Current Employer/Organisation Name
What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?
I joined PwC Plymouth on graduation in 2010 as an audit trainee. I worked for PwC for 6 years and gained my chartered accountant (ACA) at the end of my third year there. I worked on many different clients during my time there ranging from smaller businesses to large international brands. After 6 years I moved to Bishop Fleming in Exeter, where I worked for three years in the Regulation and Compliance area of the business. This involved ensuring that the firm remained compliant with ICAEW regulations and helped me to broaden my accounting knowledge outside the area of audit. In September 2019, I transferred to Bishop Fleming’s Plymouth office and returned back into the world of audit and am enjoying working directly with clients again.
Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?
I chose to train as a chartered accountant upon graduating as I wanted to become an accountant and knew that the qualification would give me plenty of options if I wanted to move into other business roles in the future. I chose to enter audit as my field within accountancy as I felt that it would give me good exposure to lots of different businesses and industries and enable me to gain a good understanding of the different ways in which a business can be run. It has been hard work at times and the accountancy exams were tougher than I had expected but I am happy that I persevered with it. The business, accountancy and finance experience I have gained is invaluable and it’s given me the confidence that I can achieve whatever I put my mind to. I have been able to provide valuable insight to clients about their businesses in comparison to others and provide them with a ‘sounding board’ if needed. I love that I get to work with lots of different businesses and that there is a lot of variety within my job.
What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?
I enjoyed the challenge,as you would expect, a Maths degree wasn’t easy, but I kept going and learned that perseverance is a great skill in life generally. I found that I actually enjoyed pure algebra after a while and I do look back and miss having the opportunity for abstract thinking in my life now. The biggest highlight has to be completing the course and getting my 2:1 MMath, graduation was an amazing day and I will remember it forever.
What did you enjoy most about studying here?
I loved the campus as it’s such a small friendly environment and so green! I made amazing friends and some of my best memories are sitting on the grass revising together and just being together in a wonderful setting.
Why did you choose to study at Exeter?
I live near by in Newton Abbot and it was convenient as I want to live with other half. It had a great academic reputation as well so it was a win-win for me.
What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?
Project work at uni set me up well for dealing with project work in my career. Learning how to research a particular area and then apply it to the issue at hand for your coursework isn’t dissimilar to researching issues for clients and explaining what they need to do or presenting a range of options.
What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you are starting out. I felt nervous in the beginning but you have to remember the people above were also in your position once and will remember how that felt. Go into the ACA with your eyes open, it is difficult but well-respected qualification because it is hard to achieve; so if feels hard at times, it’s meant to be and just keep going.