Accounting and Finance (with a Placement Year) Personal Statement*
Submitted by Sharlyn
Since speaking with a Careers Advisor and my mentor from PricewaterhouseCoopers, I have developed a strong interest in the world of Finance. To broaden my knowledge of Accountancy and Finance, I attended a conference held by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. From attending this conference I had learnt that in summary, Accounting and Finance is like a puzzle. It involves solving problems to real-life situations - this, in my opinion, is what makes Accounting and Finance exciting. In addition to the numerical and analytical aspects of Accounting and Finance, it is the broadness and flexibility of Accounting and Finance that has further sparked my interest in wanting to study this course. Given my passion for travelling and experiencing new things, I aspire to acquire a role within Finance which will allow me to work in different fields across the globe.
Studying A Levels has enabled me to develop analytical, qualitative, quantitative and essay writing skills. Philosophy enables me to think critically when assessing the theories of historic philosophers. Economics involves drawing and analysing graphs, making calculations such as the price elasticity of demand and drawing conclusions from the results. Politics has furthered my ability to analyse and evaluate political institutions, processes and ideologies.
Moreover, as Economics and Politics are broad, current subjects, this requires me to keep up to date with current world affairs; I regularly read the BBC news and The Economist magazine. This not only enhances my commercial awareness but also puts me at the advantage of being able to apply and incorporate recent issues into my essays and thus enhance the quality of my written work. For example, in one of my economics essays, I discussed how Brexit has impacted the economy in terms of exchange rates, business uncertainty and trade. Each of these subjects has enabled me to develop a valuable and transferable skill set in preparation for university.
By attending insight days at Architas and Nomura investment banks, and a business conference at Barclay's headquarters where I participated in networking activities to get to know other employers and learn about the company itself, my networking skills have improved. Furthermore, during my work experience at PricewaterhouseCoopers where I worked in the Tax Department, I was able to shadow professionals and visit other departments. I also had the opportunity to help a colleague conduct research for her project and create an accounts rota on excel spreadsheet; thereby advancing my research and IT skills.
During the summer holidays, I undertook a week's internship with APAX Partners working under the Consumer Department. I was required to work in a team of four to conduct research for a project based on the relationship between retail and e-commerce industry. Part of the research involved analysing reports, conducting international telephone interviews and creating questionnaires. Consequently, my research and teamwork skills have improved. Overall, these experiences have given me an insight into the world of Finance and has thus reinforced my desire to study Accounting and Finance.
Volunteering as a Shop assistant at Royal Trinity Hospice charity requires me to interact with customers, maintain the appearance of the shop, process cash and card transactions. This experience has heightened my time management and organisational skills as I have managed to maintain a balance of college work, volunteering, Japanese club, Netball club and my social life.
As demonstrated by my academics, work experiences and extra-curricular activities, I believe I have the determination and commitment to succeed at university. I feel that studying Accounting and Finance will provide me with a steady career path into the financial world. Experiencing the independent lifestyle university has to offer is also something I very much look forward to.