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How history helped Harris start a new career

Find more student stories

How history helped Harris start a new career

After graduating from the University of Gloucestershire in 2018, Harris Jones has put his studies into practice for his professional career.

After finishing his BA (Hons) in History, he moved back to Leeds and joined a Graduate Scheme to train as a Chartered Accountant.

“Working in accountancy may seem like a vast contrast to what I studied at university,” he said, “however a lot of what I have achieved now is due to the University of Gloucestershire and the skills I learnt from the History department.

“I am grateful for the skills which I developed during my undergraduate degree as they have prepared me for my professional career. ‘Tools’ I use frequently such as advanced research and comprehension skills are commonly used in due diligence reports. When producing accounts for a company, a keen eye for detail is imperative as is the ability to read through documents quickly and efficiently but above all, accurately.”

Harris found that spending hours producing a dissertation enabled him to be able to focus for extended periods of time, while delving deeper into the meaning of a historical event translates fairly well into auditing of a company’s financial statements, “as you question how the various figures were produced” he added.

Harris was awarded a Sporting Excellence Scholarship for Rugby League while studying.

Case study of Harris Jones image of him playing rugby

“Trying to balance lectures, seminars and assignments with required intense training and matches was challenging,” he said.

“My lecturers were very understanding of my position and the few times I had to miss a lecture in order to represent the university, they couldn’t have been more helpful with giving me lecture notes, follow up emails and asking if I had everything I needed. Due to the assistance and guidance of the scholars in the History department, I was able to excel in my rugby and was consequently given the opportunity to represent Scotland and professional team Doncaster.”

Harris believes there are many transferable skills which he developed from studying History, but a stand-out factor for him is how it provided him with a different educational background to approach the profession. “If an accounting firm employed people solely with accounting degrees, their backgrounds would be very similar, meaning their working environment could be considered ‘mundane.’ A History degree, by contrast, has provided me the opportunity to bring something new and exciting to the team and is also a great conversation piece for interacting with clients. I developed a keen research interest in Economic History from the courses on Russia and it is a subject I still read around today.”

This article first appeared on the University of Gloucestershire’s History blog, and you can click here to find out more about history.