Making a move: The CA living in sunny LA
Following a dream across the pond is definitely worth the journey, according to Warner Bros Business Analyst Director Nick Stannard CA.
"Applying for a role in the US was not as straightforward as I thought. Trying to show someone you're right for the job is one thing - convincing them that you are better than applicants from their home country is another."
Clearly, Nick was successful as he now works in Los Angeles, California, within the Home Entertainment division of one of the world's best-known brands.
He started off with EY, qualifying as a CA in 2007 and transitioning from audit to commercial finance over a five-year tenure. From there, his career moved into strategic territories at Sky and finally Warner Bros, both in London and the US.
The CA's recognition and reputation around the world really does differentiate you from other candidates.
“One of the main reasons I decided to do the CA qualification, was the opportunities that could come later in my career.
“Now, I wasn’t necessarily expecting to be sitting on the Warner Bros studio lot years after taking my exams, but I was hoping for some varied and global experiences.
“Whether it be a secondment to Amsterdam whilst at EY, helping to launch broadband and talk products at Sky, or moving to California with Warner Bros, I feel lucky to say that my career to date has given me exactly that.”
Living the American dream
Bitten by the travel bug early on in his career, Nick set his sights on the US after working with a client in Boston at EY.
“Despite actively looking for opportunities to make the move across the pond, the right one never really came up, nor was the timing quite right for me personally.
“That was until I joined the finance team at Warner Bros in our London office. Making my ambitions known from day one, Warner Bros were very supportive in developing and helping me towards my goal.
“Soaking up as much experience as I could, together with a networking plan that involved leading the UK's part in several global projects, I was then put forward for a strategic role in the Home Entertainment part of our business in LA.
"Determination, getting to know the right people and being proud of what I have achieved helped me to bring my dream to life."
Nick's role at the studio focuses on analysing the impact of different product selling strategies on the business and finances. Attempting to combat the meteoric popularity of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, Nick's team look at encouraging ownership of video and game libraries on both digital and physical platforms.
"It's really interesting to see how two territories who have very similar cultures, differ quite a lot in how they sell something as simple as a DVD or a digital download."
Putting the CA in LA
“In today’s market, it has never been more important to understand the underlying financials of your organisation.
“Whether that be a FTSE 100 business or the latest start up, having that knowledge and understanding as your bread and butter is a very empowering feeling when considering where you want your career to go."
The training afforded by the CA qualification stays invaluable well outside of the sphere of accounting, according to Nick. The reputation and international recognition it receives can give you a definite edge.
"The letters CA after my name and the credentials associated with the qualification absolutely helped me achieve my career aspirations," he said.
What was the key to my success? My CA set me apart from other candidates.
“Our industry is changing every day and we are faced with new business models and ideas from retailers, potential partners and countless others.
"Having the base knowledge of how these new concepts will impact our financials helps me in negotiations and working with new business partners.
"The exams are tough, I’m not going to lie, but as I look over the sunny studio lot in LA, I can honestly say: It was absolutely worth it!"
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