Rebecca Brooking, Business Services Assistant, Exeter

“Completing the AAT meant that when I started the ACA, I already had three years' work experience and earnings!”

My choice of career was actually down to my dad – thanks, dad! He suggested accountancy when I had to choose where to do my work experience in Year 11, and I enjoyed it so much that I chose Maths and Business Studies at A Level. I already knew that I didn’t want to run up huge University debts, but there wasn’t much information on school leaver programmes through the careers service at school, so I did a lot of my own research.

I soon realised that if I did the course with a firm, rather than at college, I would gain ‘on the job’ training as well as being paid, so when I was offered a position at Bishop Fleming I was thrilled. Everyone was instantly friendly and supportive and during my AAT training I received plenty of help with my studies and it really felt as if everyone was interested in me, and what I was doing. It’s a really nice environment, we all sit in teams and isn’t cliquey, everyone chats to everyone.

My advice to anyone who is thinking of doing accountancy training is to get some work experience – it will help you understand the profession and the training programme. It’s a big time investment, and hard work, but extremely rewarding. I really love my job and I have no regrets! I’m now doing the ACA and after that, I may go on to do a further qualification and specialise in tax.

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