Gareth John, Director and tutor at First Intuition, taught Skye throughout her AAT and ICAEW studies and got a chance to chat to her about what her qualifications have done for her career.
What interested you in a career as an accountant?
I chose to become an accountant after I really enjoyed my work experience placement in an accounts department during secondary school.
You decided at an early age to enter the accountancy workplace as an apprentice. Why was that?
I choose to study as an apprentice because I had no interest in going to University. I wanted to get straight into the work place. It also meant no debt! The biggest benefit of doing my apprenticeship were that I could put into practice everything I learnt at college and then apply it almost immediately in my work place.
So, you choose the AAT qualification rather than going to university?
Yes, I started with the AAT qualification because it was the fastest route for me to qualify as a chartered accountant and gain work experience at the same time.
In the accountancy world, there are several chartered qualifications such as ACCA, CIMA and ICAEW. Why did you choose the ICAEW qualification when you had finished AAT?
ICAEW was the qualification my firm usually use to put their employees through as it is more geared to what we do in day to day work in a practice firm.
How did doing AAT help with your ICAEW studies?
Already having the AAT qualification geared me up for the ICAEW exams gradually, not making it feel like such a huge step up. Everything I learnt in AAT was the foundation of the knowledge that I used to pass the ICAEW exams.
Do you feel that your qualifications have changed your life yet?
Absolutely. Becoming a qualified accountant has had a big impact on my life. It has changed my role at work, giving me scope to move into other areas of my career. It has also meant I have my social life back!
Do you have any thoughts about where else your qualifications will take you?
Although I am still not 100% sure what area I would like to specialise in, I am enjoying the fact that I have so many opportunities within my reach. My dream is that my qualifications mean that I can move abroad for a period of time and gain some international experience.
What benefit did you get from attending classroom courses for your AAT and ICAEW studies?
The best things about attending classroom courses are that you are able to engage with classroom activities which makes learning much easier, as well as engaging with other students working in the same or similar roles as you. Being in a classroom gave me a lot of focus. It also gave me the opportunity to ask my tutors questions, avoiding any delay in improving my understanding.
How did you find your tutors at First Intuition?
I found all of my tutors at First Intuition to be extremely helpful, professionals who not only know how to teach you a subject but how to apply it in our working environment.
How was the support you received from First Intuition?
The support I received from First Intuition through both my AAT and ICAEW studies was really good. At the start of every lesson you are given the tutors emails and mobile numbers and told that if we need any help, including weekends and late evenings, we could contact them.
What did you most love about studying with First Intuition?
I loved studying with First Intuition because you are treated not as a student but as future professionals.
FI is proud to play a role in turning students like Skye into the finance professionals who will lead the future of global business.