My road to ACA
I decided to study the ACA qualification due to its worldwide recognition and endless career expansion opportunities. After completing my degree in Economics, I was looking for more challenges and a professional qualification seemed to be the ideal choice.
What attracted me to the ACA qualification was that, in addition to the theoretical knowledge I would be gaining, I would also be gaining practical knowledge and experience.
I was greatly attracted to the fact that I could work whilst studying, hence enabling me to put into practice all the knowledge I would gain from my studies, as well as earn money!
Whilst deciding upon which size firm to train with, I asked myself numerous questions including; what type of employer would I like to work for? What type of employee would I want to be? What opportunities would be available to me?
Whilst pondering these questions, I found myself answering them almost instantly. I wanted to work for an employer that had a wide variety of clients, so that I could attain a range of knowledge and experience from each assignment. I didn’t want to be just another face in a team; instead, I wanted to feel like an active member, and be able to express my opinions.
In addition I was looking for an employer with a strong commitment to student training and learning development, who would encourage me to broaden my horizons and also be able to offer me responsibility from earlier on.
The search for my answers all led me towards choosing a medium sized firm, as it has an array of clients from retail stores, to hotels, to schools as well as charities, meaning that I would have variety in my work as well as gaining more experience in accounting within different industries.
Rather than working for larger firms or one of the Big 4 and feeling like I was over looked and lost in a crowd, I felt a medium sized firm offered me security, and the feeling that I was an important part of the team. It would also be able to offer me more responsibilities and the chance to climb the career ladder faster.
The most challenging aspect of my training is studying whilst working, and motivating myself to study after a long day at work. However, the euphoric feeling when all your knowledge falls into place, and you are able to apply all that you have learnt and the rewards from passing each exam, definitely make all the hard work worth it!
The most enjoyable part of my training has been the variety of clients I have worked for. Each day or week brings about new challenges and a new environment. The constant change and variety of work I am able to do definitely keep things interesting.
The main bit of advice I would give to someone just starting is “Do your homework”. Do extensive research of the type of company you want to work for, what the company can offer you and what you can offer the company.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, because that is the only way to learn, and most of the time people are only too happy to help.