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Interview with Liz Mullett, Switzerland

Liz Mullet

One of the winners of our 2016 Earth Day Contest, Liz Mullett, speaks with us about her community project, and her experience studying online with InterActive.

First of all, congratulations on receiving a full scholarship to one of our executive education courses.

We wanted to first talk to you about your Earth Day contest submission, and follow up with a few questions about the mountain clean-up you started in the French Alps. Could you tell us a little about how you first got involved in this project?

We initially got involved with the local ski resort itself - when they held snowboarding competitions in the winter. The Mountain Days organisation first set up a mountain clean-up, and we picked up one of their flyers and contacted them because we decided it would be good idea to start a similar initiative in our own area.

How long ago did you start the mountain clean-up?

This is the fourth year, so we started in 2012.

What are some of the biggest changes you’ve noticed from 2012 to now? Do you see more volunteers participating every year?

We’ve been trying to grow it year on year, and I would say it’s definitely getting bigger. I’d say we probably had about 15 volunteers last year, so it’s still not as many as we would like, but we are hoping to recruit more volunteers as time goes on.

Why is there is so much litter on the mountain, in your opinion?

I think one of the reasons is that people are not very well educated in environmental issues. For example, it takes anywhere from 2 to 15 years just for one cigarette butt to decompose, and they are all over the mountain. Visitors don’t realise the impact it has on the environment, so I think it’s just about trying to educate people as much as we can.

That’s great, we’re happy to hear you are so committed to educating the public and we wish you a lot of success in making your clean-up bigger and better each year.

We wanted to also ask you a couple of questions about your academic pursuits. Could you tell us about what programme you’re studying?

I just started this February. I started studying towards the ACCA qualification, in order to become a chartered accountant.

Why did you decide to study towards the ACCA qualification?

I left college and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to study at university so I decided to go traveling. From traveling I decided that I loved living in the mountains, and had a number of seasonal jobs, and then from there I took a job as a bookkeeper for one of the local airport transfer companies.

I was very much self-taught. I’ve also gained some experience as a finance assistant, but later I realised I really wanted to have a solid foundation and a good understanding of what I was doing, so it seemed certain that I could acquire this with ACCA.

How did you first hear about InterActive? And what made you choose to study with InterActive as opposed to another provider?

Well I think when I was doing my Google research to see what providers were out there, I came across London School of Business & Finance, and you were the online partner associated with them. It seemed like the best option since it’s a renowned school.

I found the support with InterActive to be very good, and even though I’ve only been studying for a few months, I know that everyone has been really quick to get back to any queries I’ve had.

What are some of the advantages of studying online?

I find this approach to be a lot easier because you can access everything wherever you are, so it’s great. You can study on your commute, in the evenings, at the weekends, etc. It is a big commitment but it’s really worthwhile, and the support is brilliant. And I don’t have to worry about carrying heavy textbooks around with me!

Where do you see yourself after you complete your qualification?

I know that I’m really enjoying the management accounting aspect of the course, so I’ll see where that takes me. I’m hoping that through studying this course I’ll be able to identify which areas I’m interested in, and I also want to see what opportunities I’ll get. So I’m just excited to see where the qualification will take me in the future. I think it’s going to open a lot more doors for me.

Based on what you’ve experienced so far, would you recommend this course to other people who are looking to earn their ACCA qualification?

Yea, definitely. You have to be quite disciplined to commit to online learning, but I think if it’s something you’re passionate about doing, then that’s your motivation, so you’re only letting yourself down if you don’t do the work.

How confident are you that ACCA will help you with future employment?

A lot of employers in Geneva have listed ACCA as a requirement for accounting-based roles, or as a bonus for certain positions. And where I’m living, I’ve met a lot of people who’ve told me, ‘As soon as you qualify, we’ll come to you, and you can do our accounts.’ So, you can see that there are opportunities to be had with this qualification.