George is a third year student studying Accounting and Finance, who has a puppy, a Yorkie, named Ollie!
The path to my degree
After completing my A-Levels, I decided to take a gap year to figure out what I wanted to do at university. I travelled to Ethiopia for a month teaching English and sight-seeing. It was an awesome experience.
On my return, I needed to find work! I started as an assistant in the admin department at a small hospital. I enjoyed working as part of this team, but still wasn’t sure exactly what career path to take.
So, I spoke to my friends who’d already started their own degrees, a couple were doing Accounting and Finance and said good things about the career prospects.
The degree is a quite an open degree which lets you work in many different fields, not only in accounting or finance – this was the main choice for choosing that subject.
So, I took a risk and applied for the degree (which doesn’t need any specific subjects at A-Level).
Things to consider
I was looking forwards to the new experience. I was excited to meet new people, try different activities and explore what I wanted to do with my life. At school, I’d been with the same group of friends for 7 years and I was the only one in my school to come to City, so I knew I’d need to make all new friends.
University would have so many new activities and sports that I could try, such as American Football and Water Polo.
Finance was also an issue when starting university. I knew I’d need to continue working while studying. For the first term I worked at Marks and Spencer’s but the hours were fixed each week and weren’t the best times. I could be starting early morning around 6am or finish the evening shift at 10pm.
I knew I needed a job with more flexibility which would let me focus on my studies better. The university team was great in helping me find part time work and I was able to fit this around my studies much better!
What I enjoy about the course
I really liked the flexibility of the course in choosing what you want to study. This is very different for schools where the curriculum is set and you may be studying things you don’t like!
Studying the degree doesn’t mean you’re in class 9-5 Monday to Friday either. For me it’s only 3 or 4 days with 10-15 hours each week. In 3rd year, I was able to choose an elective module (course I can choose outside of the core ones) called “CSR” – this stands for Corporate Social Responsibility, a good way to think about this is how do companies manage their businesses to produce an overall positive impact on society. This was an eye opener and I’m now going to get as involved as I can in the CSR team of my new job!
The thing I was most surprised about was how quickly I found my feet at university. The first week was a sort of Welcome Week where you got to know people and on the first day we did a treasure hunt in small groups of 4 to find certain statues or rooms around the campus without getting lost, it was a lot of fun and we did get lost!
We also get to know all about what things we can do outside of just studying and sign up for them as well. Another surprise was how easy it was to make friends, we had classmates coming from all over the world, from Singapore to America to Greece! It was really cool to show them around London and build friendships this way.
Read more about George’s course and student experiences here.