Meet Alison Gamble our ICAEW Quilter prize winner

In this interview we speak to Alison Gamble, our ICAEW Quilter prize winner, who received this award for her Corporate Reporting ICAEW exam, whilst working as an apprentice for HW Fisher LLP.

Find her top tips and advice for aspiring ICAEW students below.

An image of Alison Gamble, our ICAEW Quilter prizewinner

Meet Alison Gamble our ICAEW Quilter prize winner

In this interview we speak to Alison Gamble, our ICAEW Quilter prize winner, who received this award for her Corporate Reporting ICAEW exam, whilst working as an apprentice for HW Fisher LLP.

Find her top tips and advice for aspiring ICAEW students below.

Congratulations on achieving first place and the Quilter Price for your Corporate Reporting ICAEW exam. What do you think was the biggest factor that led to this achievement?

Looking back, I think the main factor in this achievement was that I truly focused on these exams, and was single minded in my determination to pass (especially as I was sitting all three advanced level exams in one go and couldn’t face the prospect of a resit). I never set out to win a prize, but I’m so glad that if it was in any of the ICAEW exams, it was in Corporate Reporting. By the time I sat the exam, I felt that I had really given it my all and would be proud of myself no matter what the outcome; the prize was just the cherry on top of the cake, and it made the hard work so worthwhile.

What made you choose a career in accountancy? Was there anything that triggered your decision?

In all honesty, it was a decision that surprised myself! You could say that I don’t have the traditional “accountancy” background, having studied English Literature at university; in fact, I pretty much wrote off accountancy as a profession. However, a few years after graduating I started noticing just how many people I knew who had chosen this career, many of them with backgrounds that were similar to my own. Hearing about their experiences made me rethink my own career path, and I felt that there was lots about accountancy that really appealed to me, especially the opportunity to study while gaining work experience at the same time.

Over the course of your ICAEW qualification, you have studied in the classroom via an apprenticeship. What was your approach to studying? Do you have any study tips for other students aspiring towards ICAEW prize winner status?

My approach to studying? Practice, practice, practice. You hear it from your tutors constantly, but I think it was such a factor in my success, particularly when it came to the mock exams. I tried to think of each mock exam as if it genuinely was the real thing, and I found mocks invaluable to my learning experience as they would either motivate me to spend more time on a particular area, or prove that I was on the right track.

My top study tip (for anyone, not just for aspiring prize winners) would be to avoid comparing the number of hours you have studied to those of your colleagues or classmates. Personally, I saved most of my revision for the weekend, when I could dedicate more time and concentration to studying, as I found that revising in the evenings only left me feeling burnt out. Comparing your revision hours to others just makes everyone inevitably feel worse, when in reality studying for these exams is not one size fits all.

How have you been supported by your company and colleagues throughout your studies, and how has this contributed to your success with ICAEW so far?

I received a lot of support from my company and colleagues, but the best support I received was knowing that for the most part, everyone I worked with had sat these exams before, so knew exactly what I was going through! As I have mentioned, I put a lot of time and energy into these exams, which wouldn’t have been possible without their understanding and encouragement. The ability to switch on my out of office and spend my days working through the question bank rather than a working paper was a huge factor in my success.

Having become an ICAEW prize winner, which qualities would you suggest a new learner looks for in a tuition provider to get the best experience from their studies?

I would recommend that a learner looks for a tuition provider that puts the learning experience first, while also appreciating that not all learners are the same. At FI, there were always opportunities to receive personal support or feedback, and to ask the tutors questions. One aspect I really appreciated was how my tutors would go above and beyond to find an answer to a question, no matter how big or small, and explain it in a way that actually made sense.

Finally, we’d like to say a huge congratulations to Alison and look forward to watching her progress in her ICAEW qualification.

 

If Alison has inspired you to start your ICAEW journey, you can read more about the ICAEW qualification at the links below.

Studying at FI | Book Now | Where can you study?

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