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Meet the experts: Sue Thistlethwaite - Live Online CIMA Course Manager and Tutor

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do at Kaplan and what sort of responsibilities you have?

In addition to my teaching responsibilities, I'm currently the CIMA Course Manager for Kaplan Live Online. I specialise in financial and corporate reporting subjects across the ACCA, CIMA and ICAEW qualifications and also teach the CIMA management level case study.

What was your background before joining Kaplan?

I started my accountancy career working in practice as an auditor for KPMG. I worked there for nine years before deciding to follow the more vocational route of teaching, becoming a Senior Lecturer in Accounting at Teesside University in 2003 and completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching during my time there. I joined Kaplan in the summer of 2005.

How have you used your previous experience when teaching to help students?

Well, my time in practice has given me my detailed knowledge of accounting standards! My general business experience is of particular use when I run the CIMA case study courses, as many requirements in the exam test candidates' ability to practically respond to given situations. I first started work in 1994 so have 20+ years experience of workplace issues - I have a fair few stories to tell!

Did you know?

At Kaplan we have experts who work in every part of the business, to guarantee that all our courses are designed with one thing in mind – making it as easy as possible for you to succeed in your exams.

How do Kaplan help students feel as confident as possible for their exams?

It's a mix of high quality tuition, plenty of focus on exam technique and exam style practice.

How does the work you do impact our students and improve their overall experience of studying with Kaplan?

I'd like to think that everything I do impacts positively on my students. I have a fair few years of experience now in exam based training, I know what students need to focus on to succeed in their exams and can guide them through the exam preparation process accordingly. Teaching the CIMA case study from its inception has been an interesting experience. Students were initially and understandably nervous about this exam as it's something they hadn't faced before and over the sittings that we've had to date I've certainly developed my understanding of what it is they need to do to be successful - achieving some great results along the way. It's something that I really enjoy as it's also a bit of a departure for me from my 'normal' subjects which are more technical in nature.

What has been the biggest development or improvement that you’ve seen since joining Kaplan?

As a member of the Live Online team I guess I'd better say the development of online training! When I first started teaching there were limited options available and the vast majority of students would attend classroom based courses. Whilst there will always be a place for this, and it's a method that I particularly advocate where possible, I appreciate that in today's world it's not always possible for students to physically attend courses and the introduction of both Live Online and our OnDemand courses have provided our students with more flexibility to study how and when they want.