South & City College Birmingham were proud to host visitors from Deloitte, one of the ‘Big Four’ accounting and audit firms. Audit Partner Stewart Cumberbatch and Audit Assistant Manager Syed Bilal Shah came to give a talk at our Digbeth campus for our L2-4 business / accounting students. They shared their personal journeys, broke down the accountancy industry and bust myths for our students.
“We came here today to give a background on what the accounting field is,” said Syed. “And what auditing is, and how Deloitte is going to be progressing in that field. We’re looking to attract new talent, new people who can join us in the future and help us achieve our goals – in roles that also provide a level of exposure to the market and gives international exposure.”
Deloitte is a leading professional services firm and part of a global network (in the UK alone, Deloitte has 20,000 professionals across 50 offices around the country). There’s a skill shortage in the UK and Deloitte is looking to attract new talent and show the exciting reality of working in the industry.
Syed was from a small town in Pakistan and worked up to a big firm in Karachi. Our students were excited about the challenges of international accountancy and asked about language issues, taxation, cultural differences and work life balance.
Stewart was born in Birmingham, parents from a tiny house in Barbados, and worked up to become the first black Deloitte audit partner. He shared the lessons he’d learned for success about staying humble, seeking help and having strong values.
MYTH #1 – Accountancy is Boring
FACT: There’s lots of international travel, exciting clients, opportunities for growth and socialising.
MYTH #2 – Accountants are good at Numbers
FACT: 99% of the job is about communications and relationships, including finding specialists to do the hard maths. This one shocked a lot of our students!
MYTH #3 – Accountants need to be highly qualified in Maths
FACT: For Deloitte, having a GCSE in maths is the minimum for entry level.
MYTH #4 – Accountancy is for Uni grads
FACT: Deloitte offers paths for school leavers as early as year 10, entry level / BrightStart Apprenticeships, an ASPIRE path for A Level equivalent and many more. Despite the background or pathway, most start in the same place on the internal training scheme.
Here’s another fact – our Birmingham employers continue to go to the next level to give our students the best chance at succeeding. Professional talks like this will provide a real leg-up for South & City College Birmingham students. Thank you, Stewart, Syed and Deloitte!
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