Nazik Solakyan

BSc Accounting and Finance with Proficiency in Spanish

As an international student, Nazik has found Exeter the ideal combination of great facilities and support, the right balance of modules, a beautiful green city and campus and the ability to engage in lots of extra-curricular activities.

“I chose Exeter because it offered the exact course I wanted to do and I was passionate about all of the compulsory modules. Accounting and Finance has just the right mix of modules from both areas. Apart from academic-related reasons, I chose Exeter because of its campus – it’s a beautiful green campus in a smaller city. Everything you need can be found on campus in close proximity – academic buildings, coffee shops, a Health Centre, Gym, and plenty of restaurants – there’s even a Farmers’ Market on a Friday.

My favourite module is Business/Corporate Finance – involving calculations as well as essays. The lecturer always illustrates problems by using real life examples which also makes us familiar with current issues in the finance industry. Another module I enjoy is Financial Modelling – it involves constant work on Excel which is a vital skill to have if you want to work in the accounting and finance sector. We use Excel to analyse huge companies like Intel and Coca-Cola using real- life data from different financial databases. Overall, all the modules are focused on developing skills that are required by the accounting and finance industry, and involve real-life examples.

As an international student, I found it very easy to adapt to the new environment. All students and staff at the university were very welcoming, and there were lots of support systems in place. All students in halls get Residence Life Mentors – mine helped me a lot with settling in Exeter. During the first week of university there were students from the Welcome Team all around campus helping new students settle in and I also participated in the Global Chums scheme where I got matched with a second year student who I could ask anything about. Exeter is definitely a place where you can meet people from all over the world.

There are so many international societies on campus that you can join if you want to learn more about their countries, cultures, languages and traditions. One of the things I look forward to every year is the Diversity Ball where different international societies get to perform something that represents their country. I am also a member of DanceSport, which organises weekly Latino and Spanish dance classes. This was a great way of meeting people outside my course or halls, making friends and having some fun dancing together.

I have used the Career Zone for application support and the staff offer help with CVs, cover letters, interview techniques and assessment centre preparations. They also organise different schemes that connect you with Exeter graduates such as the Career Mentor Scheme. My career mentor is working in Lloyds Banking Group; we have been meeting regularly for over 2 years and he has helped me get an insight into the banking sector as well as develop skills necessary for the industry. As I wanted to gain some experience in the finance industry, I opted to do an internship after my first year in United Bulgarian Bank where I got to network with professionals from the industry.

I met so many different people, I made friendships that will last for a life-time, I created unforgettable memories, and I have gained so much knowledge. My journey of discovering myself, people and the world is still beginning.”