Working Your Way Through Accountancy

Working as an accountant can be an interesting role which has plenty of potential for
progression. As professional accountants ourselves, who also employ other accountants,
we’ll share what it’s like to work your way up.

Getting your foot in the door
Getting started in any career can be the trickiest part and accounting is no different. You’ll want to show your prospective employer why they should hire you, but at this point you probably don’t yet know those reasons yourself. Fortunately there are a few routes into accountancy which can help you build your qualifications, experience, or both.

Qualifications
Getting the right accounting qualifications is really important if you want to become an
accountant whom clients trust with their financial data. Typically, the AAT qualification is the minimum expected for an accountant in the UK. As you progress there are further qualifications which you can undertake (which we’ll get to).

Gaining a degree
A degree in accountancy will give you a solid understanding of the
industry. It’s this sort of all-round knowledge which can give you the advantage over other candidates looking for accounting jobs. You’ll be competing against the candidates who have work experience, so taking steps to develop your own experience and skills will be a big plus.

black calculator near ballpoint pen on white printed paper

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Progressing through a career in accountancy
Lots of accountancy recruiters look for the next generation of accountants by offering
apprenticeships and graduate schemes.

Typically, you will start as an apprentice or trainee and, if offered a permanent role, could progress toward a junior accountant role. There will usually be room for progression further along the line. Training for an AAT qualification is a great start. Once that’s in the bag, you might want to work towards becoming a chartered accountant, in which case you will need to prepare for the ACCA qualification too.

Becoming a chartered accountant typically means you are more in demand by employers, though you’ll still need to build your work experience to move into the senior positions. Most accountants pursue ACCA alongside working in the field, and you’ll find a lot of accounting employers are very supportive of this.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD), where you constantly update your skills, is a huge thing in this industry. After this step, you may want to branch out into a more managerial or supervisor-based role which could involve training the next generation of junior accountants. Others decide to go into the world of business themselves and set up their own practices.

These are just some simple tips to help you get started. If you are interested in a
career in accounting, getting experience is the first step towards getting your
accounting qualifications which will set you up for a solid career in the accounting
industry.
Article by The Accountancy Partnership – https://www.theaccountancy.co.uk/  

Work Experience with KMTV!

To find out more about the Work Experience and Opportunities Fund, click here! 

Through the Work Experience Bursary, I got the opportunity to commute to Medway for a week to take part in a University of Kent Study Plus Scheme – TV Production, working with KMTV, one of the few Kent TV stations. I did the course because I am interested in TV Production and wanted to see how it worked at the University’s partner station, and determine whether or not I want to go on to do a Master’s in Journalism.

I got much more out of the course than I expected – ending up on tv was a massive bonus! I gained skills in presenting, camera operating, seeing what happens behind the scenes with prompt scrolling, switching screens, providing information through earpieces, all very exciting and very new.

Over the course of the week, we learnt how to interview people using phones, cameras, or microphones. We tested out the studio and the studio cameras, performing multiple test takes with the script for previous day’s news broadcasts! We pitched our own programmes, looking at the audience in the area and the things that linked us as a group. We then planned out packages, with interviews, test shots, voice-overs, and more. In small groups we then created, filmed, edited and presented our short packages. As a whole group, we then collated them, with lower thirds and script that linked the different parts for the presenter to say. We have an in-studio interview, which was very nerve-wracking as everything was live.

If you want to see our production, watch it on the KMTV website here: https://www.kentonline.co.uk/kmtv/video/university-of-kent-one-kent-29940/

I am now seriously considering doing a Year in Journalism or a Masters in Journalism at the Medway campus of the University of Kent, and I would definitely recommend doing the Study Plus course to others. It was an experience that could only happen at Medway, and getting the travel funds refunded is a massive relief in enabling me to attend this awesome opportunity!Screenshot 2020-01-17 at 14.36.55.png

To find out more about the Work Experience and Opportunities Fund, click here! 

Kent Law School Law – Firm Talks & Presentations – Autumn 2019

The University of Kent is increasingly being targeted by some major global law firms for their future trainees.   They are interested in students from any discipline. As such, KLS would like to extend an invitation to students in other schools who would like to become solicitors to attend the following events:

  • How to prepare for a Law Fair 6-8pm, 28th October, ELT2 – Find out what to expect at the Law Fair and how to present yourself in a memorable way.
  • Hogan Lovells Workshop – Application & Interview Workshop – 6-8pm, 29th October, Rm TBN
  • How to Secure a Training Contract at Clifford Chance – 10am -12pm Weds 30th Oct Rm TBC
  • Linklaters –  Awaiting confirmation of date – expected to be week 6 or 7.
  • Irwin Mitchell, 2pm, Thursday 7th November Rm TBN
  • Macfarlanes – an introduction to Macfarlanes and talk on the ‘life of a training contract’ followed by networking drinks. – Tuesday 12th November 4pm – 6.15pm, GLT1.

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For full details and rooming plus lots of other legal events please see  https://blogs.kent.ac.uk/klsemployability/employability-events/career-employability-talks/

THE CURIOSITY INDEX: RANKING EUROPE’S MOST CURIOUS NATIONS

(courtesy of https://blog.viking-direct.co.uk/curiosity-index-ranking-europes-curious-nations)

As human beings, we’re generally a curious species. The thirst for exploration and knowledge has driven the history of human technology and society and there’s always something new to be discovered. This filters right down to our everyday lives, with countless television channels dedicated to 24/7 news, documentaries providing us with new information, and even social media accounts dedicated to sharing interesting facts. But which European nation can claim to be the most curious?

Office furniture and stationery suppliers, Viking, recently completed a study aiming to find the most curious nation in Europe. Using a set of curiosity factors, such as Wikipedia page views per month and vocational training, they were able to create a Curiosity Index and rank Europe’s most knowledge-hungry nations.

The Overall Scores

The curiosity index was put together using the results from each of the following ranking factors:

  • Wikipedia page views per month per person with internet access
  • Active users on language-learning site Duolingo
  • Use of the internet for reading news or books
  • Number of library loans per year per capita
  • Number of Erasmus students per 1,000 students
  • Hours spent in vocational training at work

The results from these factors were then turned into percentile scores, added together and put into an overall ranking. In the overall rankings, the United Kingdom landed in a disappointing 19th position out of 28, with an average curiosity index rating of 264.3. This fell well below the average of 308.8 and put the UK well in the bottom half of the rankings table.

The UK’s closest neighbours, Republic of Ireland, were much more successful, they came joint second alongside Czechia and Netherlands, with an overall score of 421.4. These nations sat behind Malta, who were crowned Europe’s most curious nation with a score of 432.1. The table was held up by Bulgaria (110.7), Romania (192.9), and Cyprus (196.4) in the bottom three.

Online News Reading

People in the UK are privileged in that 95% of them have access to the internet, but they aren’t necessarily using this access to fulfil their curiosities. During a three-month period, only 72% of Brits used the internet to read the news or books, this is compared to the European average of 79% and the top rating of 93% in Lithuania. So, whether it’s scrolling through Facebook statuses or watching YouTube videos of cats, Brits seem to be filling their time online with other things.

Library Loan Numbers

This isn’t to say that the people of Britain aren’t keen readers, the UK performed slightly better when it comes to library loans. Compared to a European average of 4 annual library book rentals per capita, Brits came in close to the average with 3.7 annual book rentals. The Irish are well above the average, however, with an average of 7 library loans per year per person.

Wikipedia Page Views

Wikipedia has become a go-to online hub for those looking to quench a thirst for curiosity, with thousands of pages making up one of the world’s biggest informational resources. It was a close-run contest between Finland and the Netherlands for the most Wikipedia page views, with 17 per internet user per month. These were both well above the European average of 9.

The United Kingdom came in 28% above the average when it came to Wikipedia views, suggesting that Brits use the site to satisfy their curiosity as opposed to accessing online news. With 12 monthly page views per internet user, Brits come in well above-average in their quest for knowledge on the online encyclopaedia. Ireland ranked fifth highest for this factor, with 13.4 page views per user.

Erasmus Students

The quest for knowledge is often associated with further education and travel. That’s why we looked at the numbers of Erasmus students, an exchange programme that helps students study abroad to experience more of the world.

Unfortunately for the United Kingdom this was their worst performing area, with only 7 students per 1,000 studying abroad, a huge 61% below the European average of 18. Ireland also fell behind the average here, with 16 Erasmus students per 1,000. The clear curiosity-champions when it came to getting an education abroad were from Malta. Per 1,000 Maltese students, 59 travel to different parts of the continent in search of educational experiences.

Learning Another Language

Learning another language is a great way to immerse yourself in a new culture, whether you’re planning on visiting, moving to another country, or just want to learn something new. We looked at popular online language-learning website, Duolingo, and worked out the amount of active subscribers per 1,000 internet users in each country. There are other language learning platforms available, but Duolingo gave us a good cross-section of the European curiosity to learn another language.

Once again, Malta came out on top when it came to this curiosity factor. Per 1,000 Maltese internet users, 147 were active on Duolingo. The Irish came second in this ranking factor, with a well-above average 125 active users per 1,000. These both surpass the European average of 75 and could be owing to the number of students they have studying abroad and high levels of tourism. Good news for Brits; this category saw the United Kingdom come out 5% above average, with 79 users per 1,000.

Vocational Training

For those who are in full-time work, finding the time to complete extra training and studies can be difficult. Some employers choose to offer Continuous Vocational Training (CVT), allowing their employees to continue learning whilst in their employment. We looked at the annual number of hours spent in CVT per employed person, giving a good impression of how important it is for workplaces across Europe to prioritise continuous learning.

The average number of hours spent in CVT across all countries in the study was 9.9. In the United Kingdom, the time given was 12% below the average, at 8.7 hours. Once again, Ireland came out well above their neighbours, they found themselves in second with 18.3 hours provided for CVT per employed person. This was only beaten by Luxembourg, where the average employee spends 20.5 hours in CVT. For any employer looking to provide more training, looking into office storage solutions is a good idea.

Despite some nations doing better than others in our curiosity index, there is clearly a constant quest for knowledge across Europe. As an employer, offering opportunity for your employees to learn and expand their knowledge could play an important part in helping to satisfy this curiosity and get more from your workforce.

My Experience Teaching English in China

Hi, I’m Amy and after graduating from the University of Kent in 2017 with a BA in
French and Hispanic studies I joined Teach English In China’s TEFL Training
Programme. I now work as a Programme Coordinator for Teach English in China. I
was really unsure of what I wanted to do when I first left uni, and although I was fairly
certain I didn’t want to teach forever, I found the idea of a year in Asia really exciting.
I’d never been to China before and didn’t speak any Mandarin. Despite that, I
decided to go for it and ended up having an incredible year of teaching and
travelling.
As part of the programme, and before I started teaching, I completed a 60-hour
online TEFL course, and then 2 weeks at a TEFL Training Camp in Beijing. The
training camp was a very intense training period but one of my favourite things to
look back on, because I met so many people who were in the same boat as me and
made a network of friends in China. The training meant that I was well prepared for
teaching and I had access to loads of teaching materials which I could then use
throughout my year.
I lived and worked at a middle school in Beijing. I planned two lessons a week and
taught 14 classes of year 8 pupils. I got on with the students really well and had a lot
of freedom in terms of what I was able to teach, so I led lessons on movies, western
culture, and the environment. I didn’t have office hours, meaning that I had plenty of
spare time to explore the city. I had office space in my school and worked with my
Chinese colleagues and other foreign teachers to share ideas and get feedback on
my lesson plans and teaching style. I really enjoyed teaching the Chinese students
and getting to know them. I found it really rewarding when my quieter students
started participating more and when I was able to see an improvement in their
language skills. The role taught me a lot about managing people and really helped
me to develop my interpersonal skills and cultural awareness.IMG_E0627.JPG
An amazing benefit of the programme was the amount of time I had to travel and
how easy it was to save money. The cost of living in China is far less than in the UK,
so my salary went much further! I had quite a lot of spare time in the week which I
used to study Mandarin, which I loved doing! Also, I had over a month of paid leave
for Chinese New Year and was able to explore a lot of China and Vietnam. I also
travelled at weekends and after finishing my placement to places like Indonesia and
Japan… and I came home with savings!

Home

Get ready for #EmpFest19!

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Canterbury and Medway: 7 October – 18 October

The annual University of Kent Employability Festival starts soon across the Canterbury and Medway campuses. Free to all University of Kent students and recent graduates!

Want to know how to succeed in an interview? Or how to prepare for an assessment centre? Employability Festival is the perfect opportunity to develop your job-seeking skills and gain an insight into a range of career sectors, from graduate employers, industry experts and Kent alumni. Receive expert advice on the key things that can make you stand out in the recruitment market!

Take advantage of the range of activities taking place, which will help you to take the steps towards your dream career. These include:

  • Succeeding in Interviews
  • How to find part-time work
  • A Mock Assessment Centre
  • Business Start-Up advice
  • Identifying your strengths

Plus, gain employer insights into tech, finance, law, conservation, heritage, politics and more!

The EmpFest programme is available on the Careers and Employability Service website
here. The great news is that the majority of events are open to students from all stages and schools. Some have limited spaces, so check out the website and book your place ASAP.

Highlights include:

Careers Fair

  • Tuesday 15 October, 11am – 3pm, (11am -12pm Access Hour*) at Sports Centre,
    Canterbury campus
  • Download the free Careers Fair Plus App to view the full list of exhibitors and
    interactive floor plan! Available on the App Store and Google Play
  • *The Access Hour is an additional hour to give you extra time and space to
    meet with employers and organisations in a less crowded environment. Further
    information can be found here

GradJobs Live! Trip to London

  • Friday 18 October, free coach travel
  • Booking essential. If you are a Canterbury student book here
  • The UK’s leading graduate job fair, GradJobs Live!, brings together top employers,
    workshops and special features to help with all stages of the recruitment process.

 

For information about what’s on during #EmpFest19, see the online programme

Follow us on:    Facebook @UKCES     Twitter @unikentemploy     Instagram @unikentces

Join the conversation at #EmpFest19

How to Become a Brand Designer: A Career Guide

This guide has been put together by brand strategy and design experts, The Team, to help those interested in becoming a Brand Designer understand the skills and experience required, and the day-to-day responsibilities of the role.

Brand design involves creating, redesigning or refreshing a distinct identity for a product or service. This can, in some cases, encompass the entire image of a company or organisation.

A Brand Designer is someone who has a genuine passion for design and creative culture. They produce designs across a variety of formats, platforms and environments including logos, visual identities, apps and websites, out-of-home media, social media, magazines, games, physical environments and more.

Brand Designers work to a brief from the client, conceptualise ideas, and design solutions to satisfy the client’s goals and objectives. They work with the client, other designers, copywriters, artists and account managers, seeing projects through to production. They are also capable of working independently, have excellent organisational skills, and work towards supporting the senior members of the design team. They have a keen attention to detail and understand the relationship between brand strategy and design.

 

 

What skills does a Brand Designer need?

  • Proven organisational skills
  • Proven communication skills
  • Good time management skills
  • Works well as part of an effective team
  • Has a keen eye for detail
  • Understands a range of print and online processes
  • Advanced competencies in core Adobe graphics packages and MS Office software
  • Ability to express thinking in words and images
  • Proven ability to deliver creative elements of projects on brief, on time and on budget (often to demanding deadlines)
  • Ability to effectively brief production artworkers
  • Ability to understand and apply client brand guidelines
  • Demonstrates understanding of conceptual methodologies
  • Troubleshoots and resolves complex design orientated problems

 

What are the responsibilities of a Brand Designer?

The typical responsibilities of a Brand Designer include:

  • Contributing to the brand strategies developed for client projects including ideas that demonstrate insight and innovation; solutions that engage audiences; and expressions of thinking in words or images.
  • Understanding the business case and/or client brief through research into the client and subject; understanding the client’s objectives and having an overview of the commercial content.
  • Implementing the creative execution during the design stages of client projects, under the direction of a Creative Director or Design Director.
  • Collaborating with other communities including planners, account and project managers, artworkers and third-party suppliers such as copywriters, photographers, illustrators and animators to make all projects a creative and commercial success.
  • Briefing and overseeing production while paying excellent attention to detail and to the client’s brand guidelines.
  • Being capable of taking responsibility for owning, shaping, developing and delivering creative projects.
  • Contributing to successful new business and farming efforts, as well as pitches.

The Team creative brand and communications agency_Scope rebrand

 

What are the advantages of being a Brand Designer?

  • You will enter into a fast growing industry where there is a demand for people with creative talent.
  • Every day is different as new briefs bring new creative challenges.
  • Work in a changing field with shifts in approach and mediums that stretch your capabilities.
  • You don’t stop learning, as you push yourself and keep up with new trends, techniques and tools.
  • You can make a positive difference in the world, working on projects that positively impact peoples lives and create change.
  • You get to see people interact with your work – a rewarding benefit.
  • You have the choice to work in-house or freelance for an agency.
  • Flexible working hours allow for a work-life balance and to work to hours that suit you (especially for freelancers).

 

What qualifications does a Brand Designer need?

A degree or Higher National Diploma (HND) in one of the following subjects is recommended for Brand Designer roles:

  • Graphic design
  • Graphic communication design
  • Graphic branding and identity
  • Visual communication
  • Brand design
  • Art and design

 

Does a Brand Designer need work experience?

A degree or HND will provide you with a grounding in design, but it is recommended to gain work experience to grow your portfolio and design capabilities.

Brand Designers start to gain work experience through internships at various agencies before finding a position – whether permanent or freelance. Internships provide the perfect opportunity to work on ‘live’ agency projects across a variety of formats, platforms and environments and helps to build a portfolio of work.

It is important to have a portfolio of work, in digital and printed form, showcasing your capabilities and breath of work to submit at both internship and job interviews.

There are also apprenticeships in graphic design. The higher the level of the apprenticeship, the higher the graphic design role you are applicable for.

 

What does a Brand Designer earn?

Salaries are dependent on the sector you will be working in, your experience and the location.

Salaries for a graduate Brand Designer range from £15,000 to £20,000, while Junior Designers with 2-3 years’ experience can earn up to £28,000.

Salaries for Middle-weight Brand Designers range from £25,000 to £35,000 and Senior Designers £35,000 to £55,000.

Brand Directors earn from £60,000 upwards.

Freelancers can earn £200-£400 day rate depending on their experience.

*The above salaries serve as a guide only.

 

What are the working hours of a Brand Designer?

A Brand Designer’s working hours are typically 40 hours a week, with a break for lunch. Agency life usually means that start and end times are flexible. Brand Designers would be expected to work extra hours as project deadlines approach.

The Team creative brand and communications agency_Scope rebrand

“Designers need to look broader, look closer and think younger, so we can stay beginners.” – Tony Fadell, product creator and designer of the iPod, on the first design of design is…. noticing.