Written by Stuart Crabtree, Assistant Accountant
After completing my A-levels in Geography, Economics and Physics, unlike most of my peers, I decided that I did not want to go to university. I then began delving into my options to gain further qualifications whilst gaining work experience, and an Apprenticeship seemed to be the ideal course of action to follow. Knowing that I enjoyed working with numbers, I chose to narrow my search to an accountancy apprenticeship which lead me to the opening of HICSE’s Apprenticeship role.
I therefore submitted my CV and the wait began. A few weeks later, I was invited to attend an interview at Manvers House. The day came and I was taken into my first interview, which I would later find out was being conducted by who would be my immediate colleagues – Allen Hunt (Assistant Accountant) and Kaman Sze (Financial Planning Assistant). Immediately following my first interview, I was interviewed by Mike Docksey (Finance Manager) and roughly a week later, I received an email confirming I had been offered the Apprenticeship with HICSE and would be completing a level 3 AAT qualification. On the 27th of August 2019, I started my first day with HICSE which was an exciting but nerve-racking day having come straight from school where I knew lots of people to an office environment where I knew nobody or what was expected of me!
As part of my Apprenticeship, it was agreed that Thursdays would be my study day so that I could attend the online course (which consisted of video lectures and skills books which I had to complete within a set timeframe). I have also had to take 5 external exams (which proved very difficult to arrange due to COVID-19), however I have now passed 4 of the exams and am currently awaiting the results of the 5th exam which will be published later this month. I will also have to engage in a professional discussion with AAT and in addition to that, I have finalised my evidence portfolio which has been submitted to AAT (this is required to prove that I am using accountancy skills in the workplace).
During the other 4 days a week, I have been working alongside Allen (who is also my mentor) to complete month end tasks, processing purchase and sales invoices, as well as other ad hoc tasks. Mike has also given me a number of ad hoc tasks to further my development.
With the end of my Apprenticeship coming to an end in December, I was very pleased to be offered permanent employment as an Assistant Accountant with HICSE and it is planned that I will also work towards a level 4 accounting qualification in my own time.
To date it has been a steep learning curve, but I have thrived on being part of a friendly and supportive team who have ensured that I am involved in a wide range of tasks.