An Accounting and Finance graduate from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is thrilled to have secured a rewarding role with the NHS after a year-long placement there.
Preeya Parmar says the combination of hands-on experience gained during her course and pushing herself to become a Brand Ambassador for the Faculty of Business and Law prepared her for employment.
She said: "DMU allowed me to step out of my comfort zone. The array of opportunities to get involved - being a Brand Ambassador, Placement Mentor and being on placement - enabled me to speak and work with new people and increase the options available to me.
"My sandwich year was a key step in my education. It opened my eyes to my strengths and weaknesses and forced to me improve on them before I was thrown into the real world.
"It also enabled me to gain a true insight into the public sector, its financial challenges and the application of accounting and finance theory."
The 22-year-old is now a Management Accounts Assistant for East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), having been offered the role before graduating with First Class Honours in summer 2015.
As well as being the first point of contact for internal and external stakeholders regarding payments, Preeya's tasks include holding budget meetings, assisting in decision making for the cash flow forecast, reporting accurate financial positions at month end and assisting with the implementation of new procedures.
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Preeya said: "My placements, at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG, and current role have transformed me into a more mature, self-reliant and well-spoken individual with an increased motivation to succeed.
"The NHS is an excellent organisation to start my career. It is truly rewarding to be involved in new ways to make the patient experience better. There is clearly a sense of responsibility to the community instilled within staff at the NHS and it is a motivator to know that you can directly affect your local area and wider communities, for the good, through the quality of your work."
Although she misses the university lifestyle, Preeya says starting work straight away has made the transition easier.
Initially attracted to study at DMU because of its modern, vibrant business school, Preeya says her course provided her with "a solid academic grounding in accounting and finance, a brilliant learning environment and great teaching standards, with additional support where necessary".
She said: "The fact that my course was accredited by ACCA and offered me more exemptions allowed me to have enhanced academic knowledge that I can apply to various challenging situations."
Her advice to current students is to make the most of every opportunity, such as placements, volunteering or joining societies.
She said: "Pushing yourself to make things happen is a great inspiration and an amazing learning curve and I have definitely learnt that short-term pain can really lead to long-term gain."
Posted on Thursday 10th March 2016