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Valeria Filip

Valeria Filip profile picture

What degree course did you study and when did you graduate?

BSc in Accounting and Finance (2022).

Why did you choose that particular degree course?

I chose to pursue a BSc in Accounting and Finance because I had a genuine interest in the financial world. Since my school days, I excelled in mathematics and found it enjoyable to work with numbers and solve financial problems. This, coupled with my curiosity about how money flows within businesses and the principles of financial management, made the degree a natural fit for me.

When I applied for the course, I already had a clear vision of my career path in mind, and I knew that I wanted to work in the financial industry. The BSc in Accounting and Finance seemed like the perfect stepping stone towards achieving my goals as it not only enhanced my analytical and problem-solving skills but also exposed me to various aspects of financial analysis, budgeting, risk management, and compliance.

Tell us about your employer

I work for RSM UK. It is a leading audit, tax, and consulting firm operating in the United Kingdom. As a part of the global RSM network, it is one of the largest providers of professional services to businesses and individuals in the country. RSM UK offers a wide range of services, including audit and assurance, tax advisory, consulting, and financial advisory, catering to clients from various industries and sectors.

The customer base of RSM UK is diverse and extensive. It serves a broad spectrum of clients, ranging from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to large corporations and multinational organizations. Additionally, RSM UK provides services to individual clients, high-net-worth individuals, and family owned businesses, assisting them with their financial, tax, and business advisory needs.

What was the position you were recruited for. Please briefly outline the position you were recruited to within your organisation and summarise the business needs and role you fulfil

I joined RSM UK at the end of August 2022. As an Audit Assistant, my role revolves around providing essential support in the firm's audit engagements and assurance services. My primary responsibility is to work closely with the audit team to conduct financial audits and assessments of the clients' financial statements, processes, and internal controls. I'm also continuously learning and developing my professional skills, especially with the opportunity to study and qualify as an ICAEW ACA chartered accountant.

What attracted you to this position?

The role of an Audit Assistant at RSM UK appealed to me for several compelling reasons. Firstly, my strong interest in finance, accounting, and the financial industry made this opportunity particularly enticing. I have always been fascinated by the world of finance, and this role provides me with the chance to actively engage with financial data and gain valuable insights into various businesses, further fueling my passion for the field.

Secondly, the prospect of studying and qualifying as an ICAEW ACA chartered accountant was a major draw. I am well aware of the value and prestige associated with the ACA qualification, and achieving it will undoubtedly enhance my expertise and credibility in the financial industry.

Moreover, working at RSM UK, a prominent audit firm, offers me an excellent platform to gain exposure to diverse industries and businesses. As an Audit Assistant, I am involved in audit engagements for different clients, each presenting unique challenges and intricacies. This exposure not only allows me to develop a comprehensive understanding of how various industries operate but also strengthens my analytical skills.

Last but not least, the team-oriented environment at RSM UK played a significant role in attracting me to this position. Being part of a collaborative and supportive team enables me to learn from experienced auditors, receive valuable guidance, and contribute to the firm's success collectively. The sense of camaraderie and teamwork fosters a positive and fulfilling work experience, making me feel motivated and supported in my professional journey

What are the key skills you learnt at Warwick that have helped you with your career to date?

My BSc in Accounting and Finance has equipped me with many valuable skills, however two key aspects are standing out in my role as an Audit Assistant.

Firstly, the degree has honed my financial analysis abilities, enabling me to effectively assess and interpret financial statements. These analytical skills play a vital role in conducting thorough and insightful audits, providing valuable insights to clients, and identifying areas for improvement in their financial health.

Secondly, the emphasis on teamwork during my studies has been invaluable in my role. As an Audit Assistant, collaborating with diverse teams is crucial. The teamwork skills I acquired during my degree help me work effectively with colleagues, communicate findings, and collectively contribute to successful audit engagements. The ability to collaborate and build positive working relationships enhances the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the audit process.

What has been your greatest career challenge to date and how did your experience and skills help overcome it?

One of the greatest career challenges I faced as an Audit Assistant was effectively combining work responsibilities with the demands of studying to qualify as an ICAEW ACA chartered accountant. This dual commitment required careful time management and organizational skills to balance the responsibilities effectively. During my time at university pursuing a BSc in Accounting and Finance, I had the opportunity to learn essential organizational and time management skills. The academic environment, with its exams, coursework, and study requirements, presented a multifaceted challenge that demanded effective planning and coordination which greatly contributed to how I adapted at this new stage in my life.

What top tips would you give to students looking for a career in your market sector?

If you are looking for a career in the accounting and finance sector, here are some tips from me:

  1. Develop Analytical Skills: Cultivate strong analytical and problem-solving abilities. The ability to analyse financial data, interpret trends, and draw meaningful conclusions is crucial in the accounting and finance sector.
  2. Networking: Build a strong professional network by attending industry events, seminars, and workshops. Networking can lead to valuable connections and potential job opportunities.
  3. Show Initiative: Take the initiative to seek out challenging projects and opportunities for growth. Proactively contribute ideas and solutions, showcasing your enthusiasm and dedication to your career.
  4. Seek Mentorship: Seek guidance from experienced professionals in the field. Mentors can offer valuable insights, career advice, and support as you progress in your career.

What do you know now that you wish you had known when you were applying for jobs?

In your job hunt, remember that securing a "yes" is your ultimate goal, and you should never be discouraged by rejection. Stay persistent, keep applying, and maintain a positive mindset. Each rejection is an opportunity to learn and grow, bringing you closer to finding the right job fit for your skills and aspirations. With determination and resilience, you will ultimately achieve success in your job search.

Any additional advice or comments?

Start early. Begin your job search early, even before graduation. Research potential employers and industries that align with your career interests and start networking. If you secure that "yes" before you graduate, you will be stress-free for the rest of the year (career-wise).