Victoria Mortimer (BSc Business Economics 2008)

Victoria Mortimer

There were many reasons why I chose to come to Leeds. Firstly I was attracted to the Business School because of its reputation as one of the top business schools and also it was one of the few universities to offer Business Economics.

I came to look round the Business School at an open day and was really impressed with the variety of courses on offer. I was particularly attracted by the opportunities available to study abroad and work in industry. I also liked the flexibility on elective modules. For example, I was able to try a Spanish elective which I would not have been able to do at other universities. I think this is a great idea, particularly for people who are torn between degrees in completely different areas, and where a joint honours degree might not be available. Flexible electives mean you can major in a certain area, whilst keeping an interest in another topic area.

I particularly enjoyed the Economics of Business and Corporate Strategy module. It really interested me and was well taught by Dan Coffey who is a really helpful and hands on lecturer.

I felt that there was a really high calibre of student at Leeds and that the Business School had attracted some really talented and intelligent individuals. Similarly, I felt that the Business School was well staffed and that there were a number of highly regarded academics. I think the level of academic support is very high. We were made aware of the student support officer right from the start, so we had someone to go to if we have a problem.

The Leeds University Union is really advanced...I'm sure it's one of the biggest university student unions around, so it should definitely be taken advantage of! When I was involved with the Business Society, they provided remarkable support and clearly have years of experience in helping students.

My main advice to students would be to try and get involved right from the start. Whether this is in sports, a society or just going out with friends. I have been involved with the Union's volunteer group, Action, there are lots of activities, ranging from entertaining children to taking older citizens out for the day.

Studying at Leeds University Business School definitely made me feel like anything was possible in terms of my career aspirations. In particular, the compulsory careers modules in my first year were invaluable in getting me thinking about my career and providing me with the skills needed in employment. For example, one of the first pieces of work was to construct a CV. Until this module, I did not have a strong CV and this could have seriously hindered my chances of securing a job interview. I think Leeds recognise that an early focus on your career can really pay off when the time comes to apply for jobs in your second and third years. I secured two summer internships whilst at Leeds and think that this early introduction to career focus was the driving force behind them.

I knew that I wanted to go straight into employment upon leaving University, rather than taking a gap year. I applied for the position at Deloitte in my final year and had secured the job offer by March. There were only 2 positions in my chosen department so I felt lucky that I was able to secure one of them. Since joining Deloitte I have been promoted and I currently work for Corporate Finance in their Transaction Services department. I have almost completed my ACA exams towards becoming a chartered accountant. This is a sought after and world-wide recognised qualification, so I will feel really proud to have achieved it.

From a technical point of view, my degree has really helped me when studying for my ACA qualification. For example, I did a financial accounting module at Leeds which gave me a grasp of the basics of accounting. The Business and Corporate strategy modules also really helped me with the Business Strategy ACA exam.

In the short term my aim is to complete my ACA exams and become fully qualified. I would also like to be promoted again and aim to be a manager within Deloitte by 2012. After that, I would be interested in either working abroad or doing a secondment somewhere in industry. 

I think the Business School compares really favourably to other universities. I felt confident putting down Leeds University Business School on my job applications, and its popularity and calibre of student is a testament to its success. I would recommend the Business School to others and encourage them to really take advantage of everything the University and the Business School has to offer to ensure they get a rounded experience. For example ERASMUS, work placements, the careers centre, the Union and joining societies. (As well as enjoying the great city of Leeds!)

I would definitely advise current students to utilise the careers centre as much as possible! It is a great careers centre and there is a lot more going on there than you think. The website is great and allows you to search for any upcoming talks or drop in days with various employers, which can really prove vital when applying for jobs. I met several contacts by visiting the careers centre, and the one from Deloitte proved invaluable during my application process.

Leeds is a great place to be a student. You can get a great degree whilst the social aspects equally make it an appealing choice.