Kirsten Noble

Accounting and Finance BSc (Hons)

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  • Course studied: Accounting and Finance BSc (Hons)
  • Year of graduation: 2019
  • Current job title: Group Financial Accountant
  • Current employer: Dr. Martens
  • Industry sector: Retail

I chose to study this course because I’m one of those lucky people who find maths quite easy, so I knew I wanted to work with numbers. I also thought the title of Chartered Accountant sounded super fancy. Overall, I knew accounting would be a stable industry to get into, and one that I could see myself being successful in.

Management Accounting was always the most interesting aspect of the course as it felt the most like real life. Financial Accounting was where we got serious with accounting and Company Law was completely different to anything I had done before. I could find something good to say about all the modules though! I became an auditor as soon as I graduated, so it seems that it was the audit elements of the course that really grabbed my attention.

Studying this course was a huge help to my career as it provided exemptions from the professional exams, so it massively reduced the number of exams I needed to take to become qualified. It also made me more attractive to prospective employers, as I was closer to being qualified (meaning they would have to pay for fewer exams!)

It feels like my career progression has happened very quickly. When I started as a trainee accountant, I felt like I still had a lot of exams to do but taking them while I was working meant that I was so busy they flew by. Then once I was qualified, things got really busy – I was receiving lots of job offers daily on LinkedIn and by email. This wasn’t anything special to my situation though – it really does happen once you’re qualified! I’m super excited to progress further in my role at Dr. Martens and learn more about the retail industry.

The skills and knowledge/understanding I gained on my degree that are most useful in my current role are meeting deadlines and communication skills. These are solid skills you learn during the course, and they are vital in the professional environment. Also, the technical accounting skills I learned on the course form the basis of my everyday work.

Whilst I was studying at UON, I worked part-time at a retirement village as a hostess. This extra-curricular activity also helped with my future employment as it gave me additional soft skills, such as being able to manage my time and cope with timetables, as well as providing me with experience in a work environment and references for my first professional job.

The advice I would give to undergraduates interested in this career path, would be to say yes to as much as you can, be open to new opportunities, give things a try, and throw yourself into as much as you can.

The whole time I was at the University of Northampton I felt supported, challenged, and encouraged. I also feel since graduating that the University is genuinely proud of me – I am a proud UON graduate and will always speak highly of the University whenever I get the chance.