Study Abroad, Placement and a Pandemic – My Journey to joining AAB’s Business Advisory Team

My AAB journey began in 2018 when I applied for a placement student role. I was uncertain if I would be accepted because I had a non-finance related degree, however I heard so many great things about AAB; the culture,…

AAB Life Blog

Blog20th May 2022

My AAB journey began in 2018 when I applied for a placement student role. I was uncertain if I would be accepted because I had a non-finance related degree, however I heard so many great things about AAB; the culture, forward thinking approach and focus on team development, that I knew I just had to be a part of it.

Unlike my fellow placement students from an accountancy background, I studied International Business Management at Robert Gordon University. Even though my degree choice has obligated me to sit an additional five professional qualification exams compared to my accounting peers, I would not have gone about my career path in any other way.

When applying to University, I was not entirely sure about the career path I wanted to follow. I decided to apply for International Business Management (IBM) due to the broad exposure I would receive to all aspects of the global business environment. The course covered all areas, from marketing to finance to ethics and values – with the added bonus of having a compulsory semester abroad and a one-year industrial placement scheme!

In my 2nd year of University, I was fortunate enough to study abroad in Toronto, Canada for four months – where I conducted my placement interview with AAB via Skype. I was unaware of how early the placement recruitment process started so when my family came to visit me they were instructed to bring over a whole new wardrobe so I had plenty of options for my interview with AAB! Having the opportunity to study abroad provided me with valuable life skills and I will be forever grateful for the amazing experience.

After returning from study abroad, I completed my second semester at RGU and began working at AAB in the autumn. My time was split between the Business Advisory Group (BAG) and Corporate Finance (CF), however due to the pandemic my full year was cut short, with placement ending in March 2020. I had no idea what to do with all this unexpected free time during this period. But it did allow me to rediscover my love for baking, and I started up a small lockdown project which became my part-time job during my final year of University.

Around November time, I received an email from AAB asking if I would be interested in returning for a graduate role. I successfully secured a position in the accounting services department of BAG. After being exposed to so many different roles and industries over the last four years, I did take some time to consider what fully committing to a career in accountancy would mean. Although the exams to become a qualified accountant can be difficult, it was actually one of my main draws to the career. I’m learning so much both through exams and the variety of work I am involved in at AAB. From the preparation of financial statements to management accounts and processing, the ‘no two days are the same’ slogan that many across AAB have said before really is true!

Currently, I am working towards my Chartered Accountancy qualification through the Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland (ICAS). After passing the first stage of ICAS (TC), I am now onto my TPS exams (which are just as difficult as everyone tells you!). For me, it has always been important that I continue to challenge myself after University and working full-time whilst studying has undoubtedly contributed to that. It is not always easy trying to balance the two; however, having colleagues who have and are going through the same experience as you certainly helps.

My first year back at AAB has flown by, and as the firm continues to grow, I am excited to develop my career and see what the future has in store.

By Chloe Singer, Business Advisory Services Assistant.

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