Alexa Cribb, Finance Graduate, BAE Systems

How did studying at Pearson College London help you get into the world of business?

When entering full-time employment through a scheme, everyone’s got a degree so you have to work at leaving an impression. At assessment centres and within my current role, I’ve found that the university itself is a big talking point; where the majority of other candidates can explain their degree in one sentence, a relatively new, work-focused university experience worked as an advantage when networking with interviewers, scheme leaders and other candidates. The coursework assessments were current and had more of a real-world focus, the most interesting being the application of strategic management theories to predict the future of cryptocurrencies. Paired with the different university experience, this gives you something to talk about when applying for jobs and makes you more memorable. I believe the focus on building professional soft skills (presentations, networking and problem-solving) during my time at Pearson College London helped my application to BAE Systems and provides an advantage to my future career development.

Where have you gone on to work and what is your role?

I’m currently working in management accounting as a Finance Graduate at BAE Systems on their Finance Leader Development Programme. The scheme consists of annual rotations across the UK and in different areas of the business, enabling you to gain an understanding of management, financial and project accounting whilst gaining business connections and exposure to the company’s operations. A core part of the scheme is to become professionally qualified, so I’m also being sponsored to study with CIMA.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m currently carrying out final functional reviews with budget holders on the actual performance from 2018; my role involves a lot of contact with internal stakeholders to manage the budget for various functions and reporting on the monthly performance.

What was your favourite part of studying at Pearson College London?

My friends and having a different experience to other people at traditional universities.

What do you mostly enjoy about working for BAE Systems?

The business has amazing career opportunities both across the UK and internationally, and my value is recognised as bringing a fresh perspective to challenge the normal, historic processes. My current position allows me to see the start-to-end value generation of business functions, something that I thought would be difficult when working for a large company.

If you had to sum up your time at Pearson College London in one word, what would it be and why?

Adaptable - everyone has different goals and everyone’s experience is different.

What advice would you give to students looking to start a career within the business industry?

I’d use the university and the time being a student as a platform. Although Pearson College London will help with internships, you’re in control of your own career development and post-graduation, your ideal job isn’t going to be handed to you. Use the lecturers’ real-world business knowledge and their experiences, build professional networks, focus assignments on areas that interest you and aim to get the most benefit from the three years. People will always ask what you want to do after uni and there’s lots of pressure to find a career, but enjoy your time, make some good friends and don’t rush to get into full-time work!!

What's your favourite brand and why?

Yorkshire Tea, although that’s probably just for the product. In true Millennial style I’d like to think I have minimal brand loyalty and choose products for their usability rather than simply loving the brand.

What course did you study?

Business Management with Finance

I believe the focus on building professional soft skills (presentations, networking and problem-solving) during my time at Pearson College London helped my application to BAE Systems and provides an advantage to my future career development.

Alexa Cribb, Finance Graduate, BAE Systems