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Simran Sahota

Simran Sahota

Simran, why did you choose to take the Flying Start Programme at Henley Business School?

‘At the time when I was choosing a university, I felt that I wanted to do something related to maths, so I was looking online for an accounting course. Then I saw this course on the PwC website, and as soon as I saw it, it really stood out, and I knew that this was the programme I wanted to get onto.

‘I loved the fact that you get to work at PwC but, at the same time, you get to go to university, and the more I looked into it – Open Days and Taster Days – the more I set my heart on it.

‘At the time, I didn’t know much about the importance of the ACA exams, but now I realise what a benefit it is to have so many exemptions – more than on any other course I’ve seen from any other university. That means you get to qualify earlier than normal.

‘After all the research, I visited the Henley campus, and it’s so lovely – lots of green spaces.’

What were your expectations, and have they been met so far?

‘It’s definitely met my expectations so far, but it is hard work – but so worth it, because you get so much from it. You get to meet so many people, both socially at university and at PwC, in a more professional environment.

‘Being on placement during the second term in years 2, 3 and 4 means it’s a really nice structure; you don’t feel as if you’re away from university for too long.’

What other benefits are there of the Flying Start Programme?

‘The things we are learning at university are the things we’re putting into practice on our placements, so it’s very beneficial to have that level of integration and continuity, and the experience of seeing it all playing out in the workplace helps us to make sense of it.

‘Working in a fast-paced, professional environment and speaking to so many new people has definitely made me more confident. It also naturally improves your technical skills. You have to be more organised and adaptable, and it improves your interpersonal skills too. Everyone is really friendly and keen to help you learn.’

And what other opportunities does the university offer?

'There are lots of societies and sports facilities, and we have socials with the other students on the Flying Start Programme, even from different years, so it’s good to hear about other students’ experiences at different stages.

‘I do think it’s really good that you have the whole of the first year at university, so you can settle in and get to experience everything that uni offers: making friends and going out.

‘The lecturers are really organised, and they are just so supportive. They always have time to answer your questions and really put a lot of effort into making it a great course.’

What advice would give to anyone considering this programme?

‘I would really recommend the course. If you do want to become a Chartered Accountant, this is definitely the best course to go for. It’s the whole university experience and working at a top firm, with experience and qualifications. It’s the best of both worlds.’