Brighton Business School alumni, Marvin Okai and Denzil Lawrence, are back at university to talk about their journey to becoming Chartered Accountants and why they developed their blog Black and in Business to share their experience.
After graduation, they created the blog with the aim of providing students with insight into their journey to work.
Today, they were back at university to give a speech to our BME students (Black and Minority Ethnic students). I’d like to share with you a few things that I took away from their talk which you might benefit from.
Explore all opportunities around you.
Do you actually know what you want to be in your life? No matter what your answer is…keep yourself open to suggestions and comments from others. Search around for opportunities to attend networking or social events. Lots of companies host these types of events and frequently advertise or share them on social media.
When you are trying to find a job or placement, you might want to think about whether you will fit into the office culture.
The culture within an organisation might be one of the most important things that you check out before applying to that company. Sometimes it is not just about getting a job or getting paid, for instance, if everyone in your team is crazy about football and you are a basketball fan you might feel left out if you work there and can’t join in the conversation.
Marvin and Denzil kept emphasising that ‘You will reach your goal one day if you keep working on it. It’s just a matter of time before you get there.’
Whilst applying for jobs or placements, you might get a lot of knock backs and rejections. You might feel low and worthless because everyone in the world seems to be rejecting you. Denzil talked about when he graduated everyone seemed so passionate and knew what they wanted to do so applied to the big companies but he had no idea what he wanted to be. Six months after his graduation it came to him and he decided he wanted to become an accountant. Now he is a partly qualified accountant and working towards his ACCA degree.
Working beyond your degree.
After graduating from your degree, how are you going to compete with others who have graduated with a similar degree? Taking a professional qualification like ACCA might be a good idea both for your personal development but also to learn new skills which might lead to career progression. Denzil mentioned that pay rises can sometimes double after you have completed these extra external qualifications.
There are several professional qualifications which you can take which will help you gain employment around the world i.e. CFA (Charter Financial Analyst). However, be prepared to dedicate yourself to hard work as these are not easy qualifications to earn.