Laura Thyer, Trainee Accountant, Bristol

“Working whilst studying really helps to cement what you’re learning.”

I’ve always been good at Maths and thought accountancy would be a good profession to use my skills. I’d planned to go to University but after my gap year, I chose a school leaver programme as it meant I could learn on the job, rather than just study for a few more years.

I’d heard of Bishop Fleming and they had a good reputation in the South West, so when a vacancy came up in Bristol, I jumped at the chance. I’m working as an Assistant whilst studying for the AAT a couple of evenings a week at an external training centre. The tutors there have been excellent, really supportive, and I’ve been assigned a mentor at work who’s been really helpful - for instance, when I was learning about tax ledgers they helped me find opportunities to work on them, which cemented my course.

My advice is to lots of research and make sure it’s definitely what you want to do as you have to be very dedicated. I’ve revised for exams in my own time during evenings and weekends, and completed a 6-month project which involved quite a lot of written work and looking back over what I’d learnt. It was tough but I was able to take time off in lieu and took extra holiday to make up for the extra work – so it’s not all bad! I will finish my AAT next year and then I’d like to move on to do my ACA. I would like to progress within the department and perhaps get some Audit experience as well.

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