University: BA Hons Accounting at Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University
Current course title: MSc Accounting and Finance, Newcastle Business School
Why did you decide to continue your studies/what interests you about this area and specific course? I decided to continue my studies because the university was launching this new MSc accounting course where I could gain a masters degree and a professional accounting qualification.
How did you fund your postgraduate study? Half of my funding was from personal savings and through a part-time job. The other half came from a professional development loan through the bank.
How is it different from undergraduate study? As an undergraduate student at first we were given more guidance on teaching and learning because for me personally going to university was a daunting step. However the lecturers and staff make you feel part of the higher education community and stress the importance that to get through university you must work hard, but more importantly play hard too. Socialising was the key factor in undergraduate because it helped me build a relationship with the students and lecturers alike and this was one of the reasons why I stayed at Northumbria University. At postgraduate level however we use more of our own intuition when it comes to learning because the accounting and finance course is unique and rather different to a normal masters course. At Northumbria there is a distinctive mix of cultures which makes the postgraduate course invigorating as it has allowed me to build a world-wide network with potential future managers and leaders.
How do you think your postgrad study will help your career? The course is unique and different to a normal masters degree. This is because the MSc Accounting and finance degree is tailored towards gaining a professional accounting qualification, the ACCA. The advantages of the ACCA qualification is that there is a high demand by employers in industry, banking, auditing, and consulting, as well as other professions like taxation and law. As an ACCA member, I will have the opportunity of working in any sector I choose all over the world, be it public practice, the public sector, financial services, or the corporate sector, giving you access to a broad range of complex and interesting roles.
What are your career aspirations? I would ideally like to pursue a career in accountancy for a medium or small firm. I would like to be employed into a company where I can make a difference by becoming more involved with decisions and where my work is recognised. With the duality of the degree I would be additionally equipped with the skills and knowledge to pursue a successful career in the accountancy profession. Personally I would like to either take a career path in either audit or as an insolvency practitioner.
Do you have any advice for students considering postgrad study? Postgraduate study is ideal if you would like to gain further knowledge within a particular discipline. You have to be disciplined when it comes to the externally assessed professional exams because you may find yourself taking more than one exam at any one sitting. As well as studying hard there are a lot of enjoyable things to do in campus ranging from quiz nights to field trips. What separates Northumbria University from any other university is the reputation the city has for its great night life. If accounting is what you intend to pursue then the MSc A&F is the perfect course for you.