Max Smith, student, Accounting and FinanceAfter receiving an unconditional offer, Max was drawn to LSBU for its central London location and career opportunities: “LSBU is in such a great spot in the heart of the capital. There is so much on the doorstep”
Max Smith is an ambitious second year BA Accounting and Finance student. He chose to relocate from the Welsh countryside to explore his options and network to build a successful career.
After receiving an unconditional offer, Max was drawn to LSBU for its central London location and career opportunities: “LSBU is in such a great spot in the heart of the capital. There is so much on the doorstep.”
Now in his second year, Max has really immersed himself into the University: “I like the community feel. Even though there are thousands of students here, you are always bumping into people you know and that’s a really nice feeling."
Max is a student who has seen the campus changing since starting, including the new Business School building: “The Business School is really nice. I hope the rest of the University will develop to look and feel like this." He particularly appreciates the detail and development of digital lecture capture and how the staff seem very keen and willing to help: “They will go the extra mile. There’s a lot of opportunities available to you if you want them."
Deciding on a career
Max wasn’t completely sure on what his long-term goals for a career were until starting his degree at LSBU. He notes that “the teaching of the financial accounting fundamentals, management accounting and employability skills for accountants, enables me to explore more career opportunities."
Students on the BA Accounting and Finance course are exposed to SAGE, which is the UK’s most widely used accounts software, something Max found of great value: “The course workload is manageable and very career focused. We learn about SAGE during the first semester of the second year, which is great as this is what I will need to be using in my graduate job as soon as I finish here."
“I like the people here. The lecturers are amazing and from all over the place. A lot of them have industry experience which is great." On his course, Max has lectures of larger groups and seminars of smaller groups; a mix he says he enjoys: “It’s great as there are so many people to get involved with. But seminars are nice too as they allow you to really get to know people."
Aside from his degree, Max has taken on a plethora of extracurricular activities whilst at LSBU. He became a Student Ambassador for the University after finding classmates mention it: “I found out about the role through a flatmate, and the Business School promotes the opportunity too." He applied and completed the interview process successfully and recently presented at an Open Day: “It's great to be able to share my LSBU experience and what we offer to prospective students."
The Business Solutions Centre offer a service for local businesses to help them with their marketing, accounting and branding. For LSBU students, it offers a chance to gain real world business experience. As a Student Advisor for our Business Solutions Centre, Max is supervised to apply his learning and knowledge from his studies to gain experience in helping local businesses with their accounting.
The Business School is the only school in the University that has its own employability team in addition to the University-wide Employability Team. This means that Max has benefited from the School’s Career Advisors, Lyn Hamblin and Trudi Hamer, who have helped Max search for a part time role to fit around his studies and his extracurricular activities. He is currently working part-time in a high street accountancy as an Administrative Accountant, working in admin and book-keeping: “It’s great work experience and really contextualises my theoretical studies."
During his first year, Max lived in the Student Halls building, Maclaren. He became good friends with the Halls Ambassadors, who are interviewed to be a point of contact for students in their halls accommodation block, should they have anything they'd like to raise. They encouraged him to apply towards the end of his first year and, now one himself, Max supports managers and staff in the evenings and is on call at night: “I really enjoy it. It’s another great way to meet people." He has also stepped out of his comfort zone and started a Maclaren Running Club and has since taken part in a few half marathons - “I never did this back home!”
Similarly, in the first year, Max attended the Freshers Fair and joined the Student Union and football team. He became President of the football club in the first year, which spurred him on to run for University Student Governor and Chair of Union Council. The role includes chairing union council, a monthly forum of all elected representatives to hold our officers to account and ensure all proceedings are fair and democratic. “As student Governor I will sit on the University board of Governors as the student voice conveying the views of our students. There are two student governors, the president of the SU and the Chair of Union council, who is the only student governor actually studying alongside the role."
He is also currently a member of the Institute of Directors (IoD) student membership programme which enables him to attend IoD networking events in Central London and the City and visit the headquarters in Pall Mall: “Networking can be daunting so it’s nice to be part of something and get out of your comfort zone."
Max already has a lot of goals for the short and long term. Whilst here, his aim is to graduate with a 1st class degree ant to get a good graduate job. “I want to meet people and start a network in London for life," he says. He also wants to complete a CIMA qualification and become a chartered accountant. His long-term goal is to work in a finance company in the city and join the investment banking sector.