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My Journey as a Chartered Accountant in Training

Date: Nov 12, 2021

My Journey as a Chartered Accountant in Training

It’s hard to believe how quickly things can change!

Back in time, I would not have thought that I’d be where I am today… Working whilst studying towards the accounting qualification is like a dream coming true to me!

I’ve always had a passion for finance, and I knew I was on the right career path when I joined Troy Accounting in 2019. However, life wasn’t always this smooth and I’ve gone through a lot to achieve what I have…

Here’s my journey so far:

 

Beginning

All journeys have a beginning. Mine happened to be at college when I first decided to study accounting. My curiosity in business made me go one step further as I decided to study accounting at university. My workload felt much lighter because I genuinely loved the course I was studying! I quickly realised that it would give me the skills and knowledge that I could then transfer into the workplace. It was a great starting point, which helped me to prepare for the world of work!

 

Route to employment

When my family had grown in size, I was finally ready to commit to my first job. Despite my willingness to work, I found it really difficult to find a job after university. I still remember it as one of the worst periods in my life! Job-seeking became such a dull and impersonal experience that I lost all hope in finding the job that I really wanted.

Securing my employment in the finance function of a large manufacturing firm, translated into reduced stress and increased confidence. Although my new job did not last too long, I enjoyed coming to work every day and I appreciated the opportunities I was given. In just over a year, my job responsibilities expanded from the typical duties of a purchase ledger clerk to assisting with implementation of the audit function to monitor expense reports.

Sadly, I was made redundant from that role and the fear of looking for a job got me again. I then came to realise that it was just a route to a better career and life!

 

Apprenticeship

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. Although it’s difficult at times, it can be very comforting to think that there is a purpose for this! I knew that I would need to continue my education in order to qualify as an accountant. That’s exactly why I decided to look for a job with an accounting firm rather than another company in industry…

… and I was beyond happy when I started the apprenticeship programme with Troy Accounting because it enabled me to pursue my dream job. Developing my skills has come naturally and easily as I have taken on more responsibilities for my own portfolio of clients.

Working for a proactive and forward-thinking company like Troy has meant that my work is not just limited to the accounting side of things, but it also includes other areas of the business, such as marketing activities. For example, I’ve written blogs and book reviews, as well as worked on a group project which required me to pretend that I was a new business owner going through the steps of setting up my business. This helped to increase my understanding of the business world and to think more broadly.

I am thankful for being exposed to so many different areas and it has helped me understand that accepting new challenges can positively influence my confidence at work! This has allowed me to put my knowledge into real life and experience the other business areas that I learned in my studies at university.

I feel supported on my apprenticeship journey, and I couldn’t have had better mentors than Helen and Boo throughout this process. Having a clear structure in my studies and at work helps me to avoid being overwhelmed. It’s worth noting that apprenticeships are not only about doing a real job with training. I’m assessed through a mix of assignments, both written and verbal that require me to talk about the skills and knowledge I’ve gained so far.

It’s a hard job to juggle work, family and studies… But it’s possible! I’ve learned to be flexible and adapt to new situations as they arise. I avoid stress and frustration by planning ahead and breaking my goals into smaller chunks. This helps me to determine what’s really important and what can wait. I always ensure that I can control my time so I can do different things with my kids, whether it’s just going for a walk, baking cookies or reading a book at night. Overall, I think I’m coping quite well!

 

Although it can be difficult at times, at the back of my mind I know that I am able to handle challenges and get past them. Starting the apprenticeship after some time away from study meant that I had to get back into the mindset for studying. Then, I faced the transition to online classes due to COVID to continue learning in a safe and secure manner. I’ve learned that it’s all about overcoming all these obstacles that are standing in your way. When furloughed, I was able to fully focus on the studies and adapt my learning plan to reflect the changes. I have come back stronger, more confident and open-minded because I believe in my ability to succeed.

 

Reflection

On reflection, my journey has shaped who I am today. With this apprenticeship I’m getting a qualification while building incredibly valuable experience. It’s definitely worth it! The moral of this story is that if you feel you have a purpose to be where you are, you should follow it!