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How I did it: From Graduate to Director

Book open Reading time: 2 mins

Joining as a graduate and working her way up to Director, Suzie Hardy shares her 12 year journey at Smiths Group PLC

"I have been with Smiths for just over 12 years now having started on their graduate Finance programme. The programme back then gave me a grounding in the fundamentals of management  / manufacturing accounting on top of legal entity / corporate accounting. I did a one year placement at Smiths Medical down in Hythe, Kent followed by a next placement at Smiths Detection in Bushey, Herts. Part way through this one year placement, one of the senior Finance Directors from Smiths Medical called me up to offer me a Finance Analyst role back at Medical so that’s where I went.

As I was working through my CIMA exams, I was progressing through various roles within Smiths Medical from Finance Analyst to Regional Business Partner to Financial Controller for the International business. Smiths Medical globalised about seven years ago and I was promoted into the position of Divisional Financial Controller and Treasury Manager (having also completed the first stage of the Treasury exams). In 2014, the role was moved over to the US and my role in the UK was changed to incorporate all aspects of FP&A (Financial Planning and Analytics) for the Medical Division making me responsible for explaining all of the numbers instead of producing them. During 2016, the CFO of the Interconnect Division asked me if I would be interested in the senior FP&A role in the Interconnect Division and I started that role in December 2016.

All of these roles have given me extensive commercial as well as corporate exposure and experience and have given me the stepping stones to keep progressing.

Smiths really does give you the support to get through the qualifications but also for career progression. I have purposefully limited myself to staying in the UK for personal reasons but there are so many opportunities both within and outside the UK."

Find out more about career opportunities at Smiths Group.