From Local Learning to Local Earning: Success Stories of Graduates Thriving at PKF SCS

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2024 marks our 10 year anniversary – and as part of it, we’re reflecting on the huge amount of talent we have here at PKF Smith Cooper Systems.

Our teams span Support, CRM, Client Services, Project Services, Marketing, Sales, Development and more.

We’ve grown quickly over the decade, and we’ve always championed employing local people. Many of these are graduates of UK universities in a variety of different fields, including:

  • Business and IT at Coventry University
  • International Business with French at Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • Computing at the University of Central Lancashire
  • Publishing Media at Oxford Brookes University
  • Hospitality with Business at Manchester Metropolitan University

We also have a pool of graduates that came from universities local to our offices – the University of Derby, Newcastle University, and Northumbria University in particular. In this special article, we’re talking to a number of those to see how their university studies have led them to where they are now, and why they’ve stayed with the company.

Vanessa Watson, Account Management Team Leader – MA in Town and Country Planning, Newcastle University

Why did you want to go to Newcastle University?

I was looking at UK universities after doing my undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto. I liked the course and university best. I also have family that live in Newcastle so this made it easier, as I was an overseas student.

What made you want to work in Account Management at PKF SCS?

I joined PKF SCS in 2021 when they acquired the Business Partner I was working for [Price Bailey]. I have been an account manager in the Business channel for 11 years and previously worked for Sage for 16 years.

I really enjoy the role as account manager, I can confidently say that no day is the same.

What do you enjoy the most about working at PKF SCS?

PKF SCS is a great company to work for, I really enjoy the inclusive team.

Haris Naeem, Sage Consultant – BSc in Finance and Investment Management, Northumbria University

Why did you want to go to Northumbria University?

I was always fond of Northumbria Uni, as my siblings were studying there, it was close to home and it was highly rated for student experience.

How did university prepare you for your current role?

I undertook a project in my final year where I did consulting just like I do today! This experience taught me a lot about consultancy and what it means to obtain excellent client satisfaction. I also obtained a lot of accountancy and finance knowledge during other modules, as well as Excel knowledge.

What do you enjoy the most about working at PKF SCS?

I love the work culture. The role itself allows me to express my interests, and the ability to travel to see clients makes it all worth it when you can see they are happy with your service.

Victoria Riley, Client Services Director – BA in Mathematics, University of Derby

Why did you want to go to the University of Derby?

The Maths course at the University of Derby was the most attractive option to me as it offered plenty of variety! Also, due to the proximity of being close to home, I was able to work as well, meaning that I came out of university with a lot less debt, which is always a bonus!

How did university prepare you for your current role?

Doing Maths at university has helped with my ability to effectively problem solve and get to a right answer – which is pretty important in my current role!

What do you enjoy the most about working at PKF SCS?

PKF SCS has such a great working environment and I really enjoy working with those around me. With my role covering a wide range of responsibilities, I enjoy the variety it brings to each and every day. Plus, the coffee machine is pretty decent too!

While local talent joining us is great on its own, it’s equally fantastic to see that we’re drawing employees from further afield, too.

We’re proud of the people we have working for us, and would like to thank them for all their hard work and commitment to our company.

PKF Smith Cooper Systems Managing Director, Chris Smith, said:

“In the past it was almost seen as a given that graduates could leave university and walk into a job. With many employers now obsessed with experience and the demise of the old graduate management programmes, it’s increasingly hard for even the best students to find their place in the working world after university. At PKF Smith Cooper Systems, our focus is always on people. By nature, graduates are bright and intelligent people, so it’s obvious for us to tap into this market to find those with the right work ethic and enthusiasm to help our business. This allows us to help them take their first serious steps in the working world.”

Our team is always growing – if you would like to join us, visit our Careers page and see what roles are available!

About PKF Smith Cooper Systems: Founded in 2014, PKF Smith Cooper Systems is a Sage Business Partner, with its Head Office in Derby. They work across the UK, implementing Sage’s business accounting software into companies of all shapes and sizes. The company has consistently been one of the Top 3 Sage 200 partners in the UK for the last 5 years and are currently Sage’s UKI Customer Success Partner of the Year 2023 – recognising excellence in customer acquisition, development, retention and support. 

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