Case study

Simran's making the most of her opportunities

Accounting and Finance graduate Simran Chohan has hit the ground running in her new job as Tax Assistant at PKF Smith Cooper. She believes the opportunities she experienced throughout her degree contributed significantly to getting the role with the leading regional accountancy and business advisory firm.  

Real world learning

Derby Business School’s culture of real-world learning means we work with employers to make sure students have the best possible start to their career. This includes degrees recognised by industry, work placements, and opportunities to turn theory into practice.

Simran made the most of these opportunities and throughout her studies she has been involved in various networking events, internships and extra-curriculum activities.

“I am lucky to have studied at the University of Derby because of the endless opportunities I received while I was there, along with the support I received from the Accounting teaching team.”

In her first year, she signed up to be a Programme Representative, this allowed her to meet students from across different courses and meet new academics. She says: “The Programme Representative role allowed me have a say in my education by liaising between the staff and students as to what was best for our university experience.”

Towards the end of her second year, Simran had the opportunity to become a Student Auditor as part of the Student Internship Scheme. She worked within the Sustainability Team at the University. This gave her a taster of what Auditors do in the workplace and allowed her to gain work experience.

Choosing Derby 

Simran chose to study BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance at the University of Derby for a range of reasons. The wide variety of facilities stood out to her, including the Financial Markets Lab, the Library and careers department. As well as this, she attended one of the Open Days and knew it was the University for her after seeing first-hand the great relationship tutors have with their students in terms of supporting them in their studies.

Graduate Simran Chohan
Simran Chohan outside our main Kedleston Road site on the Derby Campus

The Accounting Clinic

Simran has also been part of the Accounting and Finance Society, becoming its President. She says: “Being in this role allowed me to arrange meetings with my committee and with the rest of the society in terms of socials and revision sessions."

This led to her facilitating the Accounting Clinic. This monthly clinic is student-led and provides free accounting and finance support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). “I worked with external clients who owned small businesses or charities and helped/advised them on their accounts, forecasting, budgeting, tax returns etc. This really mirrored what we would face in the future and gave me an insight of what to expect.”

Futures Award

As well as this, Simran completed the Futures Award, which gives recognition to students involved in volunteering. She completed 145 extra-curricular activities and attended numerous webinars and employer presentations.

“At the end of this award, I had the opportunity to do a 10-minute presentation on my journey doing the Future’s Award which was great exposure and made me realise how much I had actually learnt throughout this time.”

Simran graduated with a First-Class Honours degree and was presented with the Dean’s Discretionary Award, acknowledging her outstanding overall performance. She says: “Getting this award really shows that hard work is acknowledged and celebrated at the University of Derby, which is another reason why they are an amazing university to go to.”

After graduation

Simran graduated in November 2021 and has already got a job as a Tax Assistant at PKF Smith Cooper. She believes the opportunities she experienced throughout her degree contributed significantly to getting this role and has allowed her to hit the ground running.

Student in Bloomberg Lab

Our Accounting courses

We offer strong employer partnerships, real world learning and a broad choice of courses to launch and accelerate your accounting career.

Find out more about our Accounting coursesFind out more about our Accounting courses