Student Stories

Student Stories: Paige Robson

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My Undergraduate of the Year Experience

After hearing about this opportunity to apply for the Undergraduate of the Year award, I did some research and was uncertain whether or not to apply. I wasn’t sure if I would be good enough to win or even progress through, however, I changed my mind and decided I had nothing to lose in putting my name forward. If anything I had more to gain through experiencing the application process, similar to that of applying for graduate roles. Had I listened to myself and not applied, I wouldn’t have had this amazing opportunity to visit the ACCA headquarters in London as a top 20 finalist for the Future CFO Award.
The application process was simple; you fill out a general application about yourself, sit a series of tests and answer a question given directly from the sponsor. Nothing too far from what to expect from any application. Once this was completed I waited to hear back and found out I was successfully through to the next round.

The next task was something I had never done before. We were asked to make a video surrounding the finance profession with the direction of “the more creative the better”. I thoroughly enjoyed making this video, it was something different. Allowing me to discover other skills that I didn’t know I had and apply what I had learnt in a creative way compared to university work. After I’d completed and submitted the video, I then found out I had successfully made it as a finalist. I was in complete shock; this was something a month earlier I didn’t even think was a possibility. Just over a week later I was sat in a boardroom surrounded by other finalists ranging from first year to final year students from across the UK.

The day consisted of two group exercises. One of them was presented by NIO where we were given the challenge to propose where they should move next? It was extremely interesting to learn more about the company and present in groups what we discussed.

The second group exercise was from ACCA themselves, working on improving their own online Future Talent Academy. After completing this, I spoke to a member of the ACCA team who said that our contributions are going to be helpful in the development of their platform. It is exciting to think that we had a positive impact and can help other students who are considering a career in accountancy.

Despite not making it into the top 10, I had such an amazing experience. Primarily, this opportunity has allowed me show to employers that I have skills that are important for today’s businesses. Most ask for teamwork, leadership and communication. By progressing through this award I am able to show these skills. It has also led me to learn more about myself, the skills I knew I had and the areas I need to improve in the future. Finally, this process has helped me improve my confidence and motivated me to keep working towards my goals, as now I have the self-belief that I can achieve them.

So if you’re thinking of applying for this or something similar go for it! What have you got to lose?

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