I joined Boots UK from one of the “Big Four” audit firms in December 2015, having spent four and a half years there training and gaining my professional qualification."
I knew from fairly early on that a move in to industry was my ultimate goal, however I was keen not to just take any old role, and therefore spent a lot of time searching the market for suitable roles in businesses all over the UK. I honed my skills primarily within the Audit practice at my previous employer, and therefore had spent a lot of time working alongside finance functions on a whole range of businesses. When the opportunity arose for a Finance Manager role within Boots UK in Nottingham, I jumped at the chance. I was really looking for a company to which I could relate, and as a Boots customer, this fitted the brief. I knew of the excellent reputation that Boots UK holds in the market, being that of a caring and supportive employer, and therefore the decision to apply was an easy one for me. Since joining I have seen first-hand that this is absolutely the case; everyone is so willing to help and offer support, and employee welfare is really taken seriously.
The application process was smooth and really offered me the chance to think about where I fitted in within Boots UK, rather than just being assessed for a very specific role. My finance experience and interest in the commercial side of the business meant I was naturally suited to a role within the trading finance team.
Having been offered a place, I had the opportunity to meet with a number of people from the commercial finance team in Nottingham prior to my start date. This was really great for me as I could learn more about the role, and get to know some faces ahead of my first day. I was invited to out of work events and conferences which really made me feel part of the team before I had even started.
From a technical side, I questioned whether I would struggle in an industry environment having only worked in professional services previously. I would say that my time at the audit firm definitely set me in good stead for my current role; whilst there are aspects of the role which are completely new, such as month end, forecasting and budgeting, the core finance and accounting knowledge I have gained is transferable.
On joining, I was offered overwhelming levels of coaching, mentoring and support from all levels both more junior and more senior than myself. This has made the transition very comfortable to date. I was given a buddy on my first day who has acted as a more informal point of contact for any questions I have. I have more structured weekly catch ups with my line manager where we discuss how I’m getting on and any support I think I need. Outside of this, I have been supported from every angle across the business, whether it is meeting for a chat and a coffee in Starbucks, to going for lunch, or sitting around a laptop asking questions.
Sitting writing this now, I have now been at Boots UK for a little over five weeks, however almost immediately I felt integrated and part of the Boots team. I have met so many new people and already learned so much; I am looking forward to learning more and more in to the next weeks and beyond.
Overall, I am delighted with my decision to join Boots UK and have no regrets. It turns out that the grass is actually greener.