 2012 to 2013
3.Who do you now work for?
Beijing International Trust CO., LTD (Real Estate financial department)
4. What is your current job?
Internship (will be Assistant Manager after 3 months)
5. What are your primary responsibilities?
Real Estate investment
6. What work experience did you have before you graduated?
Mostly are Internship experiences, such as 1. Shanghai Fortune Haven Capital (July 2011-Sep 2011), 2.Bank of China (July 2010-Sep 2010)
7. How did you get your first graduate job?
A businessman recommended me to this company
8. What one piece of career advice would you give?
I think the first job after graduation is very important. Do not just focus on how much money you can earn during this period (like the first two years), but how much potential it has in the future. In Chinese, we called it is “The platform is very important”. Only when you stand on a good platform, then you could have a good opportunity to know some important guys, increase your working experience etc. Perhaps your first job would not match your course which learned in the university, however it is a great chance to learn something new in the real life.