Initially, I wanted to be a primary school teacher in my sixth form days, however, after completing work experience in a primary school I decided it wasn’t for me. I never really wanted to go to university and so when I was thinking about what I wanted to do, this was a consideration for me. I really enjoyed maths and logical thinking so had finance as an option on the table. Then, RSM (at the time known as Baker Tilly) came and did a talk in my school about audits and about apprenticeships. I researched audit from there and did some further work experience at an accountancy firm as well as attended some open evenings, and from there I knew what I wanted to do.
I joined RSM as a school leaver, and under them, I have performed 2 separate apprenticeships – AAT (level 3 and level 4) and ACA (which is an equivalent to a masters degree), across a span of around 5 and a half years (the total course length is usually 5 years, however COVID-19 set me back 6 months). As a part of this, I have also received significant levels of on the job training. We attend college for all of our exams and get time for this off of work, and we attend various training courses to improve both my technical skills and my personal skills (such as presentation skills and teamwork)
My current role as an audit assistant manager involves me reviewing the financials of various different companies and ensuring there are no significant problems or errors. This involves me speaking with various different members of client teams about their company and the financials, as well as overseeing a team of people to ensure the work is of good quality and the work is on track. I am in constant communication with various different members of both the RSM firm and various different companies’ financial controllers and directors, and quite often visit the site itself to complete the audit.
I am currently about to onto a transition to manager development course to aid my transition to manager in the next couple of years. I am developing my role each day to ensure I am able to achieve this goal. RSM are a fantastically supportive firm to work for and I look to continue my career development with them. RSM provide secondment opportunities to qualified individuals and I look to consider taking an international secondment in the next couple of years.
My advice would be to work hard to achieve your goals but to set boundaries for your work-life balance and work with your employer to achieve this – if you are struggling, say so! It is much easier to receive help once you have asked for it. Work life can be full on once you start but your colleagues are there to support you as well as drive you.