Lydia Nartey

Accounting and Finance with a Year in Industry BA

The year in industry has enabled me to put the theory I’ve learnt into practice; it’s helped me to find a focus.

Why did you choose Kent?

The main reason was because the course offered a year in industry, the entry requirements were reasonable and they accepted a subject I did as part of a pre-university course in business and management. My cousin studied at Kent and I visited him and liked the campus because it’s very green, there’s lots of wildlife and everyone is friendly. It is also close to home (Croydon).

How is the course going?

It’s going really well. The year in industry has helped me to find a focus, I now know what I want to do and I can put the theory I’ve learnt into practice. When they teach us something new it makes more sense, it’s not so abstract as it seemed in the first year.

What sort of support is there in your studies?

It’s really good. I asked to do the value programme in my first year, they put on workshops in the week leading up to exams in the summer term to help with any key topics; it helps to give you a deeper understanding of the subject. The lecturers are very approachable and you can go to see them in their regular office hours if you have any questions.

Do you have a favourite module?

I really enjoyed Financial Accounting in first and second year, because I like numbers. I also enjoyed Quantitative Models and Methods for Accounting & Finance.

How was your year in industry?

I worked for GOIL (Ghana Oil Company) in the head office in Accra. I am from Ghana originally and I still have family there so I lived with them, which was great. I worked as an internal audit officer and it was my first time working in an office situation. I started in the finance team before joining the audit department where I worked for the Chief Audit Officer. Everyone was friendly and helpful.

The year in industry taught me how to conduct myself in a business environment and it has given me confidence. When I came back to Kent I was able to talk about my experiences, something I would not have done in my first or second year. It’s also shown me that I really do want to work in finance. I enjoy working with numbers and I found I wanted to learn more. Everything I’ve learnt at university suddenly became clear. I also learnt to be more assertive and to ask questions if I don’t understand something, which is really important as I used to be quite reserved.

How do you see your career progressing?

I’m applying for graduate schemes in finance and accountancy firms. I don’t mind whether it’s a service industry like a bank or an accounting firm or in manufacturing. I’m applying for jobs now. Kent Business School held a workshop with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) to give us some contacts and to help with networking, which is very important in the business world.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of coming to Kent?

I would say ‘Go for it!’ Kent is really beautiful and Canterbury is a lovely city. The Careers and Employability Service is very helpful, and there’s an excellent peer mentoring scheme. I think you should have an idea of what you want to study and I would suggest that you do something you enjoy because you don’t want to waste your time or money. I think it’s really important to come to an Open Day because you get to know more about the degrees on offer. If I hadn’t come to an Open Day at Kent I wouldn’t have known that they would accept me if I did the Pre-U course.*

*Cambridge Pre-U course. A post-16 qualification that gives sixth formers the skills and knowledge they need to succeed at university.