Ask a Student: Accounting & Business ( Flying Start Degree with PwC)

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UniofReading
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#1
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#1
Coming next week ( 13th-17th December) we have two fourth year students that will be on hand to answer all your questions about what studying Accounting & Business Flying Start Degree with PwC is like. Please feel free to add any questions you have here and we will answer them over the course of the week.
Last edited by UniofReading; 5 months ago
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UniofReading
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#2
Hi everyone. Reece and Taher are 4th Year students on the Flying Start Programme at the University of Reading and will be replying to any messages Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week and answering questions that you have about the BA Accounting

For me there were 3 distinct reasons why I decided to choose the flying start program.
1. It offers you the most exemptions possible from chartered accounting exams. When you graduate from the flying start degree you have 12 exemptions whereas the most you can get otherwise from university is 8. Essentially the degree puts you as close to being a chartered accountant as you can be fresh out of university.

This was important for me because in accounting being a chartered accountant is the ‘gold standard’ employers tend to look for as a pose to having a degree because the chartered qualification is equivalent to a Master’s.

2. You have work placements with PwC integrated into your academic year and a near certain job when you graduate. This has a few benefits.
• PwC is one of the big 4 which of course looks great on your CV (and you don’t have to source your own placement like you do for other placements).
• Your placements are paid which I’m sure I don’t need to explain is a good thing as a student!
• You don’t have to deal with the hassle of applying for graduate jobs in the graduate market.
• The placements are built into your academic year, so you still have your 3-month summer holiday, Christmas, and Easter to do whatever you want.

3. You still get that typical university experience. You can meet lots of new people, party (if that’s for you), live out and have lots of new experiences in a new town.

Tips on applying:

You apply through UCAS because first and foremost it is a university course. Once you’ve applied to the right course (UCAS code NN41, which can be found on Reading Uni’s website) you will be invited for an interview and assessment day if you meet the initial grade requirements.

Interview:
• Be prepared with answers to some common questions such as: what’s your biggest weakness (please don’t say you don’t have one!), what are some of your strengths, when was a time you had to be really organised, what was a situation you found really challenging, what do you know about the course etc
• Make a notes page on your phone / laptop / paper with the questions and answers and just have a look at it often so you are comfortable with what you can say. Also practice just speaking it out loud to yourself to become more comfortable aswell.
• Have a recent business story / issue that you can talk about in a bit of detail as that should be one of the questions. For example, I talked about problems with the electrification of the motor vehicle industry because there was a lot of news about it at the time. But I know a lot of people talked about Brexit or the collapse of Carillion because that was relevant at the time too. Also, have an answer to show how you have an interest in business and stay up to date with business affairs (such as reading bbc news business sections etc or even having an economist / FT subscription).

Assessment day
• Saying assessment day sounds scary but really (in my case) it just meant going to the university to have a look around the campus and meet like-minded individuals who were potentially studying the course too. So, there’s no need to stress about it too much.
• Essentially, you are given a fictitious company and told some of their objectives set by the board. They are not challenging on a technical level so if you’ve never done accounting, economics, or a similar course before then you will still be fine. It’s more important that you demonstrate you can work well as part of a team. So, if some members are being quite quiet and not getting involved try to kindly involve them in the discussion and value everyone’s opinion. Just show that you can work well in a team and stay organised.
• And of course, finally, always remain professional and don’t do anything silly or inappropriate on the day. PwC could likely be your future employer so make a good impression.

Hope that helps and please feel free to ask any questions.

Reece, 4th Year Student ( BA Accounting & Business ( Flying Start Programme with PwC)
Last edited by UniofReading; 5 months ago
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UniofReading
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#3
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#3
Today I am going to talk about Placements on the Flying Start Course

How many placements you have and the duration
What you do on the placement
How do you decide which office you go to

This course has 3 placements of 3 months, 3 months, and 4.5 months in your 2nd, 3rd and 4th year respectively. They are placed within the busy season, which is Jan – April, where most companies have financial year-ends and hence deadlines approach quite fast, and work does get challenging.

At placement, typically we sit in the Audit/ Assurance sector, whereby our aim is to evaluate and scrutinize, clients’ financial statements, objectively, to ensure that they comply with the relevant accounting principles and guidelines and give a true and fair representation of the client’s business activities. We typically involve ourselves in dividing different parts of a financial statement within the team, and then pick samples or relevant transactions that need to be tested, to see whether they occurred, or if the values mentioned on them were correct. We do this by asking for source documentations or support to ensure their numbers are valid. This work is both challenging, and requires a lot of ethics, as we deal with very confidential data that could have repercussions if leaked.

I was presented with a list of offices within UK, and was presented with where these offices are based, what their client bases are, and what would be the requirements and expectations there. I chose the Birmingham office, as I grew up in a big city, and to me, it was about having a multicultural and metropolitan environment, with a variety of clients such as those that were in manufacturing and FMCG. I spoke to various people in the business and discussed my future opportunities and how my office location could help gain exposure to a particular type of clients, and that is how I made a firm decision. In these selection processes, you need to pick a total of 5 offices, ranked in order of preference from 1 to 5, and present a short summary on why those locations each would be ideal for you. This then goes through a selection criterion, and thereby a decision is made from the business.

During my placements, I received a lot of skills and learning, I got formal training from PwC, as well as learned a lot on the job, such as how to negotiate with a client, or how to communicate with your colleagues. I had very long hours during the busy season, and I got support from the university, in terms of revision lectures and individual study time, once placement ended, so that we weren’t burdened to be studying all throughout our placement. I absolutely loved the fact that I was able to apply all my theoretical knowledge into the real world and my work life.


Please feel free to ask me any questions.

Taher, 4th Year BA Accounting & Business ( Flying Start Programme with PwC)
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UniofReading
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#4
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#4
Today I will talking about student life.

How many contact hours of lecturers and seminars do you have?
Favourite modules?
How is the course assessed?
Is there time to have a part time job?
What clubs and societies did you join?

In terms of student life, we had varying contact hours year on year, for example, our first year had about 15-20 hours of contact time, but it reduced to 8 hours per week by the end of our fourth year. This depends on how many modules we had during the academic year. We also had a lot of interesting activities such as group projects, and presentations, which was essentially studies conducted by ourselves, alone, or as a team, outside the classroom.

I had many favorite modules, such as the 3 modules for taxation, were so much fun since the lecturer always thought of new ways to teach us, used visuals, and also helped us understand through practical and real-world scenarios. I also particularly enjoyed this group project for my Ethics module where we had to discuss whether mandatory vaccinations were ethical or not.
This course has ICAEW exemptions and therefore is assessed in line with their guidelines, we receive study materials and questions banks to practice from, at the university. Most of our ICAEW Exemptions have primarily been tested as exams, except for one or two, where 10-20% includes small MCQ tests or group work/ essays.

You may wonder if I did get any time despite the heavy requirements of this course, and yes, I got plenty of time for part time jobs, and I primarily worked within the university itself, as an ambassador for the student recruitment team, held open days, gave campus tours, etc. I usually set aside time for my classes, some individual revision, coursework, and sports. All the time I got aside from these commitments, was spent on doing various different kinds of part time jobs, and I was fortunate that the university job was a zero – hour contract, and hence I worked only when I had the time or wanted to.

Aside from this, I benefit from the great social activities at the university, such as clubs and societies, whereby I got to meet various people, and do different activities. I joined the Hindu society, whereby I was elected as the welfare representative, and I also represented them for KHO-KHO and Badminton at the national level. I also joined the Christian society, which held plenty of events with speakers from outside, who would give eye-opening speeches about mindfulness and how our living could be so impactful if we took the right steps for it.

All in all, I had a wonderful experience, and I would like to call it holistic since it involved both, academic and extracurricular activities. At no point in time did I need to think that I did not have time for myself, or that I felt that the course was too rigorous for me.

Please feel free to ask me any questions.

Taher, 4th Year BA Accounting & Business ( Flying Start Programme with PwC)
Last edited by UniofReading; 5 months ago
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Shazeed123
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#5
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#5
(Original post by UniofReading)
Hi everyone. Reece and Taher are 4th Year students on the Flying Start Programme at the University of Reading and will be replying to any messages Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week and answering questions that you have about the BA Accounting

For me there were 3 distinct reasons why I decided to choose the flying start program.
1. It offers you the most exemptions possible from chartered accounting exams. When you graduate from the flying start degree you have 12 exemptions whereas the most you can get otherwise from university is 8. Essentially the degree puts you as close to being a chartered accountant as you can be fresh out of university.

This was important for me because in accounting being a chartered accountant is the ‘gold standard’ employers tend to look for as a pose to having a degree because the chartered qualification is equivalent to a Master’s.

2. You have work placements with PwC integrated into your academic year and a near certain job when you graduate. This has a few benefits.
• PwC is one of the big 4 which of course looks great on your CV (and you don’t have to source your own placement like you do for other placements).
• Your placements are paid which I’m sure I don’t need to explain is a good thing as a student!
• You don’t have to deal with the hassle of applying for graduate jobs in the graduate market.
• The placements are built into your academic year, so you still have your 3-month summer holiday, Christmas, and Easter to do whatever you want.

3. You still get that typical university experience. You can meet lots of new people, party (if that’s for you), live out and have lots of new experiences in a new town.

Tips on applying:

You apply through UCAS because first and foremost it is a university course. Once you’ve applied to the right course (UCAS code NN41, which can be found on Reading Uni’s website) you will be invited for an interview and assessment day if you meet the initial grade requirements.

Interview:
• Be prepared with answers to some common questions such as: what’s your biggest weakness (please don’t say you don’t have one!), what are some of your strengths, when was a time you had to be really organised, what was a situation you found really challenging, what do you know about the course etc
• Make a notes page on your phone / laptop / paper with the questions and answers and just have a look at it often so you are comfortable with what you can say. Also practice just speaking it out loud to yourself to become more comfortable aswell.
• Have a recent business story / issue that you can talk about in a bit of detail as that should be one of the questions. For example, I talked about problems with the electrification of the motor vehicle industry because there was a lot of news about it at the time. But I know a lot of people talked about Brexit or the collapse of Carillion because that was relevant at the time too. Also, have an answer to show how you have an interest in business and stay up to date with business affairs (such as reading bbc news business sections etc or even having an economist / FT subscription).

Assessment day
• Saying assessment day sounds scary but really (in my case) it just meant going to the university to have a look around the campus and meet like-minded individuals who were potentially studying the course too. So, there’s no need to stress about it too much.
• Essentially, you are given a fictitious company and told some of their objectives set by the board. They are not challenging on a technical level so if you’ve never done accounting, economics, or a similar course before then you will still be fine. It’s more important that you demonstrate you can work well as part of a team. So, if some members are being quite quiet and not getting involved try to kindly involve them in the discussion and value everyone’s opinion. Just show that you can work well in a team and stay organised.
• And of course, finally, always remain professional and don’t do anything silly or inappropriate on the day. PwC could likely be your future employer so make a good impression.

Hope that helps and please feel free to ask any questions.

Reece, 4th Year Student ( BA Accounting & Business ( Flying Start Programme with PwC)
Hey Reece,
I have applied for the flying start accounting for 2022 and have cleared the game based assessment. I had given my video interview on thursday but have not received any response as of now yet. In How much time is pwc expected to get back to me? and how should i stay relieved that my interview went well till the time pwc doesnt get back to me? Also should i write a follow up email to pwc enquiring about the progress on my video interview? And also, does pwc send rejection emails. BTW I am an international student. I would be grateful if my questions are addressed and all sorts of answers from anybody would be highly appreciated.
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Shazeed123
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#6
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#6
(Original post by UniofReading)
Today I will talking about student life.

How many contact hours of lecturers and seminars do you have?
Favourite modules?
How is the course assessed?
Is there time to have a part time job?
What clubs and societies did you join?

In terms of student life, we had varying contact hours year on year, for example, our first year had about 15-20 hours of contact time, but it reduced to 8 hours per week by the end of our fourth year. This depends on how many modules we had during the academic year. We also had a lot of interesting activities such as group projects, and presentations, which was essentially studies conducted by ourselves, alone, or as a team, outside the classroom.

I had many favorite modules, such as the 3 modules for taxation, were so much fun since the lecturer always thought of new ways to teach us, used visuals, and also helped us understand through practical and real-world scenarios. I also particularly enjoyed this group project for my Ethics module where we had to discuss whether mandatory vaccinations were ethical or not.
This course has ICAEW exemptions and therefore is assessed in line with their guidelines, we receive study materials and questions banks to practice from, at the university. Most of our ICAEW Exemptions have primarily been tested as exams, except for one or two, where 10-20% includes small MCQ tests or group work/ essays.

You may wonder if I did get any time despite the heavy requirements of this course, and yes, I got plenty of time for part time jobs, and I primarily worked within the university itself, as an ambassador for the student recruitment team, held open days, gave campus tours, etc. I usually set aside time for my classes, some individual revision, coursework, and sports. All the time I got aside from these commitments, was spent on doing various different kinds of part time jobs, and I was fortunate that the university job was a zero – hour contract, and hence I worked only when I had the time or wanted to.

Aside from this, I benefit from the great social activities at the university, such as clubs and societies, whereby I got to meet various people, and do different activities. I joined the Hindu society, whereby I was elected as the welfare representative, and I also represented them for KHO-KHO and Badminton at the national level. I also joined the Christian society, which held plenty of events with speakers from outside, who would give eye-opening speeches about mindfulness and how our living could be so impactful if we took the right steps for it.

All in all, I had a wonderful experience, and I would like to call it holistic since it involved both, academic and extracurricular activities. At no point in time did I need to think that I did not have time for myself, or that I felt that the course was too rigorous for me.

Please feel free to ask me any questions.

Taher, 4th Year BA Accounting & Business ( Flying Start Programme with PwC)
Hey Taher,
just wanted to ask that after clearing all the assessments is it pwc who selects the university for us or we do that by ourselves? and which uni in your opinion is the best for the flying four?
I have not seen many people emerging as Flying four students from the University of manchester, is there any specific reason to that or it is merely a coincidence? What are the chances for international students. And whats the salary during the placement and how much does it suffice in covering tution and living costs.

Will be glad to hear back from you for assistance.
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rabiii07
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#7
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#7
Where are you from and moreover how much time did university take to send you an acceptance letter?
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Shazeed123
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#8
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#8
(Original post by rabiii07)
Where are you from and moreover how much time did university take to send you an acceptance letter?
I am an international candidate and it took 2 weeks for the uni to give me an offer to start the pwc application process.
Last edited by Shazeed123; 4 months ago
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rabiii07
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#9
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#9
Brother im also an international applicant and due to hardluck my ucas application did got wrong. So if you could help me a little bit acknowledging about the university and the course , i would be glad.
Thanks
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Anonymous #1
#10
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#10
Thank you for doing this great information. Could i please ask what the intake is - how many are in your class? Do you know how many apply for this degree?
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rabiii07
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#11
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#11
Im going for sep2022 intake .
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Shazeed123
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#12
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#12
(Original post by rabiii07)
Brother im also an international applicant and due to hardluck my ucas application did got wrong. So if you could help me a little bit acknowledging about the university and the course , i would be glad.
Thanks
Where are you from and how many stages of your application process have you managed to complete?
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rabiii07
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#13
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#13
Im from India. Moreover i dont know anything about the stages of application . Please brief me
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Shazeed123
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#14
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#14
(Original post by rabiii07)
Im from India. Moreover i dont know anything about the stages of application . Please brief me
Oh nice, where from India? You could look up the details on the pwc website, it;s quite self explanatory
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rabiii07
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#15
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#15
Are you accepted for the course? Moreover what about the assessment and video interview
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Shazeed123
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#16
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#16
(Original post by rabiii07)
Are you accepted for the course? Moreover what about the assessment and video interview
I got accepted to only start the application process and completed till the video interview, wby?
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Shazeed123
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#17
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#17
(Original post by rabiii07)
Are you accepted for the course? Moreover what about the assessment and video interview
where r u from india. and which board do u do
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rabiii07
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#18
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#18
I have video assessments on feb and im from kashmir j&k state board
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Shazeed123
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#19
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#19
(Original post by rabiii07)
I have video assessments on feb and im from kashmir j&k state board
oh, all the best, which unis did u apply to and where do aim to mainly go
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rabiii07
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#20
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#20
I would like to ask where are you from? And which univ you applied
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