“If you find the right balance, it is definitely manageable.”
Tomas applied for an apprenticeship in Accounting because he liked Maths and Business at school. He’s currently studying his AAT Level 3 Accounts Assistant apprenticeship and has a long-term goal of becoming a Chartered Accountant. Read his advice on things like preparing for interviews and what to expect once you begin an apprenticeship.
“Having just finished A-levels, I chose an apprenticeship because it’s an opportunity to get qualified whilst also earning money and getting that work experience. That is the big plus about apprenticeships, you are getting all three of those things at the same time.
The main one for me right now though is getting the qualifications as soon as possible.
I chose an apprenticeship in Accounting because I had an interest in it and was always quite good at Maths and Business in school. My business teacher always said that I would make quite a good accountant as he saw me do particularly well in the numbers aspect of Business Studies.
I started applying for apprenticeships during Covid-19, and some companies had pressed pause on taking on apprentices. So, at that time there was a lot of competition for the same roles.
In my experience, I had to be quite patient. You go through a very similar process for every application and interview, so it can get repetitive and discouraging when something doesn’t go your way.
I think it’s important to remember that other opportunities will always come up though, so you don’t need to go into every interview or application with extra pressure, feeling like you must succeed. There’s always something to learn from each process.
Other than that, it is of course important to research the company and industry before your interview with an employer. They like to ask questions about these to see if you are prepared and have a genuine interest in working for the company and in the industry.
I went on to gain a role as an Accounts Assistant at Simas Accounting & Tax, where I’m currently working towards an AAT Level 3 Accounts Assistant Apprenticeship.
I hope to get straight into Level 4 AAT following this apprenticeship, then move on to becoming a fully qualified Chartered Accountant, which will be a lot of work and many years down the line.
Since I started my apprenticeship, I have learnt a lot and really developed as a person. I am probably more confident now then I used to be too. It’s rewarding looking back to when I started and knew nothing, compared to where I am now.
The teaching and support from Milton Keynes College are really good. I have one day a week where I’m in college studying for exams – and these exams come around every couple of months or so. We take multiple practice exams to make sure we’re ready. I have two tutors who I can contact any time with any questions or concerns I might have about anything to do with the apprenticeship.”
Tomas’ advice to anyone considering apprenticeships:
“It can be a lot of hard work, so I suppose be prepared for that. You are almost working full time with study alongside too. But there is a lot of support for all these things. If you find the right balance, it is definitely manageable.”