Margarita Tolstaya

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Other Industries
Job title: Associate
Subject of study: English with Study Abroad
Year of graduation: 2019
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name


What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

I had started on the PwC graduate scheme as soon as I left and am currently still on it.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

The scheme is called Graduate Business programme, which lets you rotate around all lines of service for my company, since I wasn’t sure which one to go into originally. I like that I can learn from all lines of service and be able to choose where I go in the end.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

I was part of a number of sports societies (archery, jiu jitsu) and recreational societies (literature, for which I was president and social secretary).

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

I was able to study what I liked and go to Japan on my study abroad.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

I met a lot of good friends and felt like I became a good researcher in my final year when doing my dissertation and modules. I was also able to learn Japanese.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

My course was similar to all the universities I was accepted at, so the biggest factor was being able to go abroad as part of my course (since Exeter was the only one at the time that offered any course options to go anywhere).

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

It doesn’t matter what experience you have or don’t have; I am working with finances and have completed professional qualifications for it during my employment despite the fact that I studied English. Many of my co-workers are similarly not from a business background or have had internships. If you can get one, great, but it’s mostly about how you develop as a person.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Join societies, focus on developing yourself. Only work experience I had prior was part-time jobs, so you getting that vacation scheme is not a deal breaker. What I wish I knew beforehand was what opportunities were out there. Before your final year, look at what options you have. My career is a common one: joining a graduate scheme. I just applied to a lot of them early enough and went through their online assessments. Some you’ll get lucky some not. They’re not hard, it’s just a matter of whether you do it early enough. Anyone at university would not struggle with them, so timing is key. For interviews, that’s where you need to develop yourself as a person that can calmly answer anything. For that, customer service part-time jobs had actually helped me a lot. In general, just try to get out there and get as many experiences at university as you can beyond going to Unit 1.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to finish my ACA.


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