Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.
Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CV’s and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.
If you want to take advantage of a unique opportunity to be supported with a work placement opportunity as part of your final year, this course includes the opportunity to undertake a 'Professional Development' module as part of your optional module choices.
Your Birmingham degree is evidence of your ability to succeed in a demanding academic environment. Employers target Birmingham students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.
Mark Fairbrother - Aston Villa Football Club, United Kingdom
"Of all the universities I visited, the UoB was the one I was most impressed by...The campus was really inspiring and the course itself was far more appealing than similar courses offered by other institutions. "
Mark Fairbrother graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree (BSc) in Money, Banking and Finance from the University of Birmingham (UoB) in 2001. He is currently employed as the Head of Finance at Aston Villa Football Club in Birmingham, United Kingdom, a business with a turnover of £92 million, which employs 1716 staff.
Among his many responsibilities, Mark is accountable for financial reporting and he works with directors in the financial side of player transactions. He also manages the relationship with between the bank and the tax office and assists the commercial team in the negotiation of new sponsors. We recently caught up with Mark to find out how his time at the UoB has impacted his career since he graduated:
“After graduation, I joined PricewaterhouseCoopers on their graduate training programme within their assurance practice in Birmingham,” Mark begins. “Once I completed my chartered accountancy professional qualification in 2004, I looked after a number of large scale regional clients and particularly focussed on clients within the financial services industry. I was also part of the UK and Indian training tutor programme. In 2008, I secured my job as Financial Controller with Aston Villa; working for a football club is a fantastic experience as the job is extremely varied because there are so many business operations within the organisation.”
Having decided to pursue a career in finance and accounting, Mark explains why he chose to study at the UoB:
“Of all the universities I visited, the UoB was the one I was most impressed by, so much so I chose to return in September 2011 to study my Executive MBA! The campus was really inspiring and the course itself was far more appealing than similar courses offered by other institutions. The variety of modules available were fantastic and the skills and knowledge acquired from studying such diverse topics have really helped me in the wider business world.
"The guild was a fantastic place and I have some great memories from events that occurred there."
“I did not study economics before coming to the UoB so I was a bit apprehensive about taking up an economics focussed degree. I was not alone in this; the academics, who were very supportive and understanding, developed our comprehension of economics very quickly. There is a balance of easy and tough subjects but overall, the topics are of real interest, particularly those you can choose yourself through the module options in the second and third years.
“Through studying the BSc in Money, Banking and Finance at the UoB, I learnt how to utilise my learning which made studying for my accountancy exams far more bearable. Obtaining this skill benefitted me greatly as it contributed to my success in securing my current role. I also studied a lot of material which is still applicable to my job now; there are approximately ten course books still in my office which I refer to when I have finance or accounting queries!”
Looking back over his experience at the university, Mark reflects on some of his most memorable highlights during his time at the UoB:
“The guild was a fantastic place and I have some great memories from events that occurred there. The halls of residence were also a wonderful experience and some of my best friends now are people I met in my first weeks in Mason Hall, my first year accommodation.”
In recommending the UoB to potential students considering embarking on an undergraduate programme, Mark says:
“The module choice is a key aspect in shaping your degree; make sure you choose modules that you enjoy as you will really benefit from your experience and this will encourage you to do well. The options I selected really helped make for a pleasant learning experience as I was able to select subjects that I had a keen interest in.