Financial analyst in a media company: Nick Dunnett explains what it takes to secure this highly commercial role.

AuthorDunnett, Nick
PositionSo you want to be

Financial analyst roles immediately attract interest and are popular with all types of accountants. But with this popularity comes strong competition for the best jobs and, although the market is starting to pick up and more vacancies are being created, employers' requirements are still very specific.


The good news is that CIMA professionals have an edge over other accountants by virtue of the commercial nature of their training. They also tend to have more budgeting and planning experience, which is a key aspect of the role. The analyst acts as the communication point between finance and the rest of the business--it's one of the reasons why there's so much interest in these positions. They take accountants away from "straight accounting" and into a broader commercial context.


The media is a big draw, particularly because it offers a creative atmosphere not often found in other fields. You could find yourself in advertising, public relations, retail or entertainment, working right at the heart of a dynamic business. But it's not for everyone and you do need to be comfortable dealing with a wide range of people. You shouldn't be afraid of going in on a temp-to-perm basis to find out if it suits you--it's an increasingly popular way into a longer-term career. More and more employers are using these types of contracts, so by taking this route you would give yourself the best chance of getting the role you want.

If an international career is important to you, choose a global group rather than a smaller company, as it's harder to go up in size later. At a conglomerate you'll often find yourself working in a subsidiary--and getting that small firm feel with large company opportunities is attractive for many CIMA accountants. It can also expose you to wider aspects of the business earlier...

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