Sarah Rutter - graduate profile

Trainee Financial Analyst, Ricoh

"I graduated in September 2008 with a first class honours degree in mathematics with finance. I decided to go travelling and spent a year in Australia. 

When I returned from travelling after I graduated, I started applying for as many graduate finance jobs as I could. I saw an advert in the newspaper for some graduate positions within Ricoh. I attended an open day where I went through several interviews, and was eventually offered the job as a trainee financial analyst. 

My main roles include monthly management reports explaining departments variances to budget, preparing a department’s annual budgets, debtor analysis, including debtor ageing reports and provision analysis, and analysis of third party service expenses. 

Ricoh also offered to sponsor for me to obtain my professional qualification. I chose to study CIMA rather than ACCA, as I felt it was more suited to the business environment, rather than working in practice. Having obtained a mathematics with finance degree I was exempt from a few of the early exams for CIMA, which meant I could skip these and start the higher level exams sooner. I am currently on the Managerial level having passed ten exams so far. When I graduate, I will be a fully qualified management accountant. CIMA is a worldwide recognised qualification and as Ricoh is a global business, this will open lots of opportunities for me in the future.

Obtaining a mathematics with finance degree from Plymouth University opened many opportunities career wise and enabled me to think about many varied career paths. Now in my profession it has enabled me to see things from a different point of view and ask questions that other people wouldn’t think of. It improved my analytical skills and also basic skills such as organising time to fit in both social and a work life, which is especially important now I am studying as well as working fulltime."