Brianna shares her love of Bristol and top tips for new students

MSc Accounting & Finance student

I am from the small island of Bermuda but of Portuguese descent. From a young age, I always knew that I wanted to go to university to extend my knowledge and grow personally and professionally. I eventually chose to do a degree in Accounting and Finance because the field offered better professional opportunities.

Before coming to the University of Bristol, I obtained an undergraduate honours degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE). The main reason why I chose to study in the UK was because of the quality of teaching and having the opportunity to easily travel to Europe. As for Bristol, I liked how the city had everything I needed and wanted but was still calm, not so busy. As such, I decided to remain in Bristol to complete my postgraduate degree in Accounting and Finance as well. I chose to continue my studies in Accounting and Finance to deepen my critical analysis, learn about regressions and gain practical skills to prepare me for my profession.

Tell us about your favourite place in Bristol.

Brianna at a restaurantI love the city of Bristol and the life it brings to its people from its small cafes, people showcasing their talents on Broadmead and the wide variety of cuisines to try from. My favourite place in the city would have to be the Harbourside, I like to be beside the water. The Harbourside has many options like restaurants and bars to have a drink with your friends.

I highly recommend a buffet restaurant called ZaZa’s due to their variety of food: Italian, Indian, Mexican, and much more. Another great area in Bristol is Park Street due to the small cafes, the Bristol Cathedral and the Wills Memorial Building which holds beautiful architecture and the University’s library.

During the spring and summer break as a student, I spent my time in Castle Park to enjoy the sunshine and the view of the Harbourside. When I am in the city, my favourite lunch spot is an authentic Italian restaurant near Castle Park, Bella Vista. I highly recommend their pizzas.

What do you like most about living in the UK?

What I like most about the UK is not only does it make it easier to travel to Europe but how convenient the city is as everything is at your fingertips from retail to cafes to food shopping. I have had the opportunity to travel to other cities in the UK like Manchester, Bath, London, Loughborough and Birmingham. I enjoyed Bath and its architecture – it is only a 45-minute train ride from Bristol.

How supportive has the teaching been? Tell us more about one of your lecturers.

Throughout my postgraduate degree, I had the pleasure of being taught by Adriana Korczak, the unit leader for Accounting and Capital Markets. Professor Adriana has gone out of her way to show her kindness by helping me with my dissertation topics and how to successfully prepare for it. Although this was not a part of her module, which I have enjoyed as well, Adriana’s assistance has put me in a better position for my dissertation. The module Accounting and Capital Markets was very interesting and informative in terms of learning the role of financial reporting: decision usefulness and stewardship. I highly recommend this module for those who enjoy financial accounting.

What careers support have you received?

The Prepare for Career Success unit has supported me through my application process for a career in auditing. It helps students with a range of things from writing a CV to preparations for interviews and assessment centres. There are also one-on-one sessions with a staff member to help review CVs and personal statements. What I have gained from the unit is a professional perspective in terms of what firms and recruiters are looking for in a graduate trainee. Additionally, I have learned how to form a CV with minimum work experience.

If there is any advice that I would give to students, it would be to take every opportunity the Prepare for Career Success unit has to offer and maintain an up-to-date CV.

What’s next for you?

The postgraduate course in Accounting and Finance at the University of Bristol has a wide variety of graduate opportunities as there will always be a demand for accountants. A postgraduate degree in Accounting and Finance will open many doors to work in just about any industry and even overseas. After my time here at the University of Bristol, I am due to start working for one of the Big Four auditing firms in the fall where I will complete my professional qualifications.

And finally, what advice would you offer to new students?

If I have any advice for students, it would be to make sure you keep up to date with your deadlines (I like to keep a planner or use an app called Notion, it is free for students), do not be afraid to ask questions, set realistic goals and simply enjoy your experience here at the University by getting to know your lecturers and meet new people.

Brianna in a Bristol park