Have you done your Research?Posted: 6th of March 2017 by
When you are making the decision whether to go down the university or school leaver route it is important to do you research, figuring out what you want, and how you are going to get there. Jack Arnold gives some great advice on how he made his decision to join the Mazars school leaver program below.
Case Study - ACCA Student, Jack Arnold, Mazars School Leaver Program
Sitting down and comparing the time it would take me to become ACCA qualified via the university route and school leaver showed that it would be quicker as a school leaver and secondly, probably most importantly for most people making the same decision, I would be earning instead of finding myself in £50k+ debt before I even started the ACCA qualification. Looking back now I can see that a massive advantage is the experience in practice and commercial knowledge I’ve obtained through being a school leaver that graduates often lack when first joining straight from university.
The Mazars careers website was my first port of call and was very insightful about the job role and accompanying qualification. I spent some time with my careers advisor, going through the details of the job and what he believed to be career progression available from the school leaver route. Another key resource in helping to make my decision was the initial interview with my current manager and a member of the recruitment team where I could ask questions about the role and have the opportunity to speak to someone who has been through the school leaver process themselves and come out the other end.
The first piece of advice I would give to students is to try before you sign a contract – by applying for work experience, summer placements or speaking to someone that has taken the same route as this is the best way to get an idea of what you are signing up for. Secondly I would speak to a careers advisor as it is their job to advise you on the career choices out there and guide you through the joining process if you do decide Accountancy is for you. Unless you definitely know you don’t want to go to university I would, and did, still apply to university through UCAS so that you have both options available to you when it comes down to making a decision.
In terms of my role, a normal day starts at 08:30 and ends around 17:15 and will involve working on the year end accounts or quarterly management accounts for a client. The majority of my days are spent in the office working with accountancy software and excel to analyse and advise on the financial performance and financial position of the client. I also spend a fair amount of time out of the office visiting different clients from all sorts of sectors which I enjoy the most as you are meeting people and developing relationships as well as being a break from the office. As a school leaver you are likely to be working alongside a qualified senior who will mentor and train you on the bigger jobs whilst you may be given more independence on the simple and smaller jobs
Once i have qualified with ACCA, I intend to travel within Mazars, to utilise the international mobility available, to their New York office and Paris head office by way of short term secondments to different service lines to widen my skillset and meet as many people as possible. I eventually see myself in London working in Corporate Finance or moving towards Investment Banking to live the city life.
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