Case study

in love

Charlotte Evans came to university with a completely pragmatic approach to learning. Then she found a gap in her knowledge. And she started exploring it. And now she is completely and utterly in love. With finance.

Filling the skills gap

Charlotte came to Derby to study Business Management. She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her life and her reasoning was that, whatever you’re going to do, you’re going to work for a business. “So why not go and actually do a business degree,” she says. “It's always going to be something that's worth having because it's going to be applicable to any job you have.”

And she comes from a business family. Her parents own a kitchen, bathroom and bedroom company and she has often helped them out, particularly with marketing. “I’ve always naturally been quite good at marketing,” she says. She even set up her own marketing business while doing her degree.

But the more she learned, the more she worked, there was always that niggling gap. “I'm somebody who likes to know a hundred percent of everything,” she says. “And I noticed that the only thing that I wasn't a hundred percent equipped with knowledge on was finance. I lacked the skills in it because I just hadn't really had any experience in it.”

So she pushed herself to choose the finance optional modules in her course to try to fill her knowledge gap. “I did maths to A-level. I always quite liked the idea of like numbers and stuff like that,” she explains. “As I started doing those modules, I started developing the very basic knowledge and I didn't dislike it, I quite enjoyed it.”

Gaining vital experience

Charlotte’s strategy over her finance skills gap and her approach to gaining work experience have both been instrumental in her career success. As well as her marketing business, she also had a placement year working for our Careers and Employment Service and did a three-month internship with an accountancy firm in her final year.

She left Derby with a first in Business Management and joined global finance firm Deloitte straight from university. She is now assistant manager within their audit and assurance department. She says: “It sounds really funny but I genuinely do love what I do and I'm very passionate about doing it to the best my ability. I'm working in the job that I love and in an industry that I love.

“To be honest, I wouldn't actually be able to have the job at Deloitte or do what I'm doing right now without having gone to university. I had to have a degree to get the job I wanted to do. I always had my heart on the fact that, if I could get into Deloitte, it would be amazing, and they were quite keen on the fact that people had done placement years. They don't specify the fact they want that but I think they see it as a significant advantage that you've got that year in industry.”

And she is full of praise for the support she received from our academic staff. She says: “That's one of the reasons I was able to achieve the grade that I got. I spoke to my lecturers continually. We had a good relationship. If I was struggling with something, I was able to easily go and meet them and have a chat about it. Derby's a relatively small university. That's one of the good things about it. A lot of lecturers will know who you are as a person."

Charlotte Evans headshot

My placement and the degree that I did, that all shaped me into being the person I needed to be ready to apply to Deloitte and then secure that role. Without that, without Derby uni, I wouldn't really be able to do any of that.

Charlotte Evans
BA (Hons) Business Management

Why choose Derby?

Charlotte’s method of choosing a university was, again, pragmatic – at least initially. She drew a circle on a map centred on her Oxfordshire home and looked at universities that were about an hour and 45 minutes away.

She explains: “I went, OK, well, what are the good business schools in this area? And Derby was one of them. Derby has their own business school, they were quite high in the rankings for business-related things. So, I thought, OK, well, I'll just go to an Open Day then. Because I don't want to be going through my UCAS applications without actually attending any of the unis I'm thinking of putting down. I need to have the right feel, I need to have the right sort of vibe of the place.”

And that Open Day was when the heart began to take over. Charlotte says: “The minute I went to view Derby uni, actually, I kind of like felt a bit like I was at home. A bit like when you walk in to buy your first house and you kind of go: ‘Oh, this is home.’ It felt very much like that.

“And, as soon as you feel like that, that instantaneously gives you a bit of joy. Because you're like, I feel comfortable, I feel like I'm going to be happy here. So it was the feeling you can't really describe of when you like turn up somewhere and you just go: ‘This just feels right.’ That was the feeling I got when I turned up in Derby.”

And Charlotte still lives a stone’s throw from the University. She says: “I love, I love the city and I love the people. My dad's the same. He absolutely loves Derby. He just can’t ask enough how often he can come up and see us. He’s going: ‘Oh, my goodness, I can't wait to go to this new bar and I can't wait to go for dinner here, and I can't wait to do this.’”

What does the future hold?

Charlotte has been with Deloitte almost three years and will very soon complete her chartership in accounting and finance. This will open up a lot of doors for her. She says: “My career is likely to remain with Deloitte. I just think they're a great company and the experience and opportunities and everything that I've had so far have been really, really good.

“There's always the opportunity, like a secondment, in a company like Deloitte as well because they do so many things. They are global as well, so you have that opportunity if you wanted to do something in the Madrid office or in France.”

Charlotte also has some personal goals. Short term. Daily. “Every time I wake up in the morning, I'm extremely positive,” she says. “I'm always trying to make people laugh, I'm always trying to make people smile. If I can make one person smile every day, then that's basically my job done.”

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

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