BAEcon Accounting and Finance
Why did you choose to study your course?
Firstly, for me it was the calibre and reputation of the business school.
Secondly, through researching the course material, I found that it was aligned with professional accreditation for both accounting and finance. I was keen to pursue either the ACA or CFA after university, therefore felt that the course was the right fit.
At the same time, the course material included exposure to a wider field of areas outside of accounting and finance which would enable me to pivot into other sectors if I wanted to.
What career have you gone into since graduating?
I am currently a software engineer, specialising in virtual assistants at a Tier 1 Bank. After graduating, I joined the bank on their graduate scheme. It has provided a breadth of experience across business areas which has shaped and prepared me for my current role.
Did you always know you wanted to be a programmer? Did the course influence this at all?
My degree was different to the career I'm in now; programming at the time was a mild interest.
However, in the final year of my degree at Manchester, the dissertation module offered the option to choose either a financial analysis dissertation or a management dissertation. I chose the latter which involved building a finance related mobile app and this was where my interest in programming grew.
I did not move into programming straight away. I started out in finance but ultimately decided to pursue programming as my interest for a career in technology developed. So yes, my time at university absolutely influenced this.
What was the most surprising takeaway from your course that’s helped you in later life?
The underlying theme of technology in the course material which was not obvious to me at the time but certainly paid dividends in my career.
One of the modules I took provided a lot of knowledge on cloud computing and how large the impact was going to be on businesses globally. This was taught at the time when cloud services were not yet largely accessible at a low cost. There was also a module that shed light on the evolution and dependence of finance on technology for example algorithmic trading, dark pools and so on. It definitely provided me with a lot of context and helped me to be more informed on where the world was heading.
Another takeaway for me is the entrepreneurial spirit prevalent in the people I’ve met at student societies, namely AIESEC. I am not surprised that a number of people who were very active in societies, have started their own companies and found success doing it.
What advice would you give to a student looking to start your course and/or join the University?
I truly enjoyed my time as a student at Manchester and hope you do too. If you are keen to meet like-minded peers or people you share similar interests with outside of your course and outside of your accommodation, I absolutely recommend joining a society and perhaps a sport. Manchester is very popular with employers so attend as many company networking sessions as you can – these are immensely helpful when it comes to securing work experience.