In the blog , Chloe looks back at the exciting opportunities she experienced at WBS.
My name is Chloe, I am a Malaysian who was previously studying in Singapore before coming to university. I recently graduated from WBS in the summer of 2021 with an undergraduate degree in BSc Accounting & Finance.
Why did you decide to study at WBS?
There are quite a few reasons why I chose to study at WBS. Firstly, of course, because WBS courses are ranked very highly in both world rankings as well as UK rankings. When making my choice for university, I spent quite a bit of time on ranking sites such as QS rankings and the Guardian rankings, comparing the courses between different universities. I noticed that for Accounting and Finance, WBS consistently ranked amongst the top. So I was reassured that the degree I would obtain from WBS would be recognised internationally and held in high regards.
Secondly, I was also very impressed by the staff at WBS when I met them at an engagement event held by the CareersPlus team. From their presentation at the event, I could see that large amounts of support would be constantly provided to WBS students, ranging from CV checking to mock interviews and 1-on-1 personalised career advice sessions. There would also be lots of opportunities to network with employers and explore different industries. From the range of support available and from the staff’s passionate presentation, I could tell that WBS staff really cared for their students and wanted to see them succeed.
Thirdly, the University of Warwick had something that I was looking for – a campus. I didn’t want to study in a university that had its buildings integrated with other commercial buildings in the city. I wanted an actual university campus which had classes, shops, food and accommodation all centralised in one area. The reason I wanted a campus was because I felt that universities with campuses usually had a more ‘community feel’ to it, and it would be easier to meet other university students this way. Warwick has just that, and as an added bonus, its campus is really beautiful with lots of green areas and natural bodies of water.
Tell us about your company does.
Deloitte is a global company that operates worldwide, providing professional services such as consulting, audit and assurance, tax, legal as well as risk and financial advisory.
What does your job involve?
I work in the audit and assurance service line as an audit associate. In a nutshell, auditing is about ensuring that the financial statements published by companies are a true and fair reflection of their financial performance and position. There are various stages in the audit process, and so my day-to-day work varies according to which stage of the audit my team is at. In the planning stage, the audit team designs procedures which will enable us to test or audit the various numbers in the financial statements. This usually involves numerous team calls and discussions with the client. In the testing stage, we carry out the procedures designed, which can run the gamut from obtaining supporting documents (e.g. invoices) to performing our own recalculations and pattern analysis. In the final concluding stage, we review the procedures carried out, modify the work done if required, and come to a conclusion on whether the financial statements as a whole are presented fairly.
Whilst carrying out the above work for clients, I am also studying towards the ACA qualification. So part of my role involves time spent in ‘college’ learning various subjects such as Accounting, Assurance, Law, Tax and Financial Management.
How did the BSc Accounting & Finance course help you prepare for your role?
The course prepared me for my current role very well in an all-rounded manner. Needless to say, the course equipped me with technical accounting knowledge that is essential to my job as an auditor. With the solid knowledge base built up by the various modules I took in university, I was able to really understand and appreciate the work I carried out. I also had a noticeable advantage to others in my study of the various ACA subjects, as I had already been exposed to a few topics. I was also exempt from some exams I would otherwise have had to sit as part of the ACA. Having studied Accounting and Finance lessened the steepness of the learning curve a great deal and accelerated the pace of my learning and development in my current role.
Besides providing the essential accounting knowledge, the course also did well in developing my general business acumen and commercial awareness of the various developments in the business/finance/accounting industry. The course included much more than just content from the books as module leaders consciously interwove current issues into the module content, showing us how the theories and topics we were learning were linked and applied to current topics in the real world. The modules gave me a wider view of the recent discussions and debates relevant to the subject or industry and encouraged me to develop my own opinions and perspectives on these issues, so that in the future when I stepped out into the working world, I could contribute my own set of opinions. For me personally, this was one of the biggest things the course did for me – it broadened my worldview and helped me build an appreciation for the wider industry rather than just the subject in isolation.
But beyond the relatively ‘harder’ knowledge above, the course also served to develop my ‘softer’ skills such as working collaboratively in a team or presenting skills. Team-working in WBS entails a very diverse environment, which is a very accurate reflection of the environment in the working world. In fact, diversity in the working world is even larger because you now get people of different age groups on top of people from different ethic or national backgrounds. Having worked with peers of various backgrounds in WBS helped tremendously in easing me into the working environment (especially so in my role as an auditor because we work in teams all the time). The presentation skills I picked up through the course also allowed me to carry myself confidently when it came to speaking to large audiences and my clients – absolutely essential for a company built upon the quality of service provided to clients.
What do you enjoy the most about your role?
I really like the variety of the work involved in my role as an auditor. Like I mentioned previously, the various stages of an audit are really quite different, and so the work that I carry out changes on a week-to-week basis. And even if I’m on the same stage of the audit for two different clients, the nature of the work can be very different as well, purely because the clients are very different. Studying towards the ACA qualification also gives just a little more variety to my routine, as I alternate between working for clients and studying towards my accounting qualification.
I also really like that, in my role, I’m constantly being challenged and there seems to be no end of opportunities to develop myself professionally as well as personally. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I’m still learning new things every week even after 7 months into the role.
How did things change for you once you completed your course at WBS?
Quite a lot of things changed for me once I completed my course at WBS because I entered the workforce for the first time after having studied for the past 15 years. I quickly learned that as part of the workforce, you are expected to be independent in taking charge of your own development – there won’t be much hand-holding. The responsibilities you shoulder are also a lot more significant and important, as these responsibilities can have very real repercussions in a very real world. In a nutshell, you can say that upon completing my course, I stepped out of the safe space that the university provided and onto the stage that is the real world.
What would you say to someone thinking of applying for your course at WBS?
The BSc Accounting & Finance course at WBS presents a great opportunity for you to develop yourself holistically. Over the years, dedicated members of staff have modified and tailored the course so as to achieve the best balance in flexibility, academic rigor, soft skills development, and career opportunities. I found BSc Accounting and Finance to not just be a subject I studied, but an experience I enjoyed.