Stuart Brown – Hanburys Chartered Accountant I have wanted to be accountant since I realised I was never going to make it as a Formula 1 driver or astronaut! I found out about the career when on work experience for a local accountancy firm. After the two weeks had finished, I was offered the opportunity to stay and work for the firm outside of school hours. This allowed me to get an insight into the career and helped me to make decisions about my future with more confidence. After my A-levels I was employed by Dickinsons Chartered Accountants who allowed me to train for the AAT. I choose the AAT-ACA Fast Track because at the time university was not for me, and I wanted to further my education beyond A-levels whilst earning money. Personally, I would encourage people to do this route because the AAT enables you to gain on-the-job experience and an understanding of accounting principles, prior to starting the ACA. You also save a year by doing the AAT first for two years, instead of doing a three year University course! I don’t feel the AAT route is viewed any differently to the graduate path, because once you have qualified everybody has proven their capabilities. In some circumstances it’s beneficial to take the AAT-ACA Fast Track because you will have an additional 2-3 years experience! Student Societies play a big part in your professional development too. I’m now on the student committee supporting students not only professionally but also by organising social events, like footie tournaments and the annual ball. The ACA has given me the opportunity to work on the larger more interesting clients who are based in a range of different locations. Also, more job opportunities open up as you progress through the qualification, not only in accountancy, but in all business sectors.