I currently work as an Assistant Manager in audit and assurance at Deloitte, Birmingham. In my role I have completed the ACA qualification whilst working on the audits of Midlands based FTSE companies. Deloitte is a ‘Big 4’ professional services firm of which audit is one of the main service lines offered.
An audit ensures that a company is preparing accounts in a manner which gives a true and fair view of the underlying business which is free from material error. This means my job, whilst challenging, gives me the chance to learn not only about how a business is run but also gives me the chance to work through complex judgement areas with key senior personnel both within Deloitte and the clients we work with.
Why did you choose Birmingham?
I visited many university open days and spoke to lots of students before making my decision. You very quickly get a feel for a place and the course through the students, and at Birmingham I found I was not only getting on with everyone I spoke to but I was also struck by how enthusiastic everyone was about life at the university. I got the feeling Birmingham was such a well-rounded place that would give me everything I felt was important. From the homely feeling the best accommodation gave me (which are Tennis Courts if you are wondering) to opening up opportunities through an award winning Careers Network, I believed Birmingham gave me that full university experience I wanted from the second I joined.
Tell us about your career journey from Birmingham student to where you are today
I mentioned earlier how important Careers Network was to me when I first joined Birmingham so I made use of them from the second I joined. By the spring of my first year I attended the Deloitte Spring Insight Programme which fast–tracked me to the internship the following year and subsequently to a graduate job.
Whilst at university I now realise I developed skills in extra curricula roles and part-time jobs that helped me progress through each stage of Deloitte interviews. Having accepted the sad reality I was not Steven Gerrard I turned to what I thought was the next best thing and began writing for the sports section of the Redbrick student newspaper and improved my ability to write concisely and to an immediate deadline. In addition I secured a part-time job promoting the university ‘Personal Skills Award’ to perspective students, learning how best to present professional materials to get key messages across. Now at Deloitte I use these skills I developed at university outside of my degree course each day.
What has been the most extraordinary or memorable day on the job?
Setting aside the always memorable ACA exam result days I would say the most extraordinary time has been the economic shock caused by Covid-19. The word “unprecedented” has been used by so many people but really is the best word to describe the events. So many businesses have been plunged into a position where they have no revenue coming through the door and they find themselves in what is a worse-case scenario for them. Deloitte have been a source of guidance and comfort for so many of these companies and you quickly feel a duty as a Deloitte employee to use the huge resource we have to help companies navigate an uncertain time.
Why did you choose to study BSc Economics with Political Science and does it continue to impact on your experiences?
I chose to study BSc Economics with Political Science due to the range of modules it would give me a chance to study. I always felt like I would enjoy a course I could tailor both in terms of what I studied but also how I would be examined in it. I picked so many modules that I got so much out of primarily because I enjoyed them. Whilst I focussed my module choices on people’s behaviours - whether that be their economic decision making or their voting behaviours - the degree always gave me the opportunity to try modules covering standalone areas as well.
The range of skills my course covered from statistical methods to an essay based dissertation developed me as a future employee in ways I didn’t realise at the time. Both sides of the joint honours degree taught me to challenge the norm and want to gain a deep understanding of something as I do it. These skills are what set people apart in a work environment and enable you to get the most out of yourself and other people.
What are your fondest memories of your time at Birmingham?
Having been such a keen open day visitor I always really enjoyed helping out the economics department at both open days and offer days. I always found it so easy to chat to anyone willing to listen to me about all things Birmingham and why I thought it would be the best place for them to study. When I re-visit the campus now I mentally still run through the same chatty guided tour I used to give potential students and the enthusiasm I had on those tours would still be the same now.
What would be your top tip for students to help them make the most out of their time at Birmingham?
Be confident. Birmingham is full of people who can be your friend and positively impact your life. The more you explore everything the university has to offer the more it will pay you back with so many fantastic experiences.
What one word would you use to describe the University of Birmingham?