Following his recent ACCA success, we asked Noah to tell us a little more about his journey and the challenges he overcame to achieve his qualification.
Can you tell us a bit about your background? For example, where you’re from originally, what you were doing before you started your studies, and what you’re doing now.
I am from a small town in Suffolk called Woodbridge. Following a fairly rocky ride in high school, I began to study vehicle accident repair at Suffolk New College, eventually obtaining a professional diploma. I excelled through the course and completed the full 3-year course in 18 months. I then began working for myself on a self-employed basis both as a vehicle smart repairer and then as a vehicle preparation specialist at a prestigious vehicle dealership. Then in 2013, I began to work for a bespoke cabinet maker based in Essex supplying various pieces of furniture to luxurious interior designers based in London and the home counties.
Please explain why you chose to study accountancy. Was there anything that triggered your decision?
I had a natural flair for numbers in my younger years which is something that stuck with me, but I didn’t take it any further from an educational perspective. However, I did find myself in circumstances that always required some form of mathematics. Whether it was calculating paint mixing ratios and the length of boards or dimensions required for a job. Ultimately what triggered my decision to pursue accounting was a need for change in my life. I needed a fresh start and a career change, although scary, seemed a logical move as it would open many other doors for me.
Can you pick out any highlights from the course? What did you like the most about it?
I am very fortunate that a lot of the highlights of my studies I have written down as they were the stories that the tutors told in order to make certain parts of a syllabus stick. A part of my preparation for my professional ACCA exams was re-reading my previous textbooks in order to familiarise myself with the foundations of the paper. For example, re-reading PM for APM. Or revisiting some of my AAT textbooks in preparation for foundation ACCA exams. I had many notes from stories that the tutors had told in class and often found myself laughing at them whilst I was preparing.
Did you find anything particularly hard and did you have any challenges that you had to overcome?
I had a number of hurdles throughout my studies as I have been with FI for over 6 years. In such a long-time frame there were always going to be challenges that I needed to overcome. As the team knows, in February 2021 we lost our German shepherd, Evie. At that point, I had my FM exam booked for the March 2021 sitting which was my third sitting of that exam. All preparation stopped and I didn’t think about studying, the course, or even the exam until exam week. I had done absolutely nothing until 2, maybe 3 days before exam day. I passed the exam with 59% and then passed my 5 remaining exams the first time.
Evie played a key role in my study journey. She had seen me obtain the AAT qualification and then progress onto ACCA. We celebrated the successes together and she picked me up when I had failures. Either way, it usually involved cheese and crackers. I’ll forever be grateful for the countless hours we spent together studying. Whether it was in the garden, up the table, or on her dog bed.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting their studies in accountancy?
Never be afraid of change. Putting yourself in an uncomfortable position for a few years will teach you so much about yourself as a person.
What are your plans for the future?
At the moment I will be enjoying some time away from my studies. However, I plan to move on to the ACCA Oxford Brooks degree or potentially a qualification that complements ACCA. Maybe some form of English qualification in order to improve my report writing.
Anything else you’d like to mention?
For all students or potential students, embrace the journey and follow your gut. Studying is an absolute whirlwind of the lowest of lows and the highest of highs. The successes are sweet and the failures are bitter but eventually, the early mornings and late nights will be worth it.
Noah’s favourite quote that guided him through his studies is:
“Whatever you start, you make sure you finish”
We wish Noah every success in the future and are looking forward to hearing all about it.
Start your journey to ACCA success
You can read more about our ACCA programmes using this link.
To find out more about the ACCA please visit their website ACCA