Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard

Jade Street (Ac.F second year student)

I am now in my 4th week of 2nd year Accounting and Finance (ACF) and I’m loving it. It’s been a roller coaster ride of a few weeks, they have just whizzed by. Now I’m stopping to reflect on these weeks and realizing just how lucky I am to go to Lancaster University. Every day, I learn something new and widen the breadth of my knowledge, it’s so rewarding.

Whenever I tell someone I’m doing Accounting and Finance, I get a range of replies from “oh wow” to “how do you make your brain work that way”. It is such an impressive degree to do especially at a university as reputable as Lancaster (ranked 2nd for ACF and ranked in the top 10 in all major UK league tables), which is why I am so proud to be a part of it all.

I’m not going to say it’s an easy degree to do as it is tough, I find it hard but degrees are supposed to be challenging, if they were easy they wouldn’t be as sought after by companies or as desirable as they are now. My advice would be to give 100% and work hard as the satisfaction you feel when you do well in a tutorial or answer questions in a lecture is invaluable. ‘Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard’ (Tim Notke).

I am also the ICAEW campus ambassador, this means I get to represent the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. This is an amazing experience as I learn more about the company, develop my marketing skills whilst working with such a reputable firm, plus it looks great on my CV. To do this, I had to go to London for the day, I met people from all different Universities and made treasurable connections. Another benefit is that I get access to the University student scheme which allows me to start participating in the ICAEW modules whilst at university which usually costs £20. I have immersed myself in all of my modules and thrown myself into 2nd year, volunteering and representing LUMS (Lancaster University Management School) as a student ambassador. I’m also currently trying to start up an Accounting and Finance society.

Top tip: Try to get involved in societies or volunteering, try to get a position in the society as this will aid you with your career as it looks appealing to employers when looking at your CV

Talking of modules, I am currently doing 4 this term, ACF 214 Principles of Finance, ACF 211 Accounting Information Systems and Auditing, ENSI 207 Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship and MSCI 212 Statistical Methods for Business. That’s what I love about Lancaster University, you aren’t restricted to Accounting and Finance, you can expand into modules from other degrees. You aren’t limited or constricted, you are free to learn whatever you are passionate about.

In my Entrepreneurship module, I am interviewing an entrepreneur to find out about their biggest challenges and sacrifices they have made to be an entrepreneur. We even get a lecture from entrepreneurs each week which is truly inspirational finding about their journeys and hurdles they have had to overcome.

In my ACF 211 lectures, I have been learning about fraud and internal controls in business. This is especially interesting as there are real case studies where there have been massive scandals such as with Enron or the Ponzi scheme where the size of the fraud was estimated at $65 billion. Learning about the case studies really puts fraud into perspective and shows that it does happen in the real world.

In my ACF 214 Principles of Finance, I find the tutorials to be extremely helpful. When I attempt the questions on my own, I sometimes don’t fully understand them so have questions regarding certain equations to use etc. whereas when I go to the tutorial it really clarifies the lectures and I feel they are invaluable sessions. We are currently learning about capital markets and the pricing of risk. I find finance a challenge so when I get more involved in lectures and tutorials, it is truly enriching and I feel that I have really achieved something at the end of each one.

Top tip: Attend all of your workshops, if you have to miss one for some extreme circumstances, email your tutor asking if there is another session you can go to. Warn them in good time that you can’t make it to that particular session.

In MSCI 212, we currently have coursework due soon so I am well on my way with that. I have always loved statistics having done it at GCSE, at A-level and during my Mathematics minor in first year and now in MSCI 212!!! It’s great. I have never worked with SPSS which is a statistical analysis software package, getting used to using this has been quite tricky but puts a new edge on the statistics that I have learnt in the past making it a much more enjoyable experience as it’s combining my past knowledge of statistics and IT skills with something completely new and alien to me.

Bring on next week J

Every accomplishment starts and ends with hard work, if it wasn’t hard work, everyone would do it

You may not be there yet but you are closer than you were yesterday