Tuesday, 10 March 2020 14:58

Aberdeen, Edinburgh and the Highlands

Aberdeen, Edinburgh and the Highlands

Throughout school I had an amazing maths teacher who instilled my love of numbers, leading me down the path of accountancy.  I grew up in the Highlands but many of my family were in the Central Belt so I had always assumed that’s where I would end up.  That was until I visited RGU to hear about their Accounting and Finance course and after learning that the course involved a year-long industrial placement, I was sold.

When I first moved to Aberdeen, I met many great people and really enjoyed settling into my new home.  During our second year of studies, we were introduced to what felt like hundreds of employers, encouraging us to apply to their firms as part of RGU’s third year placement programme.  AAB really stood out to me because they seemed to strike a great balance between professional and personal.  I had heard of their excellent reputation within Aberdeenshire, so they were obviously running a great, professional business.  However, what set them apart from their competitors, for me, was their focus on ‘happy people’ and their charitable initiative ‘AABi’.  CSR is everywhere you look but AAB’s attitude is very hands on – their relationships with charities are close and genuine, as well as allowing every single member of staff one day per year to volunteer for a local cause.  I was delighted to be offered a placement position at AAB and to spend my third-year learning more about accountancy in a great working environment.

Although it didn’t feature as many lie-ins, my placement year was one of my favourite years at university.  I was one of eight placement students who became close friends and even flatmates!  My placement year was split between roles in Accounting Services (now part of Business Advisory Group) and Corporate Finance.  I really enjoyed my time and learned a lot from each department which built on what I’d learned at university as well as providing context to my final year studies.  At the end of my placement I was offered a graduate role which I was delighted about.  However, despite having an amazing few years in Aberdeen, my draw to the Central Belt had not disappeared and was something I wanted to follow.  I was worried about accepting the job offer if I couldn’t do so wholeheartedly.  Throughout my placement year, AAB expanded geographically into Edinburgh and London, so I decided it would be worth asking whether carrying out a graduate role in the Edinburgh office was an option.  Very luckily for me, it was. 

I’m now six months into my Corporate Finance graduate role in AAB’s Edinburgh office and it’s fair to say I’m really enjoying all aspects of it.  I’m really grateful to AAB for allowing me to move offices as it’s meant that I can settle into a city that I love and can see myself staying long term, without having to sacrifice working for a such a great employer.  Since moving to Edinburgh my role hasn’t changed massively as a lot of effort is made to ensure that colleagues across both offices work together to support each other as one large team.  The Edinburgh office is smaller than the Aberdeen office, but it is growing at a rapid rate and is something I’m excited to be a part of.

By Chloe McAteer, Corporate Finance Trainee