Perseverance pays off for placement student Leslie

Accounting and Economics student Leslie Musidi is proof of the old adage that if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

The undergraduate from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) was determined to secure a placement - and his hard work coupled with assistance from the #DMUworks faculty placement team has paid off.

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He is now working as an audit intern at PKF Cooper Parry, part of PKF, one of the world's largest accounting networks.

Leslie said: "I was near to speechless when I received the phone call. After many rejections, I had landed a role which I knew I would enjoy."

The 20-year-old wanted to do a sandwich year to enhance his employability and placement co-ordinator Zul Muhammad provided valuable support.

"When it came to interviews - telephone, video and face to face - Zul did an amazing job of preparing me," said Leslie.

"The placement team really encouraged me when I was giving up after receiving so many rejections."

Leslie landed the role at PKF after a "daunting" selfie video interview and an assessment centre and is now four months into his sandwich year. Duties include testing various sections of the audit, supplier statement reconciliations and analysing budgets and expenditure in various departments.

"I have developed so many transferable skills," he said. "The programs I have been taught to use are industry-standard and I believe having that background knowledge will put me a step ahead.

"I will be more confident in graduate job interviews, as I can talk about my industry experience."

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Born in Zimbabwe, Leslie moved to the UK when he was seven, settling in Rugby. He chose to study at DMU for three main reasons.

"DMU is located perfectly in the Midlands and I saw Leicester as a city suited to students," he said. "Looking at the statistics - the student satisfaction rating and percentage of students that do a placement who graduate with a First - I was impressed with the success of its students."

He decided on his course after a chat with a DMU careers adviser. "Although I hadn't done Accounting and Economics at A-level, this was a sector I was really interested in and saw was growing," he said.

Leslie is taking advantage of all opportunities to learn.

"I have enjoyed using the Bloomberg Trading Room and understanding how the markets work," he said. "As a student who works best with feedback, I actively seek this from the friendly staff for any piece of work, so I can perform my best next time."

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Leslie was quick to respond to an invitation to attend an Insight Day for the Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship, established by multinational law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and DMU's Chancellor, Baroness Doreen Lawrence, to broaden access to careers in the City.

"It was a great opportunity to network and learn about this scholarship," said Leslie, whose extracurricular activities also include a year as communications officer for the Finance, Economics and Accounting Society and then treasurer for the Adventist Students on Campus.

"This one of the best experiences," he added. "I was able to reach out to like-minded people and those who wanted to learn about Christianity.

"It was also a role tailored to my degree, so I quickly picked up skills that I can use in industry and it also taught me how to work within a team."

Posted on Thursday 22nd November 2018

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