Sam Mallett

Which company do you work for?


What is your job?

Commercial Management Accountant

Where did you go to university?

I studied Accounting and Finance at Bournemouth University – I graduated in 2011.

What was your journey to ABP Food Group

I started applying for jobs while I was still at university finishing my degree. I came across the advert for the ABP UK Finance Graduate Scheme on the internet and applied before graduated. I had a telephone and face to face interview with Discovery Graduates, followed by a recruitment day with ABP. This all happened while I was still at university. I was offered a place on the Finance Graduate Scheme and started a couple of weeks after I finished at university.

Tell us about your experience of working with Discovery Graduates

Discovery Graduates is a very friendly and approachable recruitment company. It was clear that they were very experienced in the recruitment of graduates. It was a very efficient process – it was just a month from the first telephone interview to being offered the position. They kept me informed at every stage of the process and came back to me very quickly after each stage to let me know that I’d been successful. I had dealings with a few other recruitment companies but Discovery was definitely the quickest to respond.

How did you get to your current position?

Finance graduate schemes tend to last three years because you need three years of work experience before you can become a qualified accountant. I did it in just over two years because my university involved a one year placement (sandwich course) which counted towards my three years of work experience.  So I became a qualified accountant in May 2013.

I was then employed as commercial accountant and I have just been promoted to commercial management accountant. I’ve risen up the ranks pretty quickly because the ABP is very supportive of its graduates, but you also have to work hard to get to where you want to.

What was the steepest learning curve when you started work?

There’s only so much an accounting degree can teach you. Every company has different systems, process and procedures so getting my head around those were the biggest things to learn.

University gives you a broad overview but the specifics are more challenging. I also had to study for my accounting certificates alongside working full time so that was very hard.

What do you enjoy most about work?

Every day is different – particularly now I’m looking at commercial finance and management accounts – it’s a very varied workload.

I also work with a very varied group of people – I’ve enjoyed learning how to work with people from different backgrounds and cultures and develop an understanding of each other.

Do you think you were given the right level of responsibility at each stage?

Yes. The Finance Graduate Programme includes a number of rotations so you’re given a certain amount of responsibility at each stage. There were definitely points where you were dropped in the deep end but you’re always supported when you need it. The balance is good at ABP.

What would your advice be to students or recent graduates who are looking for a job?

  1. Start as soon as possible
  2. Work hard and persevere