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Expiry date:
06 Jan 2019
Location:
Nationwide

2019 Steps To Success Scholarship Program (UK Year 13 / A-Level)

Credit Suisse

The Steps to Success Scholarship Program is for outstanding A-Level students in the UK who are from an underrepresented and/or underprivileged background.

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Expiry date:
06 Jan 2019
Location:
Nationwide
Job type:
Summer internship
Contract type:
Temporary
Industry:
Accountancy
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Helping you find a career in the Accountancy industry

Accountants are responsible for managing all of the financial transactions of a company. They’re an incredibly important part of any organisation, and are in charge of making sure that the books are being run in a sustainable way. Therefore, accountants are highly influential and key to a company’s success.

As an accountant you’ll have to deal with reporting, budgeting, procurement, tax and purchasing. If the company is quite large, your position will be more specialised and you may just deal with one aspect of the accountancy role.

The training process for becoming a chartered accountant is quite lengthy, although your salary will be increased at each stage of your development. As you progress in your accountancy training, you can also choose to specialise in different types of accountancy, including tax, auditing and assurance, government, managerial, financial and forensic.

A junior accountant can earn anywhere between £16,000 and £24,000 and once you are partially qualified your salary will increase to between £25,000 and £28,000. A chartered accountant with 3-5 years’ experience could earn anything between £55,000 and £90,000.


How to get Accountancy internships, work experience or placements
Many companies will take on graduates or school-leavers for trainee accountancy roles with no work experience, although you will probably have to do some tests to prove your mathematical capabilities.

However, for the highly competitive placements you may need a few extras to make your CV stand out.

You should consider volunteering yourself as a treasurer for a club or society at your university to demonstrate your interest in finance and gain some experience of monitoring money for an organisation.

Any part-time work that you undertook alongside your studies demonstrates that you’re efficient at managing your time. You also will have developed soft skills such as communication and organisation in a professional setting, which will benefit your application.

Any work shadowing or experience that you can organise yourself before applying to a formal scheme will benefit you. Try contacting your local accountancy firms to see if they have any opportunities available.

If you’ve got your heart set on becoming an accountant a work placement is an excellent way to kick start this career. Many larger retail businesses will offer a range of different work placement schemes aimed at university students or sixth formers. The two main types of work placements available for an accountant are internships and placements. Typically a placement is a year long and will be done as part of a degree. Internships usually are shorter, around 6-12 weeks, and can take place over the holiday periods.

A ‘sandwich’ year is usually taken between the penultimate and final years of your degree course, and many people who undertake placements during their degrees report that the experience they received was highly beneficial for their career search after graduating (many employers will also give hiring preference in their graduate schemes to people who have completed placements with them and made a good impression!) Industrial placements can also be a great way to earn a year’s salary and ease students’ financial worries ahead of their final years. Most work placements are recruited during the first term of your penultimate year.

Most accountancy degree courses will have a sandwich year, so you’ll probably be able to find out details about placements from your department. It might also be worthwhile speaking to your university’s careers department to see whether they have links to particular businesses.

Even if your degree does not have a sandwich year in its structure, many universities will allow you to take a year out for a placement, so if you are interested in undertaking a placement, speak to your department.

Most summer internships and work experience programmes will be advertised on employers’ websites, so you should identify a range of accountancy companies which interest you and look for details of various programmes. Most employers will expect summer intern to be going into their final year of a degree, while work experience programmes are aimed at college students.
Skills & interests you'll need
To be an accountant you must be highly analytical and comfortable working with numbers all day. You must also have a natural flair for solving problems and be able to work to deadlines independently.

Accountancy is a core function of a business, so it will also benefit you to have an interest and broad understanding of how business works.

Your position will be of high responsibility, so you must be able to work under pressure. You may also be required to work late nights and occasionally weekends to ensure that deadlines are met.

Some other skills that will benefit you as an accountant are:
- Communication
- Critical Thinking
- Leadership
- Organisation
- Technical skills
- Time Management
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