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Study Zone

The social network

The ICAEW’s student societies are thriving – so why not get involved?

May 2018

When you sign up as an ACA student you are automatically enrolled in your local ICAEW student society or student network. They offer events and activities throughout the year, including helpful ACA revision groups and skills-based seminars, but in addition they organise social events to give you the opportunity to meet your fellow ACAs from a wide range of industries and organisations.
Run by students for students, getting involved with your local student society can offer more than simply networking, it’s about creating a network of support. As Wei Xin Neo, student president of the Singapore society, said: “A student society is important as it promotes a sense of collaboration and belonging among those pursuing the ACA, and to help them feel that they never have to take this journey alone.”
Taking part in your local society’s events could include anything from kayaking trips and curry nights to pub quizzes and presenting skills workshops. Even SWECASS (the South West of England Chartered Accountants Student Society), whose members come from an area covering over 160 miles, overcome the distance to bring ACA students together. “It has been difficult in our society because it is so spread out geographically,” said Jackie Oddy, chair of SWECASS. “But we have run some amazing events.”
However, student societies aren’t all laser-tag tournaments and study sessions. For Noor Karim, vice-chair of the Middle East student committee, the society also provides an important voice for students. “They can share their concerns and resolve any issues that they may face in their studies, training contracts or professional development,” he says. “It is also a vital source of input and feedback through which ICAEW students can shape the strategic direction of ICAEW.”
Regardless of the size of the organisation that you work for, ICAEW student societies and networks are available for all ACA students to access. As an alternative source of support, socialising and development throughout your training, the positive effects of being part of your local student society can be felt long after your training ends, as ICAEW’s student relationship executive, Mauro Lucrino points out. “You can enhance knowledge and network with other students, helping you build lifelong contacts and the skills to help fulfil your future career aspirations.”
With student societies and groups available across the globe, from Southampton to Singapore, geography shouldn’t be an issue if you want to meet up and take advantage of the benefits they can offer. If there isn’t one near you, why not get involved and set up one for the students in your region?
For more information on your local student society, or details of how to start your own, visit icaew.com/studentgroups
• Reproduced with the permission of ICAEW, adapted from an article first published in Vital (April 2018).

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