Accounting and Finance
Submitted by Zara
The complexity of numbers is intriguing, and my interest in them has made me highly calculative as well as entrepreneurial. Computational thinking has highlighted the importance of financial ratios and what they may imply for businesses. Competitions such as the Student Investor Challenge have made me view the world of money from the perspective of an investor. It was the virtual buying and selling of shares which allowed me to further comprehend how markets fluctuate in response to the external environment, motivating me to pursue accounting and finance as a degree.
Through my A level studies, in mathematics, economics and business, I have learnt to consider problems logically and have been inspired to examine the practical and pragmatic applications of many numerical formulae. Microeconomic concepts such as supply and demand have demonstrated my use of statistical skills to calculate consumer trends for goods and services, using the alteration of price or quantity to compare the different stages of consumer spending in the economic cycle. This enabled me to broaden my knowledge of concepts such as market failure and how behavioral economics links with the manipulation of consumer habits. One of my favorite topics so far has been investigating profit and loss accounts using budget and ratio analysis, through which I have developed a deeper understanding of the management of the finance within businesses. Work shadowing at GlaxoSmithKline within the financial department has been invaluable to expanding my powers of comprehension. I witnessed how software programs such as JD Edwards and SAP are used. I also learnt that working independently and alongside others, collaborating with the industry professionals around me is vital to moving forward with projects and investment strategies. I realised that there was a large element of accounting in terms of trade routes and company law, which I have yet to discover further, directing me to pursue accounting.
Taking a step into the working world has posed some obstacles but also enriching opportunities. Working at Kumon as an Early Learner assistant in maths and English across the age and ability range, encouraged skills such as patience. I was given the chance to use my analytical and critical thinking skills when marking students’ higher-level work. Furthermore, working part-time for The French Linen Company has taught me how to calculate weekly figures and rent deductions using programs such as Excel, whilst developing my interpersonal skills as a sales assistant. As a result of this I received 98% on a mystery shop (the highest score in the store on the day!) which indicated advancement in my communication skills, due in part to reading and applying Dale Carnegie’s book, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People,’ which has altered my outlook on why businesses and people are successful. It has been fascinating to see real life anecdotes of how simple things such as charisma and personability can have such an effect on how a person would perceive another, something that I found stimulating and equally intriguing.
I enjoy a healthy balance between school and non-collegiate activities such as archery and yoga. Whilst being a part of the school archery team I gained the chance to captain the team and organise outings whenever we won in the county competitions. Resultant of this, I am now much more equipped in handling high pressure situations and being organised with my school work.