Sheffield offers a top-notch degree in a city that is student-friendly, green and affordable

Lars Kjøllesdal, Alumnus BA Accounting and Financial Management
Lars Kjøllesdal
Financial Journalist, TDN Direkt
BA Accounting and Financial Management
2019
Alumnus Lars reflects on his time at Sheffield and how his degree was instrumental in helping him secure his role as a financial journalist.
Lars Kjøllesdal, Alumnus BA Accounting and Financial Management
Lars Kjøllesdal, Alumnus BA Accounting and Financial Management

Please tell us about your current role?

I currently work as a financial journalist in TDN Direkt in Oslo, a real-time supplier of news about the Norwegian stock and interest rate markets. More specifically, I cover the Norwegian maritime sector, where I closely follow those companies listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. A typical day includes writing updates and articles, calling analysts for their take on various happenings, and conducting market research.

Something I particularly enjoy, however, is attending companies' quarterly presentations and getting to interview the CEOs. The news agency I work for is solely interested in forward-looking information because this has not been accounted for in the share price yet, so that raises interesting questions and subsequent conversations with analysts, CEOs and other decision-makers in the industry. No day is the same!

First and foremost my courses helped me in landing a job that I enjoy greatly. BA Accounting and Financial Management students are prepared for work and highly sought after by employers.

Lars Kjøllesdal

Financial Journalist

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

The University of Sheffield has a great reputation and is a well-respected university, which is reflected in the various international rankings. The Management School's Triple Crown accreditation made the decision a lot easier, too. In addition, the opportunity to experience the city but with the added option to go somewhere more green and leafy, such as the Peaks, in close proximity was a well-received bonus. The fact that Sheffield offers a top-notch degree in a city that is student-friendly, green and affordable made the university appealing.

How did your internships help you further develop employability skills and how has this helped your career?

I spent the two summers in between exams back home in Oslo working for Young Sustainable Impact, an organisation that runs an accelerator program for SDG oriented start-ups; and Bitcamp, an early-stage tech company. During my second year, I worked on a research project as a Student Associate in Learning & Teaching (SALT) and, in my final year, had the opportunity to work as a policy analyst at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Manama, Bahrain.

A common denominator is that I worked in international teams and therefore, as a result, improved my communications, teamwork and problem-solving skills immensely. Internships and part-time jobs provide you with the building blocks you need for your future and help you figure out your interests, which arguably make the pursuit of a graduate job easier and a little less daunting. My background as an undergraduate student in BA Accounting and Financial Management, project and writing experiences are something I utilise daily in my current role, and I am sure it will help me in terms of confidence wherever I might end up next.

Do you have any advice for students thinking about studying the BA Accounting and Financial Management?

Studying accounting and financial management is based on concepts where problem-solving skills come into play. It is simply not sufficient to learn the definitions and attend lectures, so I would encourage future students to start working from day one and take advantage of your lecturers' office hours to ask questions. People say the first year does not count towards your degree classification, but it does make a pivotal difference when reading for, for instance, intermediary or advances in management accounting in your second and third year. Also, working from day one helps you filter out your interests and opt for elective modules you are interested in, which consequently makes revision a whole lot more enjoyable.

How has your degree helped you with your career?

First and foremost, landing a job that I enjoy greatly. As a BA Accounting and Financial Management student, you get a lot of freedom in terms of elective modules and you can, therefore, tailor your course according to your own interests. In one module, I analysed SalMar ASA - a Norwegian fish farmer listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange - that resulted in a stock analyst report, which was instrumental in securing the role as a financial journalist.

Secondly, the course does not only give you a good quantitative foundation but also gives you a sound conceptual understanding of the topics and properly drills your writing skills. The combination of this makes BA Accounting and Financial Management students prepared for work and highly sought after by employers. In my case, the course made the transition from student to employee stress-free.

What have been the highlights of your career so far?

There are lots to choose from but if I can highlight one, however, it is probably the first time I attended and covered a quarterly presentation by myself. I had to report on Europris ASA's presentation, Norway's largest discount variety retailer by sales, where I got to interview the CEO and CFO, and write articles. Just proving to myself that I could handle all the rush and stress was a huge boost to my confidence and made all the quarterly presentations that have ensued easier to cover and handle.

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