Associate Finance Business Partner: University of Birmingham
Thomas graduated in 2016 with a BA in History and Politics, and now works for the University of Birmingham. He enjoys the varied nature of his work, whilst also working towards an accountancy qualification.
I chose to study at Loughborough University as I fell in love with the campus and the sense of student life right from the beginning and my first open day.
I am still a keen sports addict and thus Loughborough was my natural fit. I feel Loughborough made me the person I am today.
Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to current or prospective students looking to study the same course that you did?
Having worked in the private sector I can testify to the challenge you will face as a new graduate having to both study and learn your craft in a fast pace environment, but I would fully recommend that as the best way to test yourself and get stuck in at the deep end.
Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities during your studies? If so, how did this impact upon your Loughborough experience?
I was a history course representative during my first year, but most importantly for me I had the honour of representing the Men’s 1st team for Lacrosse throughout my time at Uni.
After graduating, I worked for a Member of Parliament, before starting work at the University of Birmingham in my current role.
Finance Business Partners work alongside various non-financial departments within an organisation and deliver and interpret financial performance for senior managers, adding a level of analysis they would otherwise lack from their own teams. Often my role requires me to put together work such as financial performance predictions, budgets, profitability analysis and cost reviews.
These utilise skills such as communication, conflict management, confidence, accuracy and teamwork. Whilst a lot of these skills are developed at university, I don’t think you master these skills until you start work.
My current employer, the University of Birmingham, is a fantastic employer offering staff benefits I have not seen rivalled in the private sector in terms of holiday, pension and flexible working, while encouraging staff at all levels to be the best they can be.
I love how every day when I go into work my job changes - no two days are ever the same and I am required to hop from meeting to meeting often one moment discussing financial margin performance before dashing to another to offer my perspective on viability of a multi-million pound project.
I think business partnering is the most exciting area of finance and offers graduates the quickest route to real decision-making and leadership.