Ldarboyo
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#21
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Hi how long did it take for you to get your first finance job? I'd imagine you are quite good at interviews to pull that off with a 3rd. Also congratz on getting qualified.
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Paloma42
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#22
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(Original post by Zzzz1998)
Hi,I am thinking of changing jobs after completing all of my exams in 2 years. What happens to proving my 3 years experiwnce?
When you fill out the experience you put in an approver along with their email address which will provider the approver with instructions on how to access, review and approve your experience.

If you leave your job during exams I would suggest trying to stay in contact and on good terms with your old team / manager so that when you do finish you can ask them to approve

Also worth noting that the approver doesnt have to be a qualified accountant. I'm not 100% sure but as long as they were your manager or director level then they can approve but might be worth double checking that on the CIMA site.
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Paloma42
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(Original post by Ldarboyo)
Hi how long did it take for you to get your first finance job? I'd imagine you are quite good at interviews to pull that off with a 3rd. Also congratz on getting qualified.
Thanks - I think somewhere around 9 months. I'm not sure that I am any good at interviews. I think i had near 10 interviews before i got a job. Its a numbers game - the more applications / interviews you have the more likely it is that one will end up in an offer.
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Ldarboyo
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(Original post by Paloma42)
Thanks - I think somewhere around 9 months. I'm not sure that I am any good at interviews. I think i had near 10 interviews before i got a job. Its a numbers game - the more applications / interviews you have the more likely it is that one will end up in an offer.
Thanks for responding, did you work retail while you applied for finance roles?
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Paloma42
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(Original post by Ldarboyo)
Thanks for responding, did you work retail while you applied for finance roles?
Yes - parents own a retail business so I was working 3-4 days a week whilst job hunting although the pay was minimal since it was a family run business.
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RedTigerOolong
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I've accepted a grad scheme offer with involves CIMA. How did the CIMA exams compare to the modules you completed during your degree? I presume even if the CIMA difficulty was equal to them, working full time simultaneously still made it difficult nonetheless? If you had to give advice concerning the DO's and DONT'S, what would it be? It could be relating to CIMA studying, work/life balance, workplace advice or even life advice haha. Also, your story is inspirational and it's cool to see you make a thread helping other people out thanks for your time.
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Paloma42
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(Original post by RedTigerOolong)
I've accepted a grad scheme offer with involves CIMA. How did the CIMA exams compare to the modules you completed during your degree? I presume even if the CIMA difficulty was equal to them, working full time simultaneously still made it difficult nonetheless? If you had to give advice concerning the DO's and DONT'S, what would it be? It could be relating to CIMA studying, work/life balance, workplace advice or even life advice haha. Also, your story is inspirational and it's cool to see you make a thread helping other people out thanks for your time.
I found the approach to learning at university compared to professional education (Doing exams such as CIMA) completely different. At University the aim is to get 60-70+% as efficiently as possible without too much understanding of whats going on (Depending on how many accountancy modules you have) During professional education you need to actually understand the fundamentals of what is being taught since a lot of it is a gradual learning process. I don't know how well to explain it but you need to understand the basics and work your way through the exams E.g. if you try and build a house and the foundations are no good, the house isn't going to last very long. The exams operate in a tier structure. E.g. In the financial pillar there is F1 F2 F3, and if you don't understand F1 properly you will struggle with F2 F3.

It is quite a commitment to work full time and study for exams (Your social life will take a hit) It also depends on how generous your firm is with study leave. I think i mention my full study schedule per exam earlier in the thread so not going to list it all out again.

A lot of the Do's are going to be common sense but i think they are worth mentioning
DO:

  • Go to all of your classes
  • Follow the recommended study plan (Completing a set number of chapters or sections each week)
  • Ask your tutor questions if you need help or don't understand
  • Try and set aside a few days (Ideally a week) before each exam date
  • If there is a Pass assurance scheme (BPP had one): Saying that if you complete the online sections by the dates on their study plan and sit the final exam within 3 weeks of the last course date, if you fail the exam you can attend the course again free of charge (I never failed an exam but it was nice to know and have that available if required)
Don't:
  • Let the work build up or leave it all until the last minute (This is never usually a good idea)
  • Try and learn every single thing (You can if you are a genius but not required to pass) For most of my exams I learned 90-95% of the content and skipped a few bits here and there where I thought things were too complicated or time consuming to learn. All of the exams are out of 60 questions and same number of marks each. If you don't know something the worst that can happen is you lose a mark or two.
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Proflash
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#28
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#28
What industry do you work in?

I am half way through CIMA and would be stunned to be on 50-55k upon qualifying. Before, I get motivated by the financial gain just want to know if you are just stating the numbers for FS/Bank/oil and gas?
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Paloma42
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#29
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#29
(Original post by Proflash)
What industry do you work in?

I am half way through CIMA and would be stunned to be on 50-55k upon qualifying. Before, I get motivated by the financial gain just want to know if you are just stating the numbers for FS/Bank/oil and gas?
I work in financial services, it's not a company which is a household name but still has ~4,000 employees worldwide across ~25 different countries so they are fairly large. It's also worth noting I work in Central London so the salaries will be higher here than anywhere else.

There are also other factors to take into account:
  • The current state of the economy.
  • Your team - Is it a stable team, has someone left recently?
  • How your business is performing etc.
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Proflash
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#30
(Original post by Paloma42)
I work in financial services, it's not a company which is a household name but still has ~4,000 employees worldwide across ~25 different countries so they are fairly large. It's also worth noting I work in Central London so the salaries will be higher here than anywhere else.

There are also other factors to take into account:
  • The current state of the economy.
  • Your team - Is it a stable team, has someone left recently?
  • How your business is performing etc.
Thanks for the reply. one more question.

How difficult is it moving into FS while once CIMA qualified when all the work experience completely unrelated industry? I take it FS/Banking are the two areas where you kinda need technical knowledge of the industry to know what is going on as opposed to moving into retail or TMT sector,
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Gent2324
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#31
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#31
(Original post by Paloma42)
I work in financial services, it's not a company which is a household name but still has ~4,000 employees worldwide across ~25 different countries so they are fairly large. It's also worth noting I work in Central London so the salaries will be higher here than anywhere else.

There are also other factors to take into account:
  • The current state of the economy.
  • Your team - Is it a stable team, has someone left recently?
  • How your business is performing etc.
how long did it take you to qualify from when you joined?
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Paloma42
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#32
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(Original post by Proflash)
Thanks for the reply. one more question.

How difficult is it moving into FS while once CIMA qualified when all the work experience completely unrelated industry? I take it FS/Banking are the two areas where you kinda need technical knowledge of the industry to know what is going on as opposed to moving into retail or TMT sector,
It really depends on what the nature of the role is. I worked 2 years in something completely unrelated (Healthcare but still it was a services based business) I had a very wide role / experience in terms of accounting and i was able to move into FS when i was part qualified but this was into a junior role which didn't really require much technical or specific knowledge so I was able to learn as i went along. At Manager level we are a little bit picky on employment history (We prefer candidates with a FS background but will also look at those who have worked in professional services as there are some similarities, I agree it would be difficult for someone who might have a not for profit, TMT or retail background etc. to make the move. I guess it would become more difficult the more senior you get.

For certain technical roles in banking / FS it's almost a pre-requisite, if you don't have similar experience you won't get in unless you have done your training in a similar firm or are someone who is quite all-rounded e.g. worked in audit (With similar clients) and looking to make a first move into FS.
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Paloma42
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#33
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#33
(Original post by Gent2324)
how long did it take you to qualify from when you joined?
I moved jobs whilst doing my exams but I think the whole thing took about 3 and a half years (Although there was around a 9 month period where i didn't do any exams in the middle due to changing jobs, probation period etc)
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Gent2324
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#34
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(Original post by Paloma42)
I moved jobs whilst doing my exams but I think the whole thing took about 3 and a half years (Although there was around a 9 month period where i didn't do any exams in the middle due to changing jobs, probation period etc)
that seems to have worked out quite well then, 50k at 24-25 is impressive!
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Paloma42
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#35
(Original post by Gent2324)
that seems to have worked out quite well then, 50k at 24-25 is impressive!
I took a gap year before uni and also spent the best part of 9 months looking for jobs after graduating so in reality i was 26-27 when i qualified but given where I was after graduating the outcome is not so bad!
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Dik Muncher
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What was the salary like while you were studying?
Last edited by Dik Muncher; 10 months ago
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Great Scott....
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(Original post by Paloma42)
Hi All,

I've been reading these forums for years and I've come across loads of useful posts and thought I would start one of these threads in the hope that I might be able to share some of the things I've learned over my life / career.

Some background info - I graduated from one of the London Russel Group universities in 2013 with a 3rd (Yes I know a 3rd...) class degree in Mathematics with Finance & Accounting.

Since I wasn't able to get into any grad schemes I started out as a Finance trainee at a start up / SME firm where I worked for two years and started my CIMA qualification. After 2 years of working there (Around the time I became part qualified) I moved to a Global Investor Services firm where I am still working and completed my CIMA qualification. I currently have 1 year PQE (Post Qualified Experience) and work in a Finance Manager role.

Happy to answer any questions.
I am 37 and wanting to start CIMA from scratch. Is it worth it? I may have to take a pay cut to get training and not sure if automation will go against me.

I have no exemptions to use, so i will really be starting at the bottom. I currently work in FS

Any advice?

thanks
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Paloma42
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#38
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#38
(Original post by Dik Muncher)
What was the salary like while you were studying?
I started at a small firm where my salary was £18k but increased to £24k after 6 months (no study support was provided) so i paid for the first few exams myself and i worked here for about a year and a half before i moved to a larger firm for £32.5k with a full study support / training contract.

Around 9 months later i completed the operational set of CIMA exams and my pay increased to £35k
Another 7-8 months later i completed the management set of CIMA exams and my pay increased to £39k
Another 7-8 months later i was qualified and my salary increased to £52.5k

I work in Central London so these salaries are probably towards the higher end of the scale when compared to the rest of the UK.
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Paloma42
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(Original post by Great Scott....)
I am 37 and wanting to start CIMA from scratch. Is it worth it? I may have to take a pay cut to get training and not sure if automation will go against me.

I have no exemptions to use, so i will really be starting at the bottom. I currently work in FS

Any advice?

thanks
To be honest that's quite a unique situation and i think i would probably need a bit more information around your circumstances before i can give advice. Why do you want to do CIMA? What work do you currently do in FS? Is it accounting related?

In order to become fully qualified you also need minimum 3 years of relevant experience but considering you will be starting from scratch and will need to do the certificate level exams as well as the professional the average person will probably take 3-4 years. (It can be done quicker but everyone is different) If your current work is not accounting related then you will have to start with junior roles to cover the experience requirements. Is this something that can be done at your current firm or would you also have to look for a new accountancy related role?

There are also other points to consider, E.g. how much of a pay cut you will need to take over the next few years to qualify. Will your accountancy courses be funded by your employer etc.

In relation to the point on automation - from personal experience this is impacting the lower skilled roles more and some of the lower skilled roles are now more and more being off shored to countries where labour is cheaper (Asia, Eastern Europe etc) but most or all of the senior finance roles seem to be remaining in or around London without too much impact due to automation.

One thing i would say is that it will be a significant commitment. Depending on the study method or providers you use there will be a lot of evening or weekends spent either studying or attending classes. If you are married / have kids etc this may also make it more difficult from a time point of view. If you do decide to go down that path you need to be 100% sure that is what you want to do and will see it out until you are qualified because if you don't you might end up in a worse position job wise, CV wise and also financially.
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Great Scott....
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#40
(Original post by Paloma42)
To be honest that's quite a unique situation and i think i would probably need a bit more information around your circumstances before i can give advice. Why do you want to do CIMA? What work do you currently do in FS? Is it accounting related?

In order to become fully qualified you also need minimum 3 years of relevant experience but considering you will be starting from scratch and will need to do the certificate level exams as well as the professional the average person will probably take 3-4 years. (It can be done quicker but everyone is different) If your current work is not accounting related then you will have to start with junior roles to cover the experience requirements. Is this something that can be done at your current firm or would you also have to look for a new accountancy related role?

There are also other points to consider, E.g. how much of a pay cut you will need to take over the next few years to qualify. Will your accountancy courses be funded by your employer etc.

In relation to the point on automation - from personal experience this is impacting the lower skilled roles more and some of the lower skilled roles are now more and more being off shored to countries where labour is cheaper (Asia, Eastern Europe etc) but most or all of the senior finance roles seem to be remaining in or around London without too much impact due to automation.

One thing i would say is that it will be a significant commitment. Depending on the study method or providers you use there will be a lot of evening or weekends spent either studying or attending classes. If you are married / have kids etc this may also make it more difficult from a time point of view. If you do decide to go down that path you need to be 100% sure that is what you want to do and will see it out until you are qualified because if you don't you might end up in a worse position job wise, CV wise and also financially.
Thank you so much for your response on this, and I think you've pretty much answered my question.

The reason I wanted to do CIMA is that I have no formal financial qualifications, other than my experience in the Financial Services and Treasury, and feel that CIMA broadly covers the business and finance world which would be a good overall qualification to have especially if I want to progress through the management ranks.

My original plan was to do the CIMA Cert BA first and then to do the professional qualification. However, given that my current role isn't in accounting, I feel that I may struggle to gain 3yrs PER especially if I have to consider a potential pay cut, and not to mention the lower level tasks that have/or will potentially be outsourced which include the tasks I need to learn for the PER. I am also married with children. On the other hand, I could be qualified by 41-42.
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