Jemma Meek is a Kent Business School undergraduate student who is currently on her Year in Industry at Grant Thornton UK LLP. Read her story in her blog post.
My name is Jemma Meek and I am studying BA Accounting and Management with a Year in Industry at Kent Business School. I was originally enrolled on the Business and Management with a Year in Industry degree however at the end of final year had decided I was enjoying the finance/accounting modules much more and was fortunate enough to be able to move onto the Accounting and Management degree to concentrate on these aspects more closely.
A broad programme
I applied to the Business and Management programme as I felt it was very broad and I was looking forward to the Year in Industry. For me I was unsure of what area of business I wanted to specialise in, and therefore the range of modules including Marketing and the Value Chain, Management Principles, Business Financial Management and many more drew me towards the course as I believed I would be able to explore different areas and discover what best suited my skill set, which I later found was accounting/finance.
Year in Industry
The second major benefit of the course for me was the Year in Industry opportunity. Wanting a career in business I was aware that experience is key and when applying for highly competitive graduate schemes it would be a huge advantage to have a solid year of professional experience against my name. However, having been on placement I have discovered that a Year in Industry provides much more than just a competitive advantage in the job market.
I am currently working at Grant Thornton UK LLP, a professional services firm. I work within the advisory sector and more specifically within the Complex International Insolvency Team. The role is great and due to the nature of the team I work within I have been able to somewhat shape my placement and have been given exposure to the areas of work I chose. I have also been surprised at the level of responsibility I have been given and this has made me feel like an integral part of the team – not ‘just a placement student’ .
At Grant Thornton, on the graduate advisory rotational scheme, there are a number of places available specifically for placement students. I am working towards being selected for the graduate scheme as I have thoroughly enjoyed my placement so far and I think it would be an excellent firm to train at to become a qualified accountant. I would definitely recommend a Year in Industry as the Kent Business School Employability and Placements Team are there to support you every step of the way, including throughout your Year in Industry.
One piece of advice I would give is to consider not only the job role and the name of the company/brand but also the culture of the business. In order to get the most out of your Year in Industry you need to be in an environment that allows you to grow and the culture of the business will somewhat determine this. Overall, although it may seem tough to get a placement as the application processes can be grueling and it is likely that you will receive several rejections before obtaining a place, in my experience it is more than worth it and I would recommend it to everyone. Good luck!
I am a student studying BA Accounting and Management with a Year in Industry at Kent Business School.
I am currently studying on my Year in Industry at Grant Thornton UK LLP.