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Osman Ehtsham

BSc (Hons) Accounting and Finance

Meet Osman

  • Has secured a place on the Tax Specialist Graduate Scheme with HMRC

  • Was President of the Society for Accounting, Finance and Entrepreneurs, and a PAL leader

  • Has gone on entrepreneurship trips to Bahrain and China during his time at Bradford

Osman Ehtsham, BSc (Hons) Accounting and Finance

Why did you initially choose to study at the University of Bradford?

My family moved to Bradford when I was 16 so it was an obvious choice.

Of course, I knew the University had a good reputation and in particular, my degree, BSc (Hons) Accounting and Finance, was well respected with lots of links to the business world.

Can you give us a bit more detail about what the job will entail and the specifics of the role you’ve been offered?

The Tax Specialist graduate scheme is an intensive 3-year graduate scheme culminating in an automatic promotion to a senior role within the HMRC.

For a few days a week I will be studying at the Tax Academy and my remaining time will be divided up by resolving tax disputes, leading teams, dealing with senior business figures and tackling complex tax work.

The graduate job market can be very competitive. What do you think made you stand out from the crowd when applying for this role?

I worked hard throughout my studies, winning awards like the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW), West Yorkshire Society of Chartered Accountants Prize for highest performing student and a Dean's commendation for work with the University.

I threw myself into everything I could find. I was the founder and elected President of one of the University’s fastest growing societies - the Society for Accounting, Finance and Entrepreneurs (SAFE). I won places on highly competitive trips such as the Entrepreneurs across Borders trip to Bahrain and the Accelerated Student Entrepreneurship programme in China.

I was a Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) leader supporting classes of up to 80 students from the lower years, took part in the ‘this is bradford’ advertising campaign involving an interview and photoshoot and was a student representative for my class numerous times.

Because I exposed myself to so many opportunities within the University of Bradford, I was well prepared when approaching the job market and felt there was little I could not face. I was very confident in myself, particularly my communication skills.

During the application, I had to do a video interview and regular interview, as well as mock presentations during an assessment centre. I was assured throughout and I think it really helped me stand out from the crowd.

The assessment centre lasted two days and was certainly difficult but because of my experiences I work really well under pressure and often work better under pressure than normally. This allowed me to work calmly through the difficult tasks which were very tight for time.

By the time I attended my assessment centre I had the experience of two mock interviews thanks to the Careers Service. It certainly is a fabulous service that allows you to keep improving and refining areas you are weak at until you are ready to tackle any job application. It played a crucial role in my success.

How have the skills you have gained at The University of Bradford helped you to secure the role?

Accounting & Finance has provided me with the fundamental skills to not only approach the role in the first place, but do so confidently knowing I am well equipped to deal with whatever is thrown at me. Throughout university, I have met a lot of different teachers and students, learning things from each of them along the way.

Mixed with our traditional academic modules were more practical modules focusing on employability and real-life skills. I must give credit to the 'Employability and Enterprise' module for giving me the first taste of what a real interview and assessment centre is like. The feedback I took from both were directly in my mind going into my assessment centre.

Osman Ehtsham, BSc (Hons) Accounting and Finance
Career Booster weeks gave me free time to focus on whatever I felt I was lacking. I have attended classes on public speaking, presentations, interview skills and negotiation skills, as well as a wide variety of more practical-facing areas of employment.

What advice would you give to other students who want to achieve similar success to you?

Be optimistic, sincere, mature and nimble when it comes to the job market!

The University of Bradford is a controlled and safe place for self-development. With this in mind, throw yourself into absolutely everything you can get your hands on - from societies and events to leadership roles and international trips.

If you are apprehensive to do something, it is likely because you have a weakness there… get stuck in!

My most significant extra-curricular activity was founding and being the elected President of the Society for Accounting, Finance & Entrepreneurs (SAFE). It was certainly a handful at times having to manage and budget events for as many as 50 people, but it was exceptionally rewarding and highly enjoyable.

What will you miss the most when you leave the University?

I will miss a lot, especially the people. You get used to seeing the same faces in the corridors and you tend to look at your group members as comrades after so many ups and downs.

I will definitely miss waking up to a weekly newsletter asking for applications to some fun event, or exotic trip taking place.

I will also need to step down from my role as President of the SAFE society and hand over the role to the next incoming President.