#GradStories Ruth Brady, Financial Management Accountant, Bank of Ireland
What are the different pathways into your profession for a graduate?
There's the traditional route where you can get a training contract with a firm or a company. This takes three to three and a half years and you work full-time with the company and you study part-time.
Then there's also the flexible route so this often happens when students get a training contract in a milk round. They can start studying outside of a training contract so in the following year in the next milk round it aids them in getting a training contract that year
What are the most important skills to have in your career?
So financial management accountants prepare the budget for the year and compare that to the actual budget so they see the variances between the two.
The most important personal skills are time management and efficiency. There's a lot of deadlines that you have to meet and you have to be on top of. Be well organized and work in a competent way.
I would also say adaptability is very important. Be adaptable, be able to adapt easily and efficiently. A student can learn to be more adaptable by planning ahead and keeping up to date. Be constantly thinking and planning ahead and be prepared for any changes that may occur.
How long does it take to become fully qualified?
To be fully qualified as a chartered accountant means three to three and a half year work experience. You need the three years and then you study your exams.
What advice would you give a first year student about their career?
I would say working on your communication skills is vital. If you can go into your first job with good communication skills that will ease the process a lot. I would say join many societies and clubs and work with a variety of people and learn different ways to communicate. Often you have to communicate your work to someone with a non-financial background in a concise and professional manner so I'd say it's vital for this. Also start presenting more in college. I would say be comfortable with presenting your work because you have to be confident when you're communicating
What are the typical career paths your members follow?
When you do get your qualification it is a global qualification so I would say the long term career possibilities are endless.