Emily Catterson outside on the Western Campus, Leeds University Business School

Emily Catterson

How did you hear about Leeds University Business School and why did you choose to study here?

I heard about Leeds University Business School through recommendations and University league table rankings. I chose to study here because of the high quality teaching within the Business School. The opportunities available to students here are great to gain experience and improve employability. Also I found the links that the Business School has with employers were really attractive to me when deciding where to study.

What is the best part of your studies? What are you enjoying the most?

My favourite part of my studies is the Business Analytics module which allows me to learn how to use software such as MySQL and KNIME, which are used every day by analysts. I really feel like I'm learning practical skills which I can hone in my placement year and benefit from seeing the academic theory applied to real business situations.

What are your career aspirations? Do you think the experience and skills you will gain from your degree course will help you in your future career plans? In what way?

My career aspirations are to become a business analyst. I’m currently particularly interested in technology risk within business. Without a doubt the skills and experience I've gained from my degree course will help me in the future. When applying for placement year jobs, my skills and knowledge will set me aside from other candidates, especially for analyst roles.

Have you taken up any of the extra opportunities available to you and what was your experience of these?

I am PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) Leader for Business Analytics and really enjoy this. I think PASS is really important for first year students, however, it has also been an opportunity for me to improve my communication, organisation and mentor skills. I am also the Admissions Intern for Business Analytics which requires me to work alongside the other interns to develop student-led communications for prospective students. I also work at our Open Days and Visit Days to help promote my course, the Business School and the University of Leeds in general.

What is your impression/experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the student union, the City of Leeds and the Yorkshire region?

I love the Business School and think that all the staff are fantastic. They are all really passionate about their subject areas and are always keen to support you and ensure you can reach your academic potential.

Leeds University Union has fantastic facilities and the recent refurbishment is great! I love the City of Leeds, everyone is so friendly and helpful and the city has so many great places to visit with plenty of culture.

Are there any other experiences outside of your studies that you have particularly enjoyed? eg participation in extra-curricular activities or groups, nightlife, the region's historic places of interest? What would you recommend to future students?

I am part of the Leeds University Korfball society which is a great sport which was new to me before University! I am also part of LUBS Soc (Leeds University Business School Society) which has great networking events and regular socials. I love the social life in Leeds, it’s so diverse there really is something for everyone.

What were your roles and responsibilities on your year in industry?

I assisted forensic investigations at PwC. I conducted analysis of internal communications, contracts, and financial documents. I have also assisted in gathering and analysing interviews of employees involved in allegations. Once we have gathered our evidence and carried out the investigation we issue the client a report with our findings and potential next steps, which can lead to major restructuring in firms. The type of client can range from global investigations into high profile firms to smaller regional businesses.

 What support did you receive from the Business School / University before and during your placement?

The Business School provided good support whilst applying for placements. I attended a number of networking and careers events which gave me contacts at various firms I was looking to apply to. I attended a recruitment workshop in the business school ran by PwC which definitely assisted me when completing the application process for my placement.

 Would you recommend taking a year in industry to someone else?

I would definitely recommend a year in industry to other students. I have gained so many skills and my confidence has hugely increased. I am able to manage, organise and work more efficiently. I have formed so many professional relationships and grown my network. Aside from my personal skill development, it has given the opportunity to my put my learning into practice which I feel has been useful and beneficial for my final year of study. I am planning to return to PwC in the same role as I really enjoy the work and the firm's values.

Would you recommend the Business School to others who are considering studying here?

Yes I would definitely recommend the Business School to others who are considering studying here. It has extremely high teaching standards and facilities.