Name: Meena Anandalingham, 27
Degree: Physiology and Pharmacology (2:1) UCL
Chartered Body: CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants)
It was when Meena was in the final year of her degree course that she decided on a career in accounting. "I found I preferred the mathematical analysis, which we were increasingly focusing on in the course, to the scientific lab work," admits Meena, who graduated in 2001.
Next, she decided that the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualification would suit her needs best. "With management accountancy, the skills you learn really focus on advisory work and looking to the future. I liked the idea of that," she explains.
Having set her heart on working for Citi – because of the work/study balance that the company is renowned for – she was thrilled to find out she’d got in and she began her accounting career in October 2001. "The assessment process was quite rigorous," she recalls. "It was a full day, with three sets of interviews, group discussions and calculations and tests throughout the day. But it was very fair."
Meena was particularly pleased to discover that the lessons she learned from the foundation level of her CIMA qualification were transferable from day one. "It was really satisfying to be able to use what I was learning in college in my day-to-day work," she says. "In fact, I’m still applying what I learn for the qualification every day."
So far studying while working has been well balanced for her. "We get the relevant time off to attend courses and take the exams and some of the courses are even run in-house now. With tutors coming here, it makes attending classes a lot easier."
Meena has worked in a variety of challenging roles in her career to date, and is currently looking after the primary business within the fixed income department. "A team of three of us are working together," she says.
She particularly enjoys the management side of her job, which has kicked in during the last year. She also points to the satisfaction of developing her skills and always having support on hand. She is looking forward to qualifying with CIMA and moving into even more challenging work.