I joined GBM Accounts in September last year as a Modern Apprentice, to train in accountancy. I’d been looking for a way to train for a few years and thought that training as I worked would be the best option for me. I’ve just reached the end of my college course, and am now a full employee, as you might have seen in another recent blog.
The course I have been studying is the AAT Level 2, which is the first stage in a 3 stage programme. I spent 1 day a week at college and the other 4 days working and training on-the-job. During the course I learned the theory and methods for most of the simple procedures, and am now competent in double entry bookkeeping through to trial balance and also basic costing.
However, I have learned so much more from the apprenticeship than I would from just studying the AAT course. I have gained valuable experience in working in an office environment and interacting with clients. Before starting with GBM Accounts I had worked in a supermarket and also in a call centre, so I had experience in relating to customers; however I had never worked in a true office environment before and so that has been a whole new experience for me.
Some of the people on my college course have never worked in accounts before, and so sometimes they have struggled with some of the theory or in understanding how the separate pieces fit together in the broader scheme of things, whereas the practical experience I have gained means that this has never been a problem for me. Another big lesson has been that no two clients are the same; they all have varying business models and different ways in which they keep their records, and so they require different approaches. This is something I would not have learned at college and has been an advantage some of my fellow students have not had. I have also gained a broader knowledge of how small businesses work, as well as an insight into the functioning of larger organisations.
The course has been excellent, and of course the qualification is important, but the experience I have gained has by far been the most valuable part. I would honestly recommend a modern apprenticeship to anyone, as I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this year and have gained so much more than just a qualification.