Why mentoring is important to Accounting and Finance students

Tomas Briggs - BSc Accounting and Finance studentMentoring is embedded within the curriculum with our Accounting and Finance in Context unit. In this blog, BSc Accounting and Finance student, Tomas Briggs tells us more about what he has learnt from this unit, which has been co-developed by the University of Bristol Business School and the faculty’s Professional Liaison Network (PLN).

Firstly, who mentored you?

My mentor was Xanthe Judge, an Associate Director at RSM UK, a leading global provider of audit, tax and consulting services to middle market leaders.

What did you learn from the unit and the mentoring experience?

I have learnt that I didn’t actually know as much about being an accountant as I thought I did! Both accountancy and finance are ever changing and developing fields with many different avenues and directions that one can take within them.

What were the main benefits you feel you gained from the mentoring experience?

I believe that the main benefit I have gained from the mentoring experience is that it has helped me solidify and clearly lay out a plan for the start of my career. From speaking to friends on other courses, I know how much of a privilege it is to have a good idea of what I want to do once I leave the University, and the mentoring experience has certainly played a part in this. Now I can continue my studies with focus and direction.

What were the highlights or most enjoyable aspects of the mentoring scheme/unit?

I particularly enjoyed learning about the role of the accountant within sustainability and planning for a better future. I had a vague interest in sustainability before but, thanks to this unit, it has become something that is very important to me. Having also spoken to my mentor about these topics, I am now more aware of its growing importance in the industry and it is something that I am looking forward to being involved with in the future.

What did you find most challenging about the unit or mentoring experience?

Learning in a team environment. It made me initially sceptical towards the unit, and at times it was uncomfortable, but it ended up being one of the most significant learning points due to its challenge. Once I adapted my learning style and the team started working together to learn the material, being exposed to different ideas and viewpoints was extremely valuable.

What do you plan to do after graduating?

I’m hoping to secure an audit graduate scheme role in an accounting firm to gain an ACA qualification.

How do you feel about your future and your next steps after taking part in the unit and the mentoring scheme?

I’m far more confident about my future; I know what steps to take and I now feel that I have a more clear direction in which I want to follow.