School Leaver Apprenticeship AAT/ACCA

Anyone familiar with Apprenticeships in Accounting?

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I am looking for advice on finding an apprenticeship for the end of this year. I am currently online studying the Level 3 AAT Diploma, however I want to complete my exams by August (I missed out on a lot of content because I was in and out of hospital / severely ill due to medical issue).

I have 3 a levels in which two are good grades ( grade A,B) but one is quite bad (grade D) in accounting. However this grade does not reflect my actual accounting knowledge as during the exams I had mitigating circumstances. *For two years I was getting either A-Bs in Accounting - I guess I just have bad luck lol*

During sixth form I applied to apprenticeships in the Big 4 / Top 10 and was rejected either due to the tests or my lack of social skills in the group exercises - this depleted my confidence in applying to anything at all but I know this is the career path I want to follow. 

My questions are ,

- should I add this grade to my CV / application? Because it shows I have further accounting knowledge but the grade itself is poor. 

- I am someone with low confidence but I am a very fast learner, could I complete the AAT level 3 by August? (It is currently March right now). 

- How easy is it to secure an apprenticeship? Even if the firm is not in the top 20 I am willing to take it. 

thank you 

Replies (5)

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By Refs1
22nd Mar 2024 22:00

My advice would be to keep applying for any role you see both as in employment or an apprenticeship. Go to every interview even if it is out of your comfort zone. Don’t knock your low confidence. In my office, I took on a 19 year old, who has similar issues. He wasn’t the perfect candidate when we met him. We always get employees to do a maths test and that was passed easily. He still is quiet but extremely diligent. It has proven a great decision.

Forget top 20, just apply for everything including top 20. You will get lots of knock backs. But keep applying and go again. If the role doesn’t feel right don’t take it. You sound very driven, even if your confidence is low, just believe and keep dreaming.

Good luck you will find the role that suits. PM me if it helps.

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By Paul Crowley
22nd Mar 2024 23:00

Agree above
3 A levels are better than 2
Exams and actually working are not the same thing.
Top 20 firms do a lot of auditing, which is different from general practice. They also expect a good exam progress. Smaller firms are happy if you are making good work progress.
Apply to a variety of firms to get a feel in being interviewed.

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
24th Mar 2024 18:07

Sit the exam again this summer.

The A you are sure to score will supersede your D.

Late edit: Buy a copy of Getting the Job You Want by Howard Dowding and Sheila Boyce. It's a bit dated, but the principles are still good: the interviewer is the one with the problem, as he must hire the right candidate or look like a monkey; you on the other hand have a number of interviews to attend, from which you will select an employer from the many offers you anticipate receiving; you must project yourself into the position by asking what would be expected of you in your first year, and how your performance will be measured; and, finally, the interview is a two-way exchange in which both you and the prospective employer are finding out about one another. Good hunting!

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By tom123
25th Mar 2024 07:39

You don't have to work at one of the big names, you know..

There are plenty of smaller "chains" of accountants out there, who will still offer good progression - just maybe not have the brand recognition on the CV.

I thought all that "group" rubbish had gone out with the ark - about as dated as BBC apprentice.. but I am obviously out of touch.

My career didn't exactly launch in a linear fashion, but I made it to board level in the end. So will you. good luck/.

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By SkyBlue22
25th Mar 2024 10:26

I work in a smaller firm and we don't advertise apprenticeships, but in fact all our training staff are on one. I recommend necessarily not even going just for apprenticeship roles, but applying to any accountancy firm.

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