Fathima Riyaldeen

Accounting and Finance BA

We have a good mixture of international and UK students, which makes for an interesting dynamic.

Why did you choose Kent?

I looked at both city and campus-based universities and I prefer the campus-based ones. I love Kent, the campus, the facilities and it's a bit of peace and quiet away from London.

How is your course going? What have you really enjoyed?

Stressful but amazing! The modules feel integrates, they flow from the second year into the third year so you build your knowledge and experience. The range of optional modules is really good and the modules that I have most enjoyed during this is, surprisingly, taxation. It's really different from what we have been doing, a bit different from straight financial accounting, and I think I may look into a career in taxation.

What do you think of the support available from your lecturers?

They are really approachable, quite wonderful. They are very helpful, they always answer you questions and if they can't do it during their office hours, they will give you an appointment to see you afterwards. They are very passionate about their subjects and have a lot of experience, both academic and practical.

You became a Student Rep. What made you do that?

It was to get more involved with the University. I thought, ‘I’m here for three years so let’s get the maximum benefit of coming to uni and be part of the community.’ Being a student rep meant I got to know a lot of different people, both students and academics, and could help to improve our course and the student experience.

You also do some volunteering?

I am an academic peer mentor, so I support students who are on my course in years one and two. It gives me a chance to help them with things that I have already been through. I am also part of the ‘buddy scheme’, where I help and support new international students [I am originally from Sri Lanka] so they can settle in and make the most of their time here. I belong to the Islamic Society, making food for the homeless and I volunteer at Oxfam when I’m at home. I have taken the Kent Student Certificate for Volunteering – I collected 102 hours for that, so have been awarded the gold certificate.

How would you describe your fellow students?

We have a good mixture of international and UK students, which makes for an interesting dynamic. I see people from my course and hang out with them but a lot of my friends are from outside my course. Joining societies is a good way to interact with people from different disciplines. It was good to get out of the business world and mindset, and socialise with people from different courses.

What do you think of the campus and the facilities?

It’s really good. You have everything you need in one place, shops, bars, societies and of course, the library. I love the library, I think half of my three years have been spent there!

Have you used the Career and Employability Service?

Yes I have because I’m making a Master’s application. They’ve been really helpful. I had no idea how to write my CV and they really helped me. I came out with a really good CV and I applied to really good universities, so fingers crossed.

What kind of career are you hoping to have?

I’m going to get a Master’s degree and I want to qualify either as a tax accountant, or as a financial accountant using chartered accountancy. I’m still deciding between the two qualifications, either CPA or ACCA. I get exemptions from my degree, which means I don’t have to do all of the papers for a professional qualification, which is a really good thing as well.

Any advice for future students?

Make the most of your time here because three years goes by so quickly. You are here to get a degree but also have some fun.