Matt Woods

Graduated with BSc Mathematics in 2017

Current role Audit Executive 

Current employer Bishop Fleming 

What was your career path after graduating? I started on an audit graduate scheme before moving to Bishop Fleming’s graduate scheme after around 12 months. At Bishop Fleming I have progressed from Audit Assistant to Audit Senior to Audit Executive. 

What would you like to do next? There are several paths available to those qualifying through the ACA as an auditor, the main three being continuing working ‘in practice’ for a firm of Accountants as an auditor progressing into management, working ‘in practice’ and moving to a different discipline, such as Tax advisory or Corporate Finance, or moving to ‘industry’ which is effectively working in the finance team of any company. The social side of the job appeals to me the most, so am looking for whichever road I go down to be in a good-sized team and take on some people management responsibilities. 

How did your degree prepare you for this job? Aside form a general comfort with numbers which is very helpful, as part of an Accountancy Graduate scheme you are enrolled in exams to become a Chartered Accountant (ACA). Obviously, exam technique is a skill you develop throughout a Maths degree, but more specifically, problem solving under pressure. In the role of Auditing, you are required to execute work then draw conclusions based on your work, which is reviewed and sometimes challenged. A Maths degree helps you learn to clearly demonstrate to a reviewer not only what your conclusion is, but how you arrived at the conclusion.  

What did you enjoy most about your time studying? I thought the flexibility of choosing modules was a big plus, I was able to do an open unit in Spanish in my third year whilst also opting for more applied Maths modules as opposed to Pure. I would also have to say the friends I made – I am due to get married in the summer and a fellow Maths alumnus if going to be my best man! 

Do you have any advice for prospective students? As well as studying Maths, find a society to join or a hobby to take up whilst at University to fully make the most your time. Having a good social group and support network will also help in your studies.

Why did you decide to apply for your course at Bristol? I knew Maths was the course I wanted to study so the main decision was on which University to go to. I looked at all the Russell Group Universities and loved the city of Bristol the most which is what drove my decision.    

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