Ryan Hewitt

Country of origin: United Kingdom

Finance Graduate, The Hut Group

My path to an Accounting & Finance degree at Lancaster University began with studying Mathematics, Business Studies and Economics at A Level. After enjoying these subjects at College, but being unsure about the specific career path to take, I decided to choose something that knitted all my favourite subjects together while providing a good platform for future employment. I felt that this kind of broad-based degree would afford me the freedom to narrow my options and choose a profession as I gained a better understanding of my strengths, interests and opportunities in the future.

During my final year I decided to invest much of my time in searching for a job, and I received a lot of help from the fantastic LUMS Careers Team. They gave me assistance in building CV and cover letters, finding employment opportunities and preparing for interviews and assessment centres. The LUMS Careers Team host a variety of careers events throughout the year, which provide a great insight into the companies that attend them.

Placed in the top 5 in the UK for Accounting & Finance, Lancaster (and particularly LUMS) provided me with great support, including teaching and career development opportunities. During my time at Lancaster, the Management School offered a degree in Accounting, Auditing & Finance in collaboration with EY. I was not taking the EY degree, but I felt that the benefits of the collaboration trickled down through the whole department for the benefit of all students. LUMS tutors also provide great insights into the industry, and were able to advise on the different sectors available to me, which ranged from finance, tax and economics to statistics.

At university I was involved in a variety of activities ranging from organising end of year college events to marathon running. There was something for everyone. The collegiate system, which is rare nowadays, is in my opinion one of the best things about the campus. Fylde College had a great atmosphere throughout the year. Pursuing outside interests helped me to present a more rounded CV, which is what employers are looking for, as well as evidence of skills building – teamwork, influencing, networking etc.

Immediately after completing my degree I joined The Hut Group as a Finance Graduate. The Hut Group is the #1 online destination for health & beauty, and one of the world's fastest growing online retailers. They recently became the first company ever to win the Profit Track 100 award in two consecutive years. I’m thoroughly enjoying my job, and I’m glad that I opted to remain in the North West. I enjoy the variety and opportunities for creativity that I have encountered in a company with a very flat structure which is great for interacting and learning.

In my role, I’m being given lots of opportunities to learn about various sectors of the business, all with support from a mentor. The company is growing very rapidly, and this is a great time to be involved. They have also given me sponsorship for the CIMA qualification, and I have been granted exemption from many modules because of the subjects I studied during my degree. The work is diverse. I have been given the opportunity to create forecasts, P&Ls and business analysis, and I currently work across several projects with several industries.