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Ken Smailes (BA History 2012)


I graduated from the University of Reading last summer and since then I have moved to London and started a career in Financial Services as an auditor.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading?

I chose the University of Reading because it has such a brilliant campus with a great community atmosphere. The History course was also really attractive as you could mix and match studies in so many different periods of history.

What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?

The best bit about studying in Reading was the gorgeous campus; you simply can't beat it in the summer. It was also such a friendly and vibrant place.

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

My top tip to new students would be get involved with as many different societies, course activities and different groups as possible. It is the extra-curricular activities that make university life so great.

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

I am working as a financial auditor with the financial services firm BDO. I am currently on the graduate scheme and studying for my ACA qualification.

How has the University of Reading and the Careers Centre helped in your chosen career path?

The University of Reading and the Careers Centre helped to encourage me to take part in a summer internship in between my second and third year. It was through this internship that I got my current graduate job.

What are your top tips for students graduating this year? What should they be doing to secure the job they want?

Students graduating this year should be working hard to get as much experience as possible in the sector or career they want to be working in. Employers are looking for people with experience and also someone that stands out from the crowd.

What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory?

The University means so much to me and will always be close to my heart, I had such an amazing three years there. One of my favourite memories will be helping to run the LGBT in my last year, I am so proud of the group and how far we came in one year. For the group to grow so quickly and to put on such brilliant and interesting events was a real achievement and a brilliant memory.

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