We caught up with Dawn to find out more about her journey and her experience of studying as a level 7 apprentice.
(FI) Dawn, can you tell us a bit about your background and why you chose to study accountancy?
(D)It feels like a long time ago now but I really started studying accountancy back when I was doing my G.C.S.E’s. I went on to study at university and subsequently became an apprentice. Every part of the journey has been interesting and challenging.
I’ve always enjoyed studying accountancy, as it’s a broad subject with lots of exciting career opportunities. Being a people person, I chose to start my working life in external audit and completed a summer internship during my second year of university. I made the move to internal audit after graduation which gave me the opportunity to learn about processes across all parts of a business. It’s also helped me to build relationships with a variety of clients.
(FI) Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
(D) I chose an apprenticeship as I liked the idea of the added extras that you get alongside studying. In such a competitive job market, I think it’s important to be able to evidence having wider skills such as communication, teamwork and leadership, rather than just a qualification. It shows you can be adaptable in any situation.
(FI) Can you tell us a little about what it’s like to study accountancy as a level 7 apprentice?
(D) It’s been great. As a level 7 apprentice, I’ve attended skills days which have been both fun and insightful. Reflection is a key element to this and it’s important to look back at what you’ve learnt, what was most challenging and what you can take into the workplace. I think this really helps to focus your mind and work out how you’re going to improve.
(FI) What would you say are the main benefits of an apprenticeship for the apprentice?
(D) For me, one of the biggest benefits has been the opportunity to meet other apprentices and learn from them and their experiences. The support you receive from your skills coach, throughout your apprenticeship, is also invaluable. The regular reviews between employer, apprentice and skills coach give you the chance to raise any concerns or queries and to discuss your general progress. I found my skills coach really helpful throughout my apprenticeship. She offered lots of support and guidance whilst I completed my project report.
(FI) What support did you get from FI Chelmsford and how did you find studying with us?
I’ve enjoyed studying with FI and the support I’ve received from the tutors and my skills coach has been a real highlight. When studying for exams, the tutors have been friendly and helpful and are always happy to answer any questions. I’ve attended skills days on teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and communication to name a few. These have been engaging and have given me the opportunity to network with other apprentices. As I mentioned before, my skills coach has played a big role throughout my apprenticeship; answering questions and supporting me throughout the whole process.
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