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James Shepherd (BSc Mathematics and Statistics 1998)

Biography

I have been married for seven years and have two children aged 5 years and 6 months respectively. I qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PwC in 2001 and have since worked for three large multinationals. I have been working for Amcor for five years and my current role is Manager of the UK Financial Shared Service Centre. I manage a team of 20 people and we provide services to seven manufacturing sites in the UK and two in Europe. My ambition is to become Finance Director and would like this to materialise in the next five years.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading?

It is a highly respected university.

What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?

Close proximity to London but not as expensive and the large number of Halls of Residence.

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

Enjoy the first year but make sure you dedicate enough time to studies to ensure you are there for future years!

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

I worked for PwC for four years as an Accountant in Reading and then Bristol. I then worked at both Computershare and Alcan before moving onto Amcor.

How has the University of Reading and the Careers Centre helped in your choosen career path?

I gained a First Class Honours in Mathematics and Statistics which helped create job opportunities. The Career Centre organised a practice interview session for me with PwC during the summer. PwC were training new managers on interview techniques and I got paid for being their guinea pig. I also got valuable interview feedback which helped improve my technique!

What are your top tips for students graduating this year? What should they be doing to secure the job they want?

Students should look into gaining summer placements at businesses they are interested in working for. They should also start applying for jobs at businesses during the first term of their final year. I received an unconditional offer during my final year which removed a lot of the pressure associated with my finals. 

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