Published: 13th February 2014
A STUDENT society renowned for creating job and placement opportunities has been named as the best in the country.
The Accounting, Finance and Economics Society was crowned the number one student group by PQ Magazine, praised for its networking events with firms such as Bank of New York Mellon, Barclays and PwC.
Currently run by a trio of students, the society brings in guest speakers with popular lectures attracting more than 100 people and countless more for face-to-face networking chats with potential employers.
President Chris Vickers, a third year Economics student, believes employability is a major part of the Society’s mission.
He explains: “We host the events for people looking for a placement or even a graduate scheme, depending on what year they’re in. People have been offered these before from the events where students can chat to the employers in a more informal setting.”
Fellow students Sanam Razaq, a second year Accounting and Finance undergraduate, and Farah Akhtar, who is studying for a Financial Services, Planning and Management degree, also run the group, helping to put on more than 40 events during the year.
“The staff are brilliant,” said Sanam. “They are very supportive and really help with the Society. They publicise it at lectures and send out email alerts. If you come to the university, you will have heard of us.
“You need to have different experiences these days - employers are looking for something different. Being involved in a Society like this has given us so many extra skills.”
The AFE Society was up against stiff opposition from other groups but triumphed at the PQ Magazine Awards, a magazine for ‘part-qualified’ accountants and financial sector students.
And it seems the reputation preceded it at the London ceremony, according to the students. The Society was known to the high-flying guests as many had already been welcomed to the Business School as speakers.
Senior lecturer Hannah-Louise Witchard believes the weekly meetings help to create a ‘sense of community’ on the degree courses, as well as boosting employability skills.
She added: “The Society has created opportunities through the networking events and skills sessions for students to obtain interviews and secure graduate jobs having come face-to-face with key employer representatives. Meeting employers face-to-face allows the students to show their personality - something very difficult to get across in a standard CV or application.”