After graduating in 2008, Jack Dedman joined PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a graduate trainee and qualified as a chartered accountant in 2011. He reflects on his university experience and how the skills he gained have helped him in his career so far.
Tell us about your career to date, including any current projects
I currently work for one of the ‘Big 4' professional services firms in London. I joined the firm after graduating from UEA in 2008 and qualified as a chartered accountant in 2011. I sit within the assurance practice and work predominantly with higher education and health clients, including a number of high performing universities, NHS Foundation Trusts and charities.
What was it like studying at UEA?
It was a deeply rewarding experience and a time of academic and personal development for me. I was drawn to philosophy by the breadth of topics covered by the subject and really enjoyed being able to debate with my lecturers and seminar leaders over many of the complex philosophical problems we covered. The Philosophy of Mental Health and Philosophy of Mind modules were particularly enlightening; I still find myself discussing the topics we covered with friends and colleagues today!
Why did you decide to study at UEA?
After visiting the University on one of the open days I knew that Norwich and the UEA campus were places I could see myself being very happy for the next three years. For me, the University and surrounding areas offered the perfect blend of excitement, charm and tranquillity to complement my studies. Along with the excellent reputation of the University, I knew that UEA was a great fit for me as a student and somewhere that I wanted to be.
What did you think about your lecturers, teaching and the facilities?
I was lucky enough to be taught by some excellent lecturers and tutors in my time at UEA. They were all experts in their fields as well as passionate about the subject and getting the best from their students. The course was largely based around scholarly debate, essays and exams, and all of our lectures and seminars were conducted in comfortable and fitting facilities.
Tell us how you got your first job after university
My first job after university was on the assurance graduate scheme with my current firm, but based in Southampton. The job initially involved a lot of study and exams, but in between my time studying I would be working with a wide range of corporate and public sector bodies across the South Coast. My role was primarily in providing an independent view on the effectiveness of their arrangements for risk management, internal control and governance. I have since then focused on higher education and health clients and transferred to our London offices.
Has your course helped you in your career so far?
Philosophy helped me develop deep analytical skills and the ability to critically assess problems and develop potential solutions; my studies at UEA provided me with the skills I need to present complex problems in a succinct and straightforward manner. This has definitely helped me with critically assessing processes and issues in a professional capacity; the development of my literary skills has also helped me a great deal with report writing.
What advice would you give to new students?
Know what you want from your university experience and have the confidence and determination to make that happen. It is really important to embrace university life and take total advantage of all the superb facilities and people at your finger tips. I would definitely encourage new students to get involved in the various societies on offer; they are a great way to meet new and different people and an excellent way to broaden your perspective.