Congratulations on your CIMA High Achiever Award. What do you think was the biggest factor that lead to your achievement?
“It’s all about preparation. If you want to see the results, you have to put the time in. Candidly, there is no substitute for hard work and dedication to your studies. For sure, when friends are on nights out and you’re inside on a Friday/Saturday night revising, it can be tough to see it through. Knowing that you’re honing your skills, working towards a prestigious qualification and building a career for the long term certainly makes those short term sacrifices worth it in the end”.
What made you choose a career in Accountancy? Was there anything that triggered your decision?
“I’ve always had a passion for business. Although I wasn’t anywhere near top of the class when it came to Maths, I always enjoyed working with numbers in the context of business. I very much wanted to continue to pursue that curiosity.
A career in Finance is also a terrific way to broaden your perspective.
Finance allows you to get involved in a plethora of initiatives that other disciplines may not necessarily provide. Finance as a function is inherently holistic and pervasive; allowing you really get to know an organisation bottom up and understand the fundamentals of a business. Finance is becoming increasingly paramount in driving the organisational agenda. To operate at the forefront of a key strategic discipline is something that captivates and excites me”.
As a CIMA High Achiever Award winner, what was your approach to studying for this module? Are there any study tips you recommend to other CIMA students?
“First Intuition have a tried and tested formula that works provided you adhere to it. Completing all questions and activities in class, reading all the material, listening carefully to your tutor and completing all the mocks. Accessing past papers and model answers provided by CIMA was particularly useful. It provided a means of gauging what CIMA are looking for when it comes to a good answer. Leave no stone unturned and practise, practise, practise.
In the exam, have a strategy and make sure you give yourself sufficient planning time. Structure your answer in way that is succinct and punchy. But, keep it detailed enough to show that you understand the subject matter well”
What made you choose FI as your tuition provider?
“Initially, I started off with another tuition provider. I was encouraged to take a look at FI, given the positive experience my colleagues had whilst studying toward their qualifications. The key for me was whether the lecturer could add value by thoroughly explaining concepts/principles. A good lecturer can bring concepts to life with illustrative, interesting examples rather than simply reading from the textbook.
Smaller class sizes, an informal and fun atmosphere, an open forum for questions and friendly, approachable tutors that don’t take themselves too seriously. This, as well as free snacks and drinks available during (frequent) breaks all made for a terrific learning environment”.
As a CIMA High Achiever Award winner, which qualities would you suggest a new learner looks for in a tuition provider, to get the best experience from their studies?
There’s no denying that studying for such a reputable qualification will take up a significant amount of your time. As such, it’s only right that a new learner chooses a tuition provider that provides high quality teaching, brought to life in an interesting way. A good provider will help to consolidate your understanding, provide useful and concise notes and respond quickly to questions and queries. Combine that with approachable, down to earth tutors and a fun atmosphere and you’re onto a winner.
How are you feeling about your very last CIMA paper? Do you have any goals/plans in mind for once your CIMA studies are finished?
Having started at the certificate stage of the CIMA qualification, my last exam (Strategic Case Study at the time of writing) represents the culmination of a 2 and a half year journey of learning and studying.
As much as I’m keen to finish my studies, I think I will miss learning in a formal way. I am looking to resume studying in the next few years (perhaps an MBA), once I’ve completed a few items on my bucket list!
The team and FI and Tom’s tutors are very proud of his dedication to his studies. We look forward to seeing Tom progress in his current role, using the knowledge and experience he has gained in the last 2 and a half years. Well done Tom, your hard work has paid off!