Aanchel Bhabuta graduated in 2015 with First Class Honours Master’s Degree in Physics and Mathematics. She went on to join Brebners Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers as a graduate trainee and credits Loughborough with developing the skills and confidence it took to get there.
During my degree, I gained a lot of transferable skills such as problem-solving, which I put to good use in this role. Also, we often gave presentations as part of the course which developed my communication skills - particularly in communicating technical information to a non-technical audience. This has been really useful in my work as there’s a lot of client interaction and good communication skills are crucial.
What are you doing now?
"The company I am currently working for is Brebners, a firm of Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors, based in London. I joined as part of the graduate trainee scheme and I’m now undertaking the ACA (Association of Chartered Accountants) accountancy training which the company funds and which will qualify me as a chartered accountant. We offer accountancy services to a range of large clients.
There are several things I love about my job. Obviously it’s great to be earning after 4 years as a student! Trainee accountants can expect to earn around £50k once qualified, depending on the sector. I love the variety of work and I’m out and about a lot visiting clients. People think of accountancy as being all about figures, but there’s a lot of client interaction which I really enjoy, as I’m very much a people person. I’m also glad of the opportunity to undertake further study for my ACA qualification."
How did you get on to the graduate scheme?
"I did a summer placement here a couple of years ago and I found the company really friendly and the work interesting and enjoyable. I did other placements as a technology intern in Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and Selex Galileo, which I also enjoyed. I would recommend doing some kind of placement as you learn a lot and it really helps with your employment prospects at the end of your degree. RBS offered me a good graduate position in a technology role, which was tempting, but I decided to apply to Brebners Graduate Scheme instead and, fortunately, I was successful! "
How did your degree in Physics and Mathematics help?
"Having done a joint degree, I wasn’t pigeon-holed when it came to career choice. Brebners weren’t so concerned with what I’d studied – rather that I was passionate about my subject. As my position involves further study, my self-discipline and ability to manage my course workload was important and Brebners valued the commitment I’d shown in my studies.
During my degree, I gained a lot of transferable skills such as problem-solving, which I put to good use in this role. Also, we often gave presentations as part of the course which developed my communication skills - particularly in communicating technical information to a non-technical audience. This has been really useful in my work as there’s a lot of client interaction and good communication skills are crucial."
Did your time as a Loughborough student develop your self-confidence?
"When I first arrived at Loughborough, I was nervous and lacked confidence – people who know me now would be amazed to hear this! I was hesitant about getting involved in my department or extra-curricular activities and I didn’t have the confidence to take the lead in anything. But I gradually became more outgoing – I think the openness of the department and the approachability of the Physics staff helped as it encouraged me to get join in. From there, I started to get more involved in societies and that sort of thing. This included working as a student helper for my department’s UCAS Visit Days when I met prospective students and their families – I even gave a short presentation about my placement year!
Now I’m a very confident and outgoing person and I’m definitely not afraid to take on new challenges."
What made you choose Loughborough University?
"I knew I wanted it to be campus-based and I liked the community feel at Loughborough. The fact that Physics was a small department really appealed to me - it gave it a very personal touch and I felt at home there. I was convinced that Loughborough was the right place for me.
One of my favourite things about the Physics department was the open door policy, which really helped support my studies. It was wonderful being able to approach a lecturer whenever I was stuck, whether I was half-way through some coursework or just before an exam. It also helped shape a friendly physics community where you could just go and talk about physics for fun (it can be you know!), like we did during the "quantum pub sessions".
Doing a joint honours degree at Loughborough gave me the flexibility to explore how much of each subject I wanted to take when I was further into my studies. I even did a Chemistry Forensics module, while some of my my friends took languages, so it was great that we had plenty of options if we had a particular interest in doing something different."
If you could give one piece of advice to a prospective student, what would it be?
"I would say, make the most of the opportunities available to you. It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone, but it’s definitely worth making the effort to get out and about – get to know your lecturers, join societies and be sociable. That way, you’ll maximise your time at uni and enjoy it a lot more."
Where do you see yourself in the future?
"It’s early days yet in my career, but longer term, my degree gives me a few options - I could also explore technology roles if I want to. At the moment though, I’m thinking that once I qualify as an ACA, I’ll work in a management role in industry or the finance sector and see where that leads – after all, most CEOs of global organisations are accountants!"