Congratulations on achieving the highest total average marks worldwide in the ACCA Strategic Professional level achieving ACCA Gold Medal Prizewinner status. What do you think was the biggest factor that led to this achievement?
I think the biggest factor was exam technique. Obviously studying hard and having the knowledge is important, but without being able to apply this to the question, you cannot pick up the marks. Answering the question, focusing the answer on the information given and time management during the exam. These were crucial to the marks I achieved.
What made you choose a career in accountancy? Was there anything that triggered your decision?
I studied history and politics at university so was unsure what to do when I left. I wanted a career that opened doors and gave me lots of possibilities, as well as being secure. Accountancy ticked all those boxes for me. So far I have enjoyed my career so I think it has been a good choice and it is a career with so many opportunities. I am looking forward to seeing where my career takes me.
Over the course of your ACCA qualification, you have studied in the classroom as well as using FI Online courses. What was your preferred approach to studying? Do you have any study tips for other ACCA students?
For the tuition phase, I found FI online courses are as useful as the classroom, as this is passive learning, and have the added bonus of not having to spend time travelling! For revision, I found the classroom far more useful as it was easier to interact and speak with the tutors about any areas you were unsure about. Being online it was harder to do this. FI were always happy to have a call to go through anything but for me face to face revision would have been preferable.
How have you been supported by your company and colleagues throughout your studies so far? How has this contributed to your success with ACCA?
My company often gave me time off to attend tuition and revision courses which helped give me the time to study. They also paid for the tuition and the exams. My manager was brilliant and tried to give me work that was relevant to my exams when possible. Having real-life experience of some of the topics and the time to study definitely helped me to pass the exams.
How do you feel First Intuition has responded to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic? In what way/s has the pandemic affected your ACCA studies?
First Intuition reacted well. They were already doing online classes before the pandemic so the structure was there for online learning. Not being able to attend classroom teaching was a different challenge and made interaction harder. However, working from home meant less time commuting and therefore there was more time for revision or time to relax. So the challenges were different from before and after the pandemic.
Having become an ACCA Gold Medal Prizewinner, which qualities would you suggest a new learner looks for in a tuition provider to get the best experience from their studies?
Responsiveness of the tutor to queries you will have is key for me. Most of the revision is done in the evenings and weekends. Therefore if you have a question on Saturday morning and no response until Monday it can disrupt your weekend revision. First Intuition always responded very quickly to queries meaning it would not delay my revision. The quality of the notes and revision material is also very important. Some of the topics can be hard to grasp. Having clear notes that can be understood when looking back at them is crucial.
Do you have any goals/plans in mind now that you have finished your ACCA qualification?
My main plan is to get my social life back and enjoy the extra free time I have! From a career point of view, during my studies I was very focused on passing exams so had not given a lot of time to consider what to do once qualified. However, as I work in practice, I would like to expand the client base that I look after and develop my management accounting skills.