Students Staff
University of Essex

July 2, 2020

Armed Forces Week

Filed under: Developing Excellence — Tags: — Mohammed Alam @ 12:56 pm

My job as the Financial Reporting Accountant in Financial Planning and Data Insight involves compiling annual financial statements, generating financial reports, and providing advice on the finance system.

In the Army Reserve, my role is Communications Systems Operator with 36 (Essex Yeomanry) Signal Squadron Royal Signals. Since joining in February 2019, I have been developing the skills to fulfill this role, these include setting up radio detachments and using the Bowman radios, as well as basic soldiering skills.

I have really enjoyed my time building up these skills, with every course being different and allowing me to meet plenty of fantastic people from a wide variety of backgrounds, all of who have the same drive and determination to succeed in common.

The skills that I have learned in both of my careers have been able to complement each other, including time management, teamwork, and communication. Also, specific skills such as using IT systems and coding have been transferable.

One of my highlights with the Reserves so far has been completing my Phase 1 course, which was spread out over four weekends and two weeks and involved learning all the basic soldiering skills, such as fieldcraft, using a rifle and navigation. Another highlight was being able to march through London in January as part of the Privilege Parade. This celebrated my Regiment earning privileged status, allowing them to march into the city “with drums beating, colours flying, and bayonets fixed”.

Last month, I took part in part in the 100 for 100 challenge to raise money for the Royal Signals Charity. This involves running 100kms in the month of June to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of the Royal Signals. I took this on as a personal challenge and managed to run 476kms, coming first in terms of distance in the regiment, although definitely not first nationally. This is also assisting in my training for the London Marathon, which has now been delayed to October, which I am running to raise money for Help for Heroes), so far, I have raised just over £400 of my £1,000 target.

The University has been brilliant in supporting me in taking part in the Reserves, by allowing me to have additional paid leave to attend my courses and being flexible with fitting my work around any of my obligations.

If you are a Reservist, veteran or part of a military family, we’d love to hear from you.

 Ian Haw, Financial Reporting Accountant in Financial Planning and Data Insight