Five things I wish I knew before studying BSc Accounting with Industrial/Professional Experience
Time flies, and I am currently in the final year of my undergraduate accounting degree at the University of Manchester. Thinking back to the time when I first arrived at university campus, university life would have been much easier if someone had shared her study experience with me. Here are five things I wish I had known before studying BSc Accounting with Industrial/Professional Experience for future accounting students.
Firstly, accounting students have the option of doing a three-year course or a four-year course, andthis choice has to be decided well before the start of the first-year’s course. This is particularly important for international students as your choice will directly affect the length of your student visa. I am an example of an international student who regretted my initial choice. I had to re-apply for a student visa to be able to choose a four-year course, and the process of re-applying for a student visa was very cumbersome and costly.
Secondly, the difference between a three-year and a four-year accounting course is huge. A three-year course means you study every year without stopping from the time you start your first year of university. Slowly you move from the basic course in your first year to the more advanced study in your third year. The only work opportunities during these three years are internships in the summer, Christmas break and Easter break. This means that most of your time will be spent studying, and work will only take up a maximum of two months of your life at a time. As a four-year programme student, you will continuously study with your fellow students until the end of your second year, you will then leave campus and find a company that offers year-long job opportunities through your own application. After successfully completing your job, you will return to school and continue your third-year modules. At this time, you will find that your classmates are all new people, as all of your original classmates have graduated by time. You will need to reintegrate into a new cohort, which may be stressful for some students, so you should always consider your abilities before choosing.
Furthermore, there are benefits to choosing to do either a three-year or four-year course, and your life plan largely influences your decision. Three-year programmes are often favoured by students who plan to apply for postgraduate study after their undergraduate degree, as continuous, uninterrupted study ensures that you remain engaged in an academic atmosphere. Four-year courses are often preferred by students who plan to work after graduation. Most students will receive a return offer after their placement, which will help them find a job quickly after graduation. Even if this type of student wishes to apply to another company after graduation, a sustained year of work experience will go a long way towards giving her an advantage in her application.
In addition, as mentioned in the second point, placement applications require a lot of effort from oneself. The university can provide assistance with the application process and preparation, but it is depends on the student to pass the interview and assessment process. Attending school events such as Speed Interview and Career Fair is very beneficial. For example, I got my placement job offer right after attending the Speed Interview at AMBS.
Finally, returning to university campus after a strong work experience can also help your academic development. If you experience a job content related to your major, you will be able to understand the theory and structure of the course better. When studying the course, you will find that your own empirical experience can help you understand it very well and in a deeper manner. In previous years, most students who have taken placement have ended up with a first-class degree when graduation.
In summary, taking a placement programme or not depends on your plan for the future, especially for your short-term goal. Passion will determine your success.
Written by current student, Lanxin