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The Accounting and Finance course at University of Chester doesn't just teach you how to be an accountant, it teaches you how to become a business leader with accounting knowledge. The course and tutors at Chester allowed me to make mistakes that I may not have had the time to make in industry, but most importantly allowed me to learn from them. The different modules within the course allow you to become more knowledgeable within different areas, broadening your understanding of business as a whole. Despite the varying modules, you soon realise how important each business function is to accounting and finance and how much influence each lecture can have on your studies for other modules too. My studies at Chester have allowed me to get a career at the Co-operative Bank as a Finance Leader Graduate and I have already been able to use my knowledge to work on a number of projects including the annual accounts and the year-end audit, allowing me access to a number of key stakeholders. Due to the nature of the course at University of Chester I was able to earn exemptions to study for my accountancy exams at institutions such as CIMA and ACCA, and my employers are funding these exams, meaning I now only have to sit 6/16 exams which was something I highlighted when applying for jobs.

Going to university was a huge step for me as it was a complete change of career and I decided what I was doing previously wasn't satisfying me enough. I first started working as a waiter for a restaurant chain before working my way up to Assistant Manager, before moving to the Water industry where I was able to transfer my customer service skills. I decided to go to the University of Chester at the age of 24 which meant a change in a number of things such as surroundings, time management, and what had now become a part-time job 5 days a week. I struggled to get in to a routine at first during my time at Chester, but the support that they offered helped me adapt, ensuring I could give everything I had to get through university life and get a First Class degree. During university I was able to work a 5-week placement in my second year where I went to NHS Countess of Chester to put what I had learnt into practice. This was a great experience and one I would recommend anyone do and give it their all during the small time they are there. Speakers from industry visited the University on regular occasions to give talks such as Deloitte, Bank of America and CIMA to name a few. I would recommend attending these short sessions as I actually used one of the pieces of interview advice from Deloitte in my interview at the Co-operative Bank.

I believe it is important to celebrate successes and this is something I did during my university life and every year I would take big holidays to relax and recover before hitting the next stage of my development. In my first two years following university I toured Thailand and Vietnam. After my final year I wanted to celebrate big as I moved from university life into the rest of my career, therefore I planned a trip with friends to travel around South America visiting Argentina, Brazil and Peru. The below picture was in Peru where I was on the Inca Trail doing a 4-day hike to visit Machu Picchu, this was taken at the Sun Gate where we visited, just before Machu Picchu itself. It’s important to get the balance right and that way you can get the best out of your studies.

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