Nick's ticket to CA adventure

Nick Stannard
By Ellen Arnison, Student Blog

27 October 2016

Speaking from his office at the Warner Bros studio in LA, former ICAS student Nick Stannard explains how the CA qualification has brought him exciting global opportunities. 

“One of the main reasons I decided to do the CA qualification, was the opportunities that could come later in my career," said Nick. "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.”

Nick is now Business Analyst Director in the Home Entertainment division at Warner Bros, a position he took up earlier this year. His role involves analysing the impact of financial and business strategies within the production and selling of vide and games for physical and digital platforms.

Attempting to combat the popularity of streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, Nick's team look at encouraging ownership of video and game libraries on both digital and physical platforms in a market where popular streaming services continue to grow: “Believe it or not, but over 30% of the US market still buys a DVD!”

After graduating in business studies from the University of Sheffield, Nick went on a round-the-world trip which gave him a taste for living abroad and experiencing new cultures.

Whereas my career has moved away from traditional accounting, into commercial finance for a time and now within strategy; being able to refer to the technical knowledge I gained early in my training is invaluable.

His studies to become a CA fuelled his wanderlust as well as setting down a steady and interesting career path: “Whether it be a secondment to Amsterdam whilst at EY, helping to launch broadband and talk products at Sky plc, or moving to California with Warner Bros, I feel lucky to say that my career to date has given me exactly that.”

It was working with a Boston client at EY that first triggered his “American dream”. A move to the finance team at Warner Bros. in London then set his path in motion. Having the CA letters after his name opened doors and launched his ticket to adventure: “I believe that the CA qualification played a huge part in being considered for those opportunities.

“Its reputation and the recognition it gets around the world really does differentiate you from other candidates looking to achieve similar aspirations.”

Nick says that the qualification played a big part in being offered his current role with Warner Bros and continues to offer new avenues for development and staying ahead of the curve: “Whereas my career has moved away from traditional accounting (I trained as an auditor at EY), into commercial finance for a time and now within strategy; being able to refer to the technical knowledge I gained early in my training is invaluable.

“Our industry is changing every day and we are faced with new business models / ideas from retailers and potential partners. Having the base knowledge of how these new concepts will impact our financials helps me in negotiations and working with new business partners.”

Nick’s advice for today’s students:

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 exams are tough - I’m not going to lie, but as I respond to this article overlooking the studio lot in LA, I can honestly say - it was absolutely worth it!


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