Lauren Smith

Country of origin: United Kingdom

Working in audit for Ernst & Young, Leeds

I chose LUMS because of its excellent reputation as a top business school and also because it offered the unique BSc Accounting, Auditing & Finance programme.

I really enjoyed the variety of the degree: mixing study at Lancaster and work placements in Leeds with Ernst & Young made my course varied, challenging and interesting at each stage. Having to juggle work placements, professional accounting exams and academic study meant there was not a great deal of time for extra activities – however, during my first and final years I was part of the University’s Dance Society which I enjoyed very much.

The degree involved a three-month placement in my first and fourth year of study, plus a full-year placement in my third year. This gave me a total of 18 months’ work experience in the Ernst & Young Leeds Office. This was a fantastic opportunity, as the placements gave me really valuable experience and insight into the business environment.

As I was working in the audit department I was able to be involved in the planning and execution of year end audits for a range of audit clients, from smaller private companies to public listed companies. I also got to take on some tasks for the sales department and other non-audit activity throughout my placement. In the full-year placement I was also able to sit two professional exams that count towards my ICAS qualification.

I have a graduate offer from Ernst & Young, Leeds Office and am looking forward to joining the audit department from September 2010. Once back with Ernst & Young I aim to continue and complete my ICAS qualification. After that I would like to continue my professional career with the firm and gain some experience in different areas other than audit and also in different countries.