One of the first lessons I learnt when I qualified as an accountant was how different studying the theory of auditing was, to walking into a client’s office and trying to work the auditing software.
It is such moments in your early career that you realise the shift between ‘learning’ and ‘doing’.
Tomorrow, the Business School, PwC (PwC) and awarding body ICAEW, will celebrate its ten year anniversary of the ‘Flying Start programme’, a business, accounting and finance degree: a course that has had a decade of experience in merging ‘the learning’ with ‘the doing’.
The course is a long-standing example of how fusing theory and practice benefit the student proficiency of a subject. There is no denying that good work experience only benefits future career prospects.
The importance of this to the Business School is paramount, but it also raises interesting questions about what employers expect of graduates in today’s competitive job market, and what we can do to meet these needs.
Delivered by a team of academics and PwC, the Flying Start programme is a four year degree that enables students to put classroom theory into commercial practice on placement, and relates practical experience back to studies.
The degree affords students with an insight to the world of work, providing them with a great opportunity to harness the practical skills needed, with their own knowledge-base gained from within a lecture theatre.
In my position as a degree programme director, I have spoken to many employers about what they want to see in a graduate: one who can ‘hit the ground running’, a good level of industry, with team work and communication skills.
Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are charged with the brief to create students who are prepared for the demands of the workplace – something that the Business School has been dedicated to achieving, and meeting such needs through programmes like Flying Start.
HEIs are moving away from the ‘chalk and talk’ educational experience to far more innovative and practical ways to impart knowledge: it’s an exciting time for the Business School and we are looking forward to the next 10 years.
Dr Simon Parry, Degree Programme Director BA (Hons) Business, Accounting and Finance