Alumni Insight: Murtaza’s journey at WBS
10 January 2020
BSc Accounting & Finance alumnus, Murtaza, shares his experience of moving to the UK to study at WBS, immersing himself in student societies and undertaking a placement year at EY resulting in a graduate job offer.
My journey at Warwick Business School began in October 2015 as I arrived in the UK for the first time and began my BSc Accounting and Finance course at Warwick Business School (WBS). Originally from Karachi, I had spent most of my schooling years in Pakistan and therefore my decision to study abroad for my undergraduate degree was a significant one for myself and my family. When deciding on where I would like to study I considered a range of factors to help me make my final choice.
Initially, I began looking at top-ranked universities in the UK for the course I was interested and Warwick Business School, University of Warwick featured within the top five. When completing my university applications I discovered the renowned online networking platform ‘LinkedIn’ which provided me with lots of information about career outcomes for graduates and WBS was rated very highly which proved to be a huge selling factor to me. Looking back on my decision to study at WBS, I can say that was the best decision I ever made and I have loved every second of it. My best memories include being able to meet so many students and academics from all over the world. I appreciate WBS for providing me with a greatly innovative culture for me to engage with my studies. The quality of students that I was surrounded by throughout my studies always kept me engaged and motivated to do my best. There is a brilliant atmosphere at WBS.
Whilst at WBS I was involved in a range of societies and activities outside of my academic studies. In my first year, I joined the WBS Student Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) where I was appointed the role of secretary. The SSLC was based on making meaningful changes to the student experience at WBS by giving importance to the student voice. During my second year, I was on the executive panel for the Warwick Consulting Society where we created careers events for students delivered by world-leading consulting firms. In my final year, I had the honour of being the Co-President for the Warwick Accounting Society which aimed to bridge the gap between students and firm representatives enabling students to feel better prepared for their future career. Outside these positions of responsibility, I enjoyed attending career-related events from Warwick Finance Society and the Warwick Business School Society as well as participating in Warwick Volunteer initiatives. I also played cricket for the University of Warwick cricket club.
Amongst all of these fantastic experiences, one stood out for me, during my second year I was elected as the Vice-Chair for the WBS SSLC. This role allowed me to develop my personal skills immensely and develop some great friendships with my peers and members of WBS staff. The key takeaway from the societies I participated in whilst studying at WBS was the sheer satisfaction that I derived from stepping out of my comfort zone, which really helped my personal development. Attending society run events allowed me to meet new people and provided me with situations to meet industry experts and gain support and advice on preparing for future job interviews.
The WBS CareersPlus Team were a great support to me whilst I was at WBS. They assisted me with all aspects of my job applications from CV checks to careers coaching. When applying for my placements and internships, given their extensive experience they would give me great advice and support as well as enabling me to improve my interview skills by practising mock interviews with instant feedback. During my third year, I decided to undertake a placement year and was fortunate enough to secure a 12-month industrial placement at EY in their London office. It was a fantastic experience for me where I could really focus on improving my communication skills, networks and practical knowledge within the industry allowing me to apply what I had learned in my final year at WBS.
I would highly recommend a placement year to future students. A placement year enables you to gain first-hand experience of the work sector that you are interested in and by spending a full 12 months in-industry you receive full exposure to all aspects of the role. You may find that you really like your role, and therefore continue to pursue a career in this sector after you graduate, or you may find that the particular area of business is not quite right for you but at least you have a worthwhile experience to add to your CV.
Thankfully, I really enjoyed my placement year at EY and went on to secure a graduate offer for the same role once I graduated. As a second year graduate at EY, I specialise in the audit of energy sector companies and my client portfolio consists of major oil and gas, petrochemical and renewable companies. The scale of EY’s clients allows me to interact with teams all over the world and could potentially provide me with an opportunity to travel with my job soon. I feel that my experience of studying at WBS with such a diverse cohort has really helped me in my current role and will continue to be hugely beneficial throughout the rest of my career. To anyone who is thinking of applying to WBS I would say that it is a great place to study with a plethora of opportunities available to you.
Discover more about our BSc Accounting & Finance course and our placement year opportunities to help you launch your career.