Simon Ashley

Simon graduated from Aber in 1985 with a BSc(Econ) in Economics and Politics. 

What do you remember most about your time at Aber?

In no particular order: the people, living in hall on the seafront, rag collecting, the Hugh Owen Library (where "reading for your degree" took on new significance - particularly in my final year) and that walk up Penglais hill!

What are you doing now career-wise and how has your Aberystwyth Degree helped?

I studied Economics and Politics specialising in East European command economies and, after a gap year, I went on to qualify as an ACA with a large accounting firm. In a direct sense my actual degree was just a stepping stone to joining the accounting profession at graduate level. This was a very well trodden path at the time but not something which I had planned when choosing my degree. The BSc(Econ) and ACA together provided me with a ticket to Australia - that was 20 years ago. Along the way I moved into industry, have been a public company CFO and a Regional CEO, have worked in the USA (as an expat Aussie) and today am working as an independent consultant providing M&A services to growing businesses.

What advice would you have for a student doing your course now?

Easy: study the subjects that you are interested in. We typically excel when we are engaged and having fun. The chances are you will probably have to take on post graduate studies once you enter the professional world, some of which will be a means to an end, so enjoy your options today. But above all (and this will sound a bit clichéd) work hard AND play hard - strike a good balance. Aber has wonderful facilities so enjoy and make the most of your opportunities socially and academically.