Graham studied Accounting and Finance at Aberystwth and graduated in 1999. During his time at the University he was actively involved with many clubs and societies. As part of the Aber Ultimate Frisbee team, he competed in competitions around Europe, including Rimini in Italy. Since leaving the University, Graham has applied his accounting knowledge being employed as an Accounts Supervisor, an Office Manager at a firm of Solicitors and a Director at a web design company. More recently he has formed his own retail homeware and gifts company. Oh yes and in amongst that, he graduated with a second honours degree in Music.
What do you remember most about your time at Aber?
I really enjoyed my time at Aberystwyth. I have fond memories of living in the small town. It was a safe environment with a strong sense of community spirit. I made a lot of good friendships and enjoyed exploring the picturesque coastline.
The administrative staff and lecturers were always very obliging and the facilities were always of a very high standard. Being a bit of a bookworm, I always found the University library to be a very useful resource, with a large collection of material from a wide range of subjects.
What are you doing now career-wise and how has your Aberystwyth Degree helped?
I formed my own company about three years ago. The company is called Gifts with heart Ltd and sells Welsh gifts and homeware directly to consumers, mainly through the website www.giftswithheart.co.uk. The company has grown, year on year, and has established itself very quickly, as one of the foremost online retailers in the field.
My Accounting and Finance qualification has been extremely useful, whilst developing the business. I have been able to manage the finances, keeping a close eye on the incomings and outgoings; not to mention the fact that it greatly reduces my expenditure on accountancy fees! The degree cultivated my ability to pay close attention to detail when examining figures. It gave me an overall insight into how both management and financial statements are prepared and analysed using spreadsheets. I can’t stress how useful this has been. I supplemented this knowledge by obtaining AAT qualifications.
What advice would you have for a student doing your course now?
My first bit of advice would be to try and sign up to a few clubs or societies at fresher’s weekend. It can be a bit daunting when you arrive for the first time not knowing anybody. There are usually clubs on every pastime or sport you can possibly imagine, so rest assured there will be one that matches your interests.
Secondly, I found the third year to go a lot deeper into the subject matter and a bit more challenging.
Don’t worry, but be prepared is all I advise.