• Name: Meenhaz Bakth
  • Job Title: Chartered Accountancy Graduate
  • Location: York
  • University: Northumbria
  • Degree: Finance and Investment Management
  • Areas of Specialism: Audit and Assurance

Why did you choose this profession?

I chose to be an accountant because I always enjoyed working with numbers and particularly wanted a career in something finance related. By joining Aviva on the chartered accountancy graduate scheme, I knew it would give me a qualification that is valuable and respected in finance as well as a breadth of experience through the different rotations working in the business. This would in turn give me that flexibility to pretty much work anywhere in finance.

What attracted you to your role?

As mentioned above, the main attraction to joining Aviva on the chartered accountancy graduate scheme was the ability to get both valuable work experience and a qualification in the form of the chartership.

How did it tie in with your overall career plans?

My overall ambition is to be a finance director. Finance is always an area I have wanted to work in, and I want to be in a position where I am making decisions and making a real difference to an organisation.

When I did my research on how to get there, I noticed that most finance directors and above are chartered accountants. This showcased to me the value of being a chartered accountant and how important is for me to achieve this to reach my goal.

How did you get your job at Aviva?

I applied for the chartered accountancy graduate scheme in 2020 and was fortunate enough to be offered a role.

What was the application process like?

When I applied in 2020, the process involved sending in my CV and doing an online application. What followed were psychometric tests, after which I had a video interview. Finally, I then attended a virtual assessment centre.

What would you like to achieve in the future?

In the near future, I am looking to secure a permanent role with Aviva once I roll off the scheme. I am hoping to find a role where I can add value to the team I join as well as both learn and develop a lot.

In the longer term, I hope to work my way up to be able to be in positions where I can combine the financial knowledge and skills I have with something more strategic and make decisions to that effect.

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to enter the profession?

The advice I would give anyone wanting to be an accountant is that although the journey may be tough, it is worth it. I would also encourage them to apply for graduate schemes as this will offer them rotations across different areas of the business and different roles, allowing them to get a better view of where their future may lie.

Another piece of advice I would give is to embrace being uncomfortable. The biggest learning experience I have had in my time at Aviva was where I initially felt out of my depth and a bit unsure on what to do. However, I learned a lot during this process, such as knowing when and where to ask for help, how to utilise colleagues experience and knowledge as well as my own capabilities once I started believing in myself more.

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