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The University of Southampton
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Heather Williams

BSc Economics, 1987
MA Creative Writing, 2008

Heather graduated in 1987
Heather Williams

I graduated from the University of Southampton in 1987 with a BSc in Economics. Over the past 26 years I’ve held a variety of different roles and am currently Corporate Tax Director at Chartered Accountants & Business Advisers, Princecroft Willis based in Poole.

I was really keen on Economics as an A-level and chose the University of Southampton because it offered a straight Economics degree. I was from Somerset and so Southampton was far enough away from home to allow me to stand on my own two feet but also close enough for me to be able to go home and see my parents and friends. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Southampton; I was passionate about my course, I remember meeting lovely people and enjoying lying around in the sunny grounds in the summertime.

After graduation I became a Chartered Accountant and went on to study the Chartered Institute of Tax exams to become a Chartered Tax Advisor. Whilst working for a well-known accountancy firm I was sponsored to do an MBA and worked for a number of clients including the retail chain Lush. After passing my MBA I was employed by Lush as Group Finance Director and was responsible for the team who returned a £1m profit for the UK retail business within two years.

Whilst at Lush I learnt so much about business, retail and troubleshooting abroad that it lead me to want to share this knowledge with others so I developed a practical Business Management course with Bournemouth University entitled “20 Ways to Improve Business Performance”. I ran this course in 2010 and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

I returned to work in tax about four years ago where I joined my current employer Princecroft Willis. I really enjoy my current role as Corporate Tax Director and enjoy working alongside talented people. My team looks after thousands of individuals and companies to help them pay the right amount of tax.

Over the last three years I have recruited graduates from the University of Southampton into my team this is because I like to recruit from the top Universities in the UK and academically graduates from Southampton are very strong, something which is vital if we are to sponsor them to take the Chartered Tax Advisor exams which in my view are the hardest tax exams in the world. Southampton graduates always come incredibly well prepared for their interview and they are also always really nice people who I know will fit into the team well.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the University of Southampton, so much so that I also did a part-time MA in Creative Writing at Avenue Campus a couple of years ago which I would definitely recommend.

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