Wednesday, 27 November 2019 08:50

From the Classroom to a New Career

From the Classroom to a New Career

When finishing school, going on to university is still the ‘normal’, even expected, route to take. This can sometimes raise questions for students who are interested in alternative options to further education.  

However, stepping into the workplace straight from school can be just as beneficial as going to university, with apprenticeship programmes allowing for on-the-job training and support to gain qualifications.

AAB has a well-established arenticeship programme which enables apprentices to attain professional qualifications just one year after joining the firm. From day one, apprentices work with clients and colleagues in other AAB teams, while the firm’s dedicated training and development manager ensures each individual has a clear career path and support for their professional studies.

Someone who has benefitted from the firm’s apprenticeship programme is Megan McDonald, payroll & employment taxes assistant manager. Megan was one of the first apprentices to join AAB after she left school at the end of her fifth year to enter full-time employment. Although Megan initially considered university, she realised that training on-the-job would allow her to kick-start her career and gain knowledge and experience while pursuing professional qualifications.

When asked about her choice, Megan explained: “It became apparent very quickly that not having a degree was not going to hold me back at AAB. I got involved in several different tasks across global mobility, personal tax and overseas taxes. This was all completely new to me, but the team were very supportive and took the time to make sure I understood everything, which meant I could work with clients straight away.

In terms of qualifications, AAB has supported me while I have been achieving my tax qualifications through the Association of Taxation Technicians & Chartered Institution of Tax. These qualifications furthered my knowledge and development and they also confirmed that I had made the right choice - starting my career straight from school - because the qualifications I have achieved also need to be completed by graduates with a university degree.”

Since joining the firm as a trainee in 2014, Megan has progressed to an assistant manager position and is a key member of specialist teams across AAB’s Payroll & Employment Taxes department.

Commenting on her current role, Megan said: “Through initially being exposed to many areas within the department I realised that employment taxes was the area I wanted to specialise in. The team fully supported this and hit a great balance of specialisation while exposing me to other areas that would help develop my skills. For example, I have completed two payroll secondments, which allowed me to see my role from a completely different perspective.

My time at AAB has also involved travelling for courses and client meetings, working at our offices in Edinburgh and London, presenting at external events and being trusted to join small specialist teams, such as our new team to assist clients with the upcoming IR35 changes.

When I think back to five years ago, walking through AAB’s doors for the first time, I could never have imagined the opportunities that I’ve been offered. With hard work and determination, I have seized every one of those opportunities and AAB has supported and trained me to make sure I’ve made the most of them. Nowadays, I walk into the office with confidence and excitement, ready to train the next apprentices who walk through our doors for the first time.”

Applications for AAB’s 2020 apprentice positions will open in December 2019. For more information, click here.