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An interview with Charlotte: Sodexo Commercial Analyst

Book open Reading time: 2 mins

Charlotte Hurrell joined Sodexo on a three year finance graduate programme where she studied for the CIMA qualification whilst spending 6-9 months in different finance roles across the business. Sodexo is a global facilities management company working in the defence and justice sectors through to sports and leisure so it proved to be a great experience.

Why did you choose to study CIMA?

I liked that the syllabus offered a varied and wide range of topics and it wasn’t just about numbers. It also appealed to me for the opportunities available from having an internationally-recognised qualification. 

How has your organisation supported you through your CIMA studies? 

Sodexo have been extremely supportive during my CIMA studies. They have supported me financially through the qualification as well as giving me the time needed to attend lectures and revision classes which has allowed me to progress quickly through the qualification whilst maintaining a work-study balance.

Tell us about your current role and what’s great about working for your company?

I work as a Commercial Analyst on a large corporate contract within Sodexo. On a day to day basis I work closely with the operational teams to drive financial performance through detailed analysis to allow for better decision making. It’s a very varied role and is giving me great experience early on in my career. 

I like the culture at Sodexo; everyone is very friendly and approachable which has been great for my development. Sodexo are very people focused so there are plenty of opportunities to learn something new and gain new skills and knowledge. 

Tell us about a project you have worked on that you are particularly proud of and why?

I worked on the implementation of a new finance and sales system across our London sites. It was great to see this process through from start to finish and see the end result of how it has improved efficiency at site. 

How do you see CIMA contributing to your future career progression?

I think CIMA is fundamental for my future career progression; it opens up a lot of doors and presents many opportunities. It’s a great stepping stone to further my career and has given me a good grounding in finance as well as strategic decision making.

Do people have any misconceptions about your role and your profession in general?

I think there is a misconception about the accountancy profession in general. Accountancy is, in fact, not all about numbers but allows a company to drive performance and make commercially sound decisions.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of studying towards the CIMA qualification?

There’s no doubt that the CIMA qualification is a great one to have. You just have to make sure that you’re committed to it as it involves a lot of time and hard work. That said, it’s absolutely worth it.

What’s next for you?

Continue to get as much experience at Sodexo as I can and get involved in different projects to expand upon my skills and knowledge!

If CIMA was a holiday destination where would it be and why?

USA  - diverse, international and somewhere that holds lots of opportunities!