Student profile
Nicola Rivers, Accounting and Finance UG 2023

Nicola Rivers

"As soon as I arrived at Surrey, I knew I had made the right choice: it was very quickly my home away from home."

Is there a song that reminds you of Surrey? Why?
'Here Comes the Sun' by The Beatles as returning to University after the winter break always feels warming and exciting.

What’s something you couldn’t live without at university?
A kettle so I can make cups of tea to keep me going through late night revision sessions.

What’s one food dish or snack you couldn’t live without at university? 
My Grandad’s secret spaghetti bolognaise recipe which goes back generations from my family in Italy.

Describe your experience at Surrey in three words.
Excitement, advancement, and fulfilment.

Why did you choose to come to Surrey? What appealed to you? 

The location of Surrey was perfect for me as it was halfway between the Isle of Wight (my home) and London, which is where I aim to be working in the future. The campus is beautiful, there is also a high employability per centage as well as being ranked highly as a university overall.

What was your first impression when you got here?

As soon as I arrived at Surrey, I knew I had made the right choice, it was very quickly my home away from home.

Why are you passionate about your subject?

I find the business sector interesting, but I chose accounting and finance ultimately as I have always had a mathematical brain so that, matched with a passion for business, pointed me to a career in finance.

What do you like about your course and why?

My course does not just solely focus on finance alone, it also contains various other business modules which has allowed me an insight into many other career options. I think I want to go into forensic accounting as it is a mixture of accounting and law, or a job in accounting that involves marketing. 

In addition to this a large majority of my modules are accredited and/or amount to exemptions in future exams I may want to take like ACA if I wish to become a chartered accountant.

Do you have a favourite academic at Surrey?

No - I have three! Dr Ann Parchment from my Business Skills module had an impact on my first year as her professionalism and expertise has inspired me - I hope - to become a businesswoman like her in my future. Also, Claire Hobson from my Marketing Principles module, and Debbie Burns-Pegler from my Law and Ethics module, both helped me discover my passion for marketing and law as well as how I may consider them as future career paths in finance.

What were the facilities like on your course? How did they help your studying experience?

The Library is amazing, there is something about it that instantly makes me work hard while staying focused. The Business School is also great, and I often use the computers there or have a lot of my lectures/seminars in this building.

Are you part of any clubs or societies? 

Joining a society has helped me create new friendships while also allowing me to relax from University work a few times a week. 

I did Cheerleading last year and I’m a member of the Pet Society this year. Joining a society has helped me create new friendships while also allowing me to relax from University work a few times a week. 

What are the best things about life at Surrey? 

Surrey has the perfect pace of life for me, it has the busy-ness of a city with the nightlife but also a quieter, focused environment around campus. The location is also great for commuting. 

What has been your best moment at Surrey so far? 

My favourite moment was moving into my current student house with my friends. I felt a sense of independence while also living with five amazing people with our other friends just a few doors away... Or being called the Elle Woods of accounting! 

How has your time at Surrey had an impact on you? 

Surrey has set me up for the next steps in my professional career and social life while helping me find the confidence to go after whatever I want. I would not be the same person I am today if I did not go to Surrey. 

Do you have any other comments you’d like to offer about your time at Surrey? 

I’ve found that the people at Surrey are extremely caring and considerate. Even in my first year at Welcome Week everyone was looking out for each other and had an amazing time.