Isaac Tennyson Mtambalika - Postgraduate - University of Derby


Isaac Tennyson Mtambalika image 

For Isaac Tennyson Mtambalika, enrolling as a mature student at the University of Derby has put him on track to achieve a long-held ambition of gaining his ACCA professional qualifications.

Originally from Malawi, Isaac has been in the UK since 2011 and took his first degree at Derby to build on his extensive work experience in accounting and in industry. Having graduated in Accounting and Finance in 2013, he progressed to the MSc as another vital step towards completing the ACCA examinations.

He praises his studies for broadening his knowledge about key accounting roles like investment appraisal and decision-making, effective project planning, financial reporting and business performance and review. “My learning has also revealed agency and stakeholder issues that really exist in the business world and some common management malpractices in businesses which pose a danger to other stakeholders,” he says.

He pinpoints several elements of the BSc and MSc courses which have brought his learning to life, including the chance to apply theory to current real-life cases. He has also gained eye-opening insights into the realities of the business world through guest lectures on issues such as the state of the world economy. Another important experience was practical leadership training which he believes has moulded him into a better leader.

Isaac has particularly enjoyed the in-depth research undertaken for his dissertations. At undergraduate level, he focussed on tax avoidance and tax havens while his current work is on integrated reporting. He explains: “This centres on a recently introduced, globally targeted practice which I hope will give me further practical knowhow to make a difference in any organisation that employs me in future.”

His study success has been remarkable given the challenges he has faced in returning to study after a break of ten years, entering an unfamiliar educational culture, and balancing his academic pursuits with work and family life. A married father of three, he says that the experience has inevitably demanded “determination and sacrifices.”

Throughout his studies, he has supported his family by working as a healthcare assistant on a stroke rehabilitation ward, a role which has helped him with his interpersonal, communication, teamwork and organisational skills. He hopes all of these will stand him in good stead for his future career.

Isaac comments: “Graduating from my first degree without a failure, referral or re-sit – despite all the challenges – demonstrates the level of my commitment as well as the support I’ve received from the University.

“My studies have been very rewarding, even more so because they have prepared me to pursue my next goal, the ACCA professional papers. The modules are generally very enjoyable, with brilliant and vibrant lectures.”