University attended: Birmingham University
Degree obtained: 2.1 BCom Business Studies
Adam has recently completed his CIMA accountancy qualification and is currently on his final placement role of the Accelerated Management Scheme. Bakkavor appealed to Adam specifically for the quality of its training and the professionalism of its people, as well as the opportunity to gain immediate hands-on experience in a financial role.
Working for a Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company in the finance team is a highly rewarding and challenging experience. It will offer the chance to play a real "hands-on" role from the beginning, where you spend as much time adding value to the business and finding solutions to various problems as you do performing everyday tasks.
The nature of the business means that new challenges will constantly appear around the corner, but by learning to adapt and respond positively to these a progressive career path awaits.
The Bakkavor Finance Accelerated Management Scheme is carefully structured to provide valuable insight into all aspects of the company's business whilst ensuring you receive expert tuition for your CIMA exams. The scheme consists of three work placements in separate Bakkavor business units throughout the company. The structure of the scheme ensures that you will find yourself contributing to real project work from day one. Successive projects become more advanced - and fully relate to your CIMA professional development requirements - leading to a senior management position within five years of joining Bakkavor.
Having been successful at the interview stages I accepted a position on the scheme starting in August 2005. So after spending several months traveling I began my first placement with Bakkavor at Wingland Foods in Lincolnshire.
Having never worked in Finance the first role was aimed specifically at helping me develop a core understanding of the role the function plays within a business. It was also used to gain a good grasp of the systems and protocols which are used through all of the sites.
Shortly after joining I began my CIMA studies. It was clear from the start that much of this was entwined with the experiences I was gaining from work. The advantage of this was that you had a platform on which to apply knowledge gained from CIMA courses in real world situations, whilst simultaneously experiences at work aided the understanding of course material.
Following eighteen months at my first placement I moved to Caledonian Produce, based in Edinburgh. This was a superb opportunity to work for a very successful business in an exciting location.
Having already developed a core understanding of finance in the first placement, this next role provided me with a chance to further expand my Management Accounting knowledge and also begin to apply my CIMA studies to the financial accounts side of work.
As the role developed I was also given the chance to participate in projects focused on improving the businesses environmental position. This included factory projects focused primarily on minimising waste and further increasing recycling levels.
For me this was an experience I thoroughly enjoyed as becoming 'carbon-neutral' has rightfully become high profile within society and showed the companies commitment to increase its efforts in this area.
In April of 2008 I then moved on to my final placement in London. This involved working at one of the largest sites within the business in another vibrant location.
My role here started with providing the commercial team with a more efficient method of analysing sales performance and to aid in forecasting future sales. This diversity in work has given me exposure to another side of the business and it is very exciting to see any decisions involved in clearly visible in supermarkets!
Beyond this I will be looking to continue to develop my financial accounts experience. Discussions with the site's Financial Controller, who was also part of the scheme, have helped me to develop a clear path for progression post-qualification.
The scheme is certainly given a high-profile within the business, and effort is clearly made to make you feel part of the company from the start. Combined with the fact you are given responsibility at an early stage it takes a relatively short time to acclimatize to work life from University!
Especially encouraging about the scheme is the support offered in various forms throughout the three years. This is not only provided through your direct line manager but also from fellow graduates on the scheme, specifically the mentor assigned to you. For me this was very useful in setting objectives for myself in order to continuously develop, as the mentor will have been through similar experiences to you.