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BDO Student bursary opens doors to a career in accountancy

03 March 2016

Nothing in the world of work is absolutely guaranteed but the student bursary scheme
operated by BDO Limited offers Guernsey school leavers an almost certain route into a career
in accountancy.

The BDO scheme is once again open to the island’s A-level students and, as in previous years,
any successful applicants will gain 12 months’ work experience before going to university,
followed by £2,000 in sponsorship for each year of their degree course.
Bursary recipients will also get paid work experience during the Easter and summer holidays.
Once they have graduated they will then have the opportunity to become full time
accountancy trainees, working at BDO while they study for their professional qualifications.
One key feature of the BDO Bursary is that recipients are not expected to do an accountancy
related university course. Seven years ago this was a major attraction for 25-year-old Sam
Gervaise-Brazier, who is now on the verge of gaining her ACA qualification with the St Peter
Port based firm.
“This is what attracted me in the first place because I did an equine science degree which is
totally different,” Sam explained. “The fact that you don’t have to do an accounting degree
makes it hugely flexible.”
With the BDO scheme now open to students taking their A-levels at the end of the current
school year, bursary organiser Richard Jackson is hoping to see more Guernsey school leavers
follow in Sam’s footsteps.
He said: “It’s a fantastic scheme for the students because it means they have a great degree
of certainty over where their career is heading. Basically, it means that for somebody who is
18, they can see the next few years pretty much mapped out in front of them.”
Sam says that without the BDO Bursary she would have chosen not to go to university at all.
“It made that decision for me. Otherwise I would have gone straight into accounting from
school,” she said.
“The bursary funding made a massive difference to me because having that extra bit on top
from BDO every year and coming back and working in the holidays meant I could basically
fund myself at university.”
In recent years the BDO Bursary has not always been taken up and Mr Jackson admitted his
amazement that the level of interest among local A-level students had not been a lot higher.

“If you compare this to a typical student in the UK, they are heading off to university,
committing to a large amount of debt with no job security at the end of it. We are committed
to supporting our bursary students in both their development and in financial terms - and they
are pretty much assured a job at the end of it.”
Having just completed the last of her exams for her ACA accountancy qualification, Sam is
now looking forward to becoming a fully-fledged audit senior with the firm in September.
Looking back over the last seven years, she said going for the BDO Bursary was the best thing
she could possibly have done in launching her career.
She added that she would have no hesitation in recommending the scheme to any school
leaver with a view to taking up a career in accountancy today.
Are you interested in finding out more about the BDO Bursary Scheme? Please contact Richard
Jackson, email: [email protected]
Are you looking for a career in accountancy? Find out more at