Accounting and Finance Grad: How my French Year in Industry inspired a career in Europe

Diya Tarachand completed her BSc Accounting and Finance with a Year in Industry in 2019. She is now a Financial Auditor at BDO Luxembourg.

‘When I first researched courses at Kent Business School, Accounting and Finance with a Year in Industry really caught my attention.

I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to have both the academics and a workplace environment while still being a student. Being able to work abroad was even more exciting.

I was fully supported by the University and my lecturers throughout university life and I loved everything the campus had to offer – particularly facilities like the Bloomberg Lab where I got stock market data to work with!

Diya loved the culture of Paris

When it came to my placement year, I was so pleased to secure a year-long job at BDO, Paris, a financial auditing business.

Paris seems liked a natural choice as I speak French and English fluently. On an international scale, Paris is known as one of the major hubs for Finance and had lots of opportunities to offer me.

The French capital is filled with culture and history. I have always been fascinated by the Museums and Castles, the food and the people there. I couldn’t wait to get stuck in!

Life in Paris was very busy as compared to Canterbury in terms of travel time to and from work place, the people at the metro and tram stations and the environment. I think back in UK, I still had this student mindset while in Paris I instantly matured and felt like a working adult.

Culturally, the opportunity to study in France was great. I discovered my love for French cuisine and gastronomy and was lucky to meet the best pastry chef in the world and other Michelin stars chefs – a memory I will really treasure.

Diya at the Eiffel Tower in Paris

It took me a while to grasp French accounting, though my colleagues were very supportive. I also had to research a lot about French technical accounting terminology so it wasn’t all plain sailing but before long, I settled into the role and found myself doing really well.

By the end of the year, I felt more mature and really ready to take on the tricky content in the final year of study.

Since graduation, I’ve pursued a career in audit, initially at EY Mauritius before moving to BDO Luxembourg. I think having a degree from the University of Kent has opened up a lot of opportunities for me and having already done a placement year with the business in France really helped, too.

My role as an auditor is to provide reasonable assurance on financial statements. What I really love about my job is that I get to travel a lot and work with clients from different sectors (such as manufacturing, retail, funds).  The most challenging aspects are the long working hours and competitive market but who doesn’t love a challenge!  

I still use my knowledge from my studies every day when I audit financial statements. My financial knowledge helps me when interpreting budgeted cash flows, discount factors and sensitivity analysis. 

Within the next few years I hope to pass my ACCA exams, helped by the exemptions I received on my Accounting and Finance degree.  I see myself as a manager in audit or a financial controller in another company in the future.’

Top Tips for Successful Year in Industry 

1 Research 

Don’t just sign up for every placement that comes along. It’s a big decision and putting enough time and energy into getting it right is important.

2. Find the right country for you

I knew Paris was a location I felt at home in and that the culture was right for me. Ensure that you choose a location you know you will settle in and excel in.

3. Keep your future goals in mind

Choose an industry that marries up with the areas of your degree you are most interested in and think about your CV and where you want to go in life.

4. Stay in touch

The University is there to support you every step on the way. It’s important to stay in regular contact with them – that’s what they are there for.

 Find out more about working abroad as part of your university degree, here.

Last updated