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Faisal Khan

Faisal KhanHead of Employer Relations, Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA)

BA Accounting & Business Economics, 2002

What made you choose Middlesex University?

Truth be told, I didn't choose Middlesex University as I obtained a place through clearing having missed out on my desired A-level grades. On reflection, it was a blessing in disguise as my degree has been the strong foundation  upon which I have built my successful career. Being a Londoner and as a boy who grew up in Hendon, everything worked out really well

What attracted you to your course and made you apply?

I was advised a course in Accountancy was going to be good for me and it has been.

What aspects of your course did you enjoy most?

I enjoyed the variety of the course content within my degree discipline. The technical nature of Accountancy, coupled with the narrative nature of Economics offered a good balance. It was intellectually challenging also which forced me to push myself. Finishing the course with a first was one of my proudest moments.

What were the facilities like at your institution?

The Middlesex University Business School offered a flexible & modern learning environment, along with facilities for social interaction. Furthermore, the on-site sports facilities were excellent – offering a much needed break from studying.

What is your fondest memory of life at Middlesex?

Acing my exams will always be the fondest of memories but on a personal note, the friendships I have forged from my time there are stronger than ever. I'll keep my misdemeanours to myself as I don't want to ruin my impeccable reputation!

What one piece of advice would you give to a prospective student interested in studying at Middlesex?

Embrace the opportunity, be prepared to work-hard and enjoy your time here. A prosperous career awaits for the brightest minds – and you will get out what you put in.

How did your course and time at Middlesex help you get to where you are professionally today?

University education was key. It gave me the platform upon which to pursue a career within Chartered Accountancy. Being involved with various societies helped me develop my network of friends, work on my interpersonal skills and enjoy my three years.

What made you choose the industry you work in and what are its pros and cons?

Having graduated in my discipline, Chartered Accountancy was an obvious path. It's tough, involving various professional examinations whilst holding down a 9-5 job but the rewards are substantial, both financial & non-financial. Accountancy is a great place to be, a safe place to work even during times of economic austerity.

How did you get your first foot on the career ladder?

Having not applied for a single graduate programme whilst at University, I was fortunate to secure my first permanent position with John Lewis Head Office. Having attended a university marketing seminar with the Marketing Director of John Lewis, I had secured part-time weekend work at John Lewis Brent Cross. Upon graduation they offered me a full time role as Business Analyst. As they say, no looking back since.

What has been your defining career break or highlight to date?

Without question, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant has been my academic highlight. It has opened so many doors for me and I am never short of job offers. I must stress that my first-class degree has been pivotal in my development.

What are the top three tips you would give to current students and recent graduates who are looking for a similar career to yourself?

Be prepared for hard-work. It's an emotional rollercoaster but enjoy it. Persevere during the tough times and cherish the good times. Anything is possible.

What one piece of advice would you give to the 17/18 year old you?

I have been incredibly fortunate to this stage of my career so I would say, be prepared to learn and be grateful for everything.

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