Department of Accounting and Law gives final-year students workplace simulation

From left – M Oree from industry;  fifth, Ranisha;   last, Rivaash;  and some Accounting students

Being aware of a gap that exists between theory and the practical part in the Accounting profession, two staff members in the Department of Accounting and Law organised a session where 85 final-year students were taken through the necessary paces.

Rivaash Kalidin, a Chartered Accountant and Registered Auditor, and Ranisha Narain, also a Chartered Accountant, had identified that the students lacked presentation skills, and needed to improve inthese skills. These skills are required in the industry. “We also wanted the students to have a feel of what happens in the world of work,” said Rivaash.

Rivaash said that they were aware that students in this profession do not have work integrated opportunities, yet the practical experience is what makes or breaks a graduate. “We want to give our students a realist approach of what they can expect in the sector. We don’t want them to get a rude awakening! I am talking from experience,” Rivaash said.

Rivaash emphasised the need for students to have the basic requirements of the profession, such as the appropriate personality, and also being able to deal with the essentials of the profession. The fact that the meeting took place on Saturday, 7 November 2020, was a strong suggestion to the students that they needed to think outside the 08h00 to 16h00 parameter, said Rivaash.

“Students generally lack confidence in presenting and this gave them the opportunity to do so in a controlled and safe environment. After completing their studies, students enter the public sector, not having had any practical skills with the subject matter,” said Rivaash.

The 85 final year students were also made aware of the importance of effective time management and workflow. “Prioritising is something that students also lack when they enter employment. By mastering this aspect of their life students will see a great improvement to their work-life balance, which in turn, can make them even more productive,” said Rivaash.

The session also gave students an opportunity to showcase their ability to apply analytical skills, as well as their critical thinking ability. “These skills will allow them to visualise problems and see possible solutions to problems that may not be immediately obvious to everyone else,” said Rivaash. Rivaash added that they were going to have this meeting every year, and that the connection with industry will create possibilities for the Work Integrated Learning for their students.