Friday, 20 November 2020 09:21

University isn't your only option

University isn't your only option

When leaving school, I felt as though going to University was pushed heavily on me. However, I had known for a while when at school that I didn’t think I would fit into the mould of university studying as I was very much in the mindset that I wanted to get into a full time job and start working my way up, I just hadn’t picked which field yet!

Whilst researching my future career options I decided to attend the career open evenings of a number of firms, including AAB, whilst in my 5th year at school. I really liked what I heard about AAB and decided to apply for a role at the firm, thinking that if I was accepted I wouldn’t complete my 6th year. I passed the first round of interviews at AAB however, during their relaxed interview process we discussed that it might be beneficial for me to gain a few more qualifications in my 6th year at school and try again the next year. I did just that and I was accepted into the firm in 2017.

Whilst in education I was very good at English alongside my accounting subjects, this made me the perfect fit for the Global Employment Taxes Team at AAB, but specifically the UK tax side. Day to day my role is really varied, ranging from large projects such as P11D’s & UK Tax Returns, to smaller one off in depth, disclosures and compliance projects.

I have now been with AAB for 3 and a half years. It has been a very steep learning curve, that cannot be undermined, but I could not have done it without the team around me. I was very much taken in and coached on the job, gaining experience and technical knowledge every day from my colleagues, and I have now made lifelong friends in my team. I have gained experience running projects and have also co-ordinated the team on various compliance tasks, something that seemed so unattainable when I started.  

My confidence in myself, alongside my technical knowledge has come on more than I would have ever imagined. This is down to my team believing in me and constantly being pushed to do more and challenge myself. This has allowed me to progress in the firm and also use the knowledge and skills I have gained to train new apprentices who have joined our team.

Alongside my full time employment, I am also completing my professional qualifications with the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) and the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CTA). These are qualifications that when I was at school, I was under the impression would be near impossible for me to attain without a university degree. However, if everything goes to plan, I should be fully qualified 4 years earlier than if I had attended university, with 4 years working experience behind me - and I’ll only be 22.

I’m very glad I believed in my abilities at a young age and didn’t follow the crowd as the strides I have made in my career for my age are so much bigger than I ever imagined for myself!

By Bronagh MacDonald, Employment Taxes Assistant