Your Accounting & Finance career can lead you to any industry!

Posted: 21st of May 2017 by Alicia.Collier@accaglobal.com

It was after taking A Level accounting; I knew I wanted a career in finance so thought the natural route would be getting a university degree. I was successful in applying for University; however I had also been offered a school leaver position at Grant Thornton. The real pull for me doing an apprenticeship was the ability to qualify by the time I turned 21 and to be 3 years ahead of my peers in my career. I also really liked the prospect of earning money whilst studying.

I am currently working at Avon as a Finance Manager. The people at Avon are great; I work with such a large pool of talent who are all passionate about our business which makes it really inspiring and motivating. There are also so many opportunities at Avon, due to being part of a large international business listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

When people ask me “what does a day at the office look like for you?”  I can honestly say there is no ‘regular day’ in finance. In the environment I work in, things change quickly and you have to jump from one task to another - for me I really enjoy having that variety at work.

However in a normal week I will work with my business partners to find a plan towards sustainable growth, problem solve with people inside and outside finance, and work with my team to ensure there are achieving their career aspirations.

I am currently the youngest Finance Manager in UK Finance by 5 years, and it’s something that I’m really proud of! I don’t have a degree and that hasn’t held me back at all - employers care more about my experience to date and that I am ACCA qualified than whether I went to University

To all those who are unsure of what to do next, I know in the current environment it can be quite difficult to get a graduate role in finance, but I really feel experience sets you apart from the pack. I have had three more years’ experience than someone the same age as me that went to university and that is something that employers respect and admire

If I was to pick another career rather than finance I would have loved to own my own bakery - but I’m not too sure about the early starts!

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