In this article, we’d like to introduce you to Vaneesha Girdharee, FI Tutor at our London Centre. Learn about Vaneesha’s journey to becoming an FI tutor and how her experience has been teaching at FI.
Where did you work before coming to FI?
I didn’t start out wanting to be an Accountant – I had dreams of being the next Indiana Jones! But, following a degree in Archaeology and a challenging job market, I started my career as an Audit trainee at PwC. I spent 3.5 years working in London Top Tier where I audited the financial statements of some of the FTSE 100 companies.
After this, I moved to the PwC Learning and Education team who wrote and delivered audit training for everyone from school leavers to Partners. Initially I focused on the graduate programme then I became responsible for the tutor academy, which looked at creating a core group of specialised tutors. My final years at PwC were as a manager in the Global L&E team, writing and rolling out training across the PwC network.
What originally attracted you to become a tutor?
When I was looking into what to do next after audit, I spoke to a careers advisor at my firm. They gave me some advice which I have used ever since – “what part of your day-to-day job gives you the most joy, follow that…”. In audit, I loved coaching and mentoring which led me to Learning & Education, then in L&E, I loved delivering training and upskilling tutors which led me to become a tutor.
What is your favourite thing about working at FI?
Can I have 3 favourite things? The teaching, the people and the variety. In that first week of January, when you are questioning your life choices, just 30 mins into your first teaching day and you remember why you love this job.
What is your role at FI and what do you teach?
I’ve had a really varied experience at FI, both in my teaching and other responsibilities. I teach Management Accounting, Tax and Audit across all the qualifications, as well as Case Study for ICAEW. This scope of subjects has meant I’ve really had to push myself to learn different ways of delivering content from “wordy” to “technical” subjects, and from entry level to advanced.
Outside of teaching, I’ve taken on roles as a tutor coach then subsequently a student mentor. This has helped me really understand how the apprenticeship programme works and all the brilliant work our skills coaches do! It’s also allowed me to provide careers advice to students and added a more pastoral element to my role.
I also work with the education team who review our programmes and considers the training needs in the tutor/skills coach pool. Finally, and more recently, I head up tutor recruitment and I’m a line manager to new tutors. Working with more senior staff, I designed our recruitment process and support candidates through this. I also then look after the development of new joiners by doing the onboarding process and designing an induction programme for them. As I’ve recently been in their position, I hope I can add lots of value to their first few months at FI!
What are the main challenges of being a tutor?
Managing your time. This can be both one of the most and least flexible jobs. Teaching days are very inflexible as you’re in the classroom with no distractions but this is a great thing, if, like me, you don’t enjoy emails! Non-teaching days are very flexible so it’s up to you to manage when you’ll prepare your courses, answer student queries, do student reporting and any other responsibilities you have.
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