Often graduates are unaware that any degree is relevant to pursue a career in accountancy and finance and that they can take their first steps by registering with one of the global accountancy bodies whilst studying. Three of these global accountancy bodies came to GSM Greenwich and presented on the merits of their qualification to a packed Newton lecture theatre with a cross section of students drawn from accountancy and finance, law and economics.
The panel presentation was introduced by Paul Cannons, Employability Consultant, and supported by Albert de Jonge (Head of Accountancy and Finance) and Philip Pryce (lecturer in Accountancy and Finance). Paul commended the students in investing time to consider their next steps and advised they could only join one of the accountancy bodies present. He then introduced the panel presenters in alphabetical order and each of them emphasized the advantages of joining as a student member to enhance employability.
Jason Nye, Account Manager, represented CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants). Jason emphasised how the CIMA qualification supports those interested in becoming management accountants. Graduates, he explained, start at operational and management levels and progress through to the strategic level of the CIMA qualification. He highlighted how CIMA opens doors into the USA with a joint venture with AICPA aimed at CIMA membership. Among the literature he supplied were two key websites for students to follow up: CIMA Open Days for students to come and meet informally with CIMA staff and CIMA Bulletin for the latest updates and opportunities.
Faisil Khan, Business Relationship Manager, represented CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. Faisal mapped out the CPFA qualification from the professional certificate and diploma through to the strategic level. He stressed that 40% of the global economy is in the public sector and that there is a high demand for CIPFA members with the opportunity to earn generous salaries. He also pointed out CIPFA is the oldest of the accountancy bodies with 125 years of experience. He encouraged all students present to conduct further research into all the accountancy bodies present and further details to join as student member of CIPFA can be found on www.cipfa.org to access vacancies and contacts.
Jennifer Korsak, Marketing Executive, represented ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales). Jenny outlined ICAEW’s ACA qualification and took the audience through the three levels of the qualification beginning with the certificate level through to professional and advanced levels. She was keen to point out that over 81% of FTSE 100 companies have at least one ICAEW Chartered Accountant on their board. Within the literature she provided was a ‘Find Your ACA Training Vacancy’ listing Placements and Internships’. ICAEW training vacancies and she encouraged students to upload their CV to get searched by employers receive regular updates.
After the presentations students readily engaged in the networking sessions and it was difficult to prize them away from the three inspiring presenters at the end of the evening.
The overwhelming feedback was that this panel event was ‘informative and relevant’ with ‘lots of useful advice and information’. Most important of all was that students came away ‘having learnt what each of the professional bodies stood for’ and the ‘different career pathways’ they offer.
Other informal feedback received during the evening included one student who was delighted the event had inspired him to ‘change my career direction and give (me) a fresh perspective to an alternative career path within accountancy and finance.
Copies of the panellists presentations and short interviews with them are available on the careers zone of blackboard.