Ellen Burg at Mazars LLP
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Level 7 Audit Apprentice
I work on a variety of our audit clients helping to audit their financial statements. This includes working both in the office and at the client’s premises. In addition, we have a range of different clients which means you get exposed to lots of different industries and types of testing which helps to keep the work interesting. I am currently in my second year of work therefore I am stepping up in the team, beginning to hold more responsibility on jobs and helping coach the more junior members of the team.
I like having the responsibility that comes with work. As you are working you get to learn things on the job meaning they stick with you a lot more than if you are just learning the theory of it in the classroom. Also, you get to deal with lots of different clients and industries which put you in a good position in the future when you want to progress into different areas of work. In the Poole office there is a good social feeling with a committee who organise monthly social events.
Having to do the exams while still working full time is challenging. However, the work that you perform day to day does end up helping you with the knowledge that is needed for the exams. In addition, in order to get a degree/qualification you do need to do exams and being able to earn money and get work experience while doing that does outweigh any stress that you have in the periods of time when you are having to study and take the exams.
Out of the accounting firms in the area where I lived Mazars was one of the larger, more well-known firms and it has a good presence in the Dorset business area. Although it is a global firm it still feels very personal.
It was quite different to what I have had to do before as I had never previously had to do a job interview. I think the first phone interview was probably the most nerve-racking part of the process and then it got better once you got to the face to face interviews. I felt like the interviewer was trying to help me not catch me out.
As a school leaver on the apprenticeship scheme I was surprised at how closely my training program and work experience were essentially the same as the graduates that started the same time as me.
I think when most people think of apprenticeships, they think of manual jobs such as plumbing. However, doing an apprenticeship in accounting allows you to qualify as a financial professional without having to go to university. Coming from school you end up not being too far behind those who start the same you as you after doing a degree. As a school leaver in order to gain an ACA qualification it takes 4 years and graduates still take 3 years and it is no longer seen as a lower level route to qualification by the accounting firms.
It is worth doing unless you are desperate to gain the ‘uni experience’. It allows you to start gaining work experience and start earning money straight from school rather than having three years at university, building up a large debt and then still having to do the same set of exams, but three year later. Also, with the apprenticeship offered by Mazars, once it is completed, the level 7 apprenticeship is the equivalent to a degree anyway!More Experiences
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