Ross, Operations Accountant, Balfour Beatty

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    Accounting and Management (BSc 2010)

    Operations Accountant, Balfour Beatty

Since leaving Bristol…

Throughout my final year at Bristol I was constantly applying for jobs, mainly in finance, but also for other generic management roles. I had a fairly clear idea of what I wanted to do but couldn't decide between working in industry or working in consultancy. I graduated in June and started my job in January so in between I went to Australia to play rugby for four months.

In my current job…

After submitting around 30 graduate scheme applications, I decided I wanted to work in industry. I therefore took up a job offer from Balfour Beatty as an Operations Accountant. Many companies advertise that graduates will get real responsibility at an early stage but Balfour Beatty are actually true to their word. Very recently I was part of a projects team for the Aquatic Centre at the Olympics.

I am currently studying towards CIMA and then I would like to go on and do a masters. I see myself at Balfour Beatty for a considerable amount of time with the aim of moving around the different operating companies and potentially, abroad.

Having a UoB degree…

A degree from the University of Bristol opens so many doors. From attending conferences and talking to senior managers, many seem to have gone to Bristol and it instantly gains a level of respect. Further, I have found out from some people in HR that they instantly invite certain applicants to their Assessment days based purely on their university and that Bristol is one of these.

In terms of professional qualifications, studying Accountancy at Bristol enabled me to gain more exemptions from CIMA than other colleagues who studied the same course at other universities. As such, I could potentially complete all exams within 18 months.


Apply for as many jobs as possible. The Careers Service is there to help and it should be utilised, and it was fantastic for me. The importance of a good CV and cover letter cannot be underestimated, either.

It really is a numbers game; the more often you apply, the better you get and the more confident you become at assessment centres and interviews. I was in a position where I was turning down many jobs at the end rather than worrying about getting one because I put the extra effort in.

Many questions are standard, generic competency questions across many businesses so there are no excuses for not applying to as many as possible!