Sep 2020 / Blog

Chillie Squance, originally from Wells, Somerset always wanted to further her education and pursue a career in the financial industry. However, realizing the University route was not for her, she was unsure of what her options were.

With her ACT apprenticeship, Chillie is now working for an accountancy firm, gaining the necessary skills and knowledge needed to ensure a successful and promising career in the finance sector.

“I decided that University wasn’t for me for a number of reasons but I also knew that I wanted to continue my education. An apprenticeship has been a great way to do this. I have been able to gain a globally recognised qualification as well as practical experience.”

Chillie, 20, works as an Accounts and Payroll Assistant with Accounted For Ltd, a small accounts practice based in Cardiff. While working towards gaining her AAT Level 4 accounting qualification, Chillie is also gaining practical on the job experience.

“My job role is trial balance preparation for financial and management accounts. I am responsible for VAT submission, running payrolls, as well as providing support and feedback for new apprentices. Since starting my apprenticeship my professional skills have improved dramatically – one notable skill is my people skills and how to interact with different characters.”

Chillie’s apprenticeship ensures that alongside developing experience within the finance industry, she is also continuing her educational journey. She comments, “learning theory alongside the practical experience will only benefit me moving forward.” This financial knowledge will be essential as Chillie looks to further her career in finance.

Chillie has also notably been continuing her apprenticeship throughout lockdown. An experience, she feels, although challenging, has been that much easier due to the support of ACT and her employer.

“Just before lockdown was announced the Accounted For office was shut down and working from home was implemented immediately. For me it took a month or two to settle into the new normal, but now that I have adapted, I am really enjoying the working from home set up. I’ve always had a good work ethic but there were times when motivation levels dipped. What I’ve learnt from my apprenticeship has helped me focus. I work as part of a team and we’ve got to support each other.”

Chillie adds that having an apprenticeship which is tailored to her specific needs and goals has also helped greatly:

“ACT have always supported me massively since I joined them in 2017. Exam dates can be postponed if necessary and further support is available if I’m struggling. They’re incredibly accommodating and supportive with any issues I may run into. My employer offers great support too and they are great at challenging us in day to day work which exposes me to various aspects of accounting in practice.”

In addition to gaining practical experience and qualifications, an apprenticeship also means that Chillie can earn while she learns. Despite the uncertainty of the times we are living with due to the global pandemic, Chillie is confident that her apprenticeship puts her in great stead to achieve her career aspirations in finance:

“The apprenticeship route really works for me as I can earn money alongside training. It means, once I am qualified I will be employed with a full-time job and won’t be in any debt.”

If you’re inspired by Chillie’s story and think an apprenticeship could be for you, then check out our Apprenticeship vacancies here. We have hundreds of vacancies available with top Welsh employers, who are looking for talented young candidates like you. What are you waiting for? Apply now