Lauren, a recent BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance graduate shares why she chose to study at RGU, and how a module in her first year at university led her to undertake a new career route.
Why did you choose to study BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance?
Leaving school, I was uncertain with what career path I wanted to take as my subjects varied and I had no clear passion. I excelled in subjects where challenges had a logical solution and from a young age, I had a particular interest in business due to its dynamic, progressive nature.
When I first joined RGU, I studied Management with Marketing, although I particularly enjoyed an introductory accounting module in my first semester. As this enjoyment also transcended to my module grade, this inspired me to change courses over the Christmas break, and despite the risk involved, I felt that it was worthwhile. I believed that Accounting & Finance had the potential to suit my strengths, following logic yet intrinsically link to the fundamentals of business.
Throughout my time on the course, my experience met and surpassed my expectations as I was able to successfully utilise the applied knowledge on my placement, and I know that this will continue to be evident throughout my future career.
RGU has an array of connections to many businesses and well-respected firms, which was particularly attractive to me as I knew that there was an opportunity in Aberdeen Business School to undertake a year-long industry placement. The accounting & finance course at RGU is also inherently linked with ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland) and as a result, exemptions are available in their CA qualification.
Did you undertake a placement as part of your accounting and finance degree?
I was lucky enough to undertake my placement at Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB), an accounting firm that was established in Aberdeen but has grown to have a significant UK presence.
My placement was split in two, so I was able to experience two different departments, Private Client Tax and also Corporate Finance. I believe that this enhanced my overall accounting knowledge and was of huge benefit going into my final year of study.
I was recently asked if I would re-join the Private Client team for the summer, which I am really enjoying as I have been able to support the department. It has also been a great opportunity for me to work again with the team that have been central to my development.
How did you adapt to studying during the pandemic?
Developing a study plan and routine was crucial in order to adapt to the circumstances, as initially I had found that it was challenging to maintain focus at home.
As the year progressed, I felt that I was able to improve how I studied, taking regular breaks and successfully managing my time between modules. I also found that even something as simple as changing the room that I studied in helped me refocus and reset, especially towards the end of exam period.
I was also lucky to get a puppy in March, so spending time with her became my study break/distraction!
As a fourth-year student, what advice would you give future students?
Upon reflection of my time at University, I found that the way to achieve the best results was to not only engage with the content, but to try and get involved as much as possible. Developing relationships with those around you is key, as this is how you can be best supported towards success.
Also, never be afraid to ask questions as it goes back to the cliché that ‘no question is a silly question’!
What has been the highlight of your degree?
This summer on my final results day, I discovered that my hard work and countless study hours paid off and that I was to graduate with a first-class degree, obtaining straight A’s in my final year. I later learned that I was also incredibly lucky to receive both final year prizes for my course for my academic performance.
Although I was delighted to achieve the results that I did, the true highlight of my degree was my graduation, as although it was in an unconventional fashion, I graduated ‘virtually’ in front of my family.
As I am the first in my family to graduate from university, I felt this made it extra special and it emphasised that everything was worth it.
What is next for you?
After working at AAB this summer, I am relocating to Edinburgh where I am set to join a global consultancy firm.
This represents a significant change for me, but I am excited to shift my focus to the future and to begin my next chapter.