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School of Business and Management

Accountancy students reflect on Black History Month, their experiences and hopes for the future

This year, to celebrate Black History Month, our Accountancy students of Black heritage have been reflecting on what Black History Month means to them, their experiences of life and studying to date, and their hopes for the future.  

Flying Start students during their induction, sat listening to the Dean of the school, Mike Noon.

“During Black History Month, we’re often always reminded of the collective trauma we’ve experienced as a community rather than the success of the few. This year, from attending networking events I’ve learned that our community is flourishing through the movement of black excellence, however, they all often say the same thing, the more successful they get, the less they see people who look like them.  I’ve personally experienced this when visiting corporate offices, being overwhelmed with imposter syndrome as I look around, fully aware that there are a select few who look like me, both black and female.   

At first, I was always cautious and insecure until I began to embrace it. As David Goggins said, “I wholly embrace being one-of-one in this world”, taking this onboard I began turning what I thought was my biggest weakness into my biggest strength. Alongside this, being a part of the PwC Flying Start cohort, where a majority of us are all part of an ethnic minority, allowed me to feel comfortable in the fact that we’re all part of the movement to create diversity in the workforce, acting as role models for our communities.” 

 Nina Aaliyah Thompson, BSc Accountancy, Year 2 


“I’m the Course Rep for the PwC Flying Start Accountancy Degree Programme’s Year 1 cohort.  I’m a proud black man and my family is from Nigeria. My culture has absolutely shaped the way I operate on a daily basis and has instilled a plethora of morals, tenants, and values that impact all aspects of my life. I’ve been an athlete for most of my life and I came through Southampton FC’s academy. I moved away from home at 13 years old and spent 4 years living with a host family. This experience was a catalyst for my maturation and personal development as I was urged to take on many more responsibilities from an early age. 

The prospect of joining the Flying Start programme with PwC was attractive to me as a passion of mine has always been business and PwC is a prestigious firm, so I interpreted it as a great opportunity. My hobbies include going to the gym and spending time with my boys. Recently, I’ve taken an interest in reading and I’m fond of books written by Robert Greene. I work as a Personal Trainer in a gym based in Wembley. I have a passion for health & fitness, so I find my job thoroughly enjoyable. I also work in Selfridges part-time in the Fragrance department.” 

Michael Agwu, BSc Accountancy, Year 1 


“I am a student who is currently undertaking my studies in accounting and management, and I have recently secured a placement year with the NHS. I am learning so much so far by being trained by professionals for a career path I have a lot of interest in pursuing. I hope to undertake qualified exams as an accountant and hopefully return to the NHS for work. I am also being supported on this journey by the ICAEW who have provided so much financial support for me. I come from a background of financial difficulties and being sponsored has made a life-changing impact on me to be able to come this far. I am very proud of what I have achieved thanks to this support. I hope to see how far I can go in the future.” 

 Sydney Yangoue, BSc Accounting and Management, Year 2, Recipient of the ICAEW Foundation Award



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