Meet our apprentice Abbi

About Abbi

My name is Abbi and I’m an Assistant Accountant Apprentice at Bracknell Forest Council. I have just finished my Level 3 AAT studies and will soon be moving onto Level 4 AAT.

Why did you apply for an apprenticeship?

I decided to apply for the apprenticeship in accountancy as I was unsure what career path I wanted to take and knew I was looking for a new challenge. I enjoyed the idea of learning new skills in an unfamiliar line of work, so when this opportunity became available, it was too good to miss. 

The potential this apprenticeship could give me for the future and the doors it could open was the main focus when applying for the role.

What is it like being an apprentice here?

Being an apprentice at Bracknell Forest Council has been an incredible opportunity to build my knowledge of finance on the job, and study towards exams which cover other areas of accountancy that I’m yet to see at work. 

I am supported by my managers, who are always encouraging me and ensuring I can work towards passing my exams whilst also meeting my deadlines at work.

What are you enjoying most?

I am enjoying the challenge of the apprenticeship and the opportunities that it has given me. 

Going to college to study has been a fun way to learn whilst also picking up new terminology and skills from my team at work.

What are you enjoying least?

Sometimes the pressure of the exams can be very daunting, especially as before my apprenticeship I hadn’t sat an exam in 7 years, however the satisfaction of seeing the pass ticks on my AAT account gets me through each time.

What have you learnt so far?

So far, I have learnt many new skills during my apprenticeship, sometimes I don’t realise quite how far I’ve come until I reflect on previous years. The knowledge I’ve built throughout my apprenticeship has helped me to resolve any queries that arise at work more independently. 

I’ve also noticed myself feeling more confident in many aspects of work and my personal life. The idea of the apprenticeship was initially quite scary, but having made it through Level 3, moving onto Level 4, I feel a huge sense of achievement.

What support are you receiving?

The support I have received from my managers has been incredible, the whole accountancy team have been unbelievably encouraging and supportive throughout my studies so far. 

My training provider have excellent tutors who can explain tasks in various ways ensuring everyone understands what to do. Having such a supportive family who celebrate your achievements with you also makes the whole experience very positive and exciting.

How do you manage time between work and study?

Trying to balance work, life and studies was quite difficult to begin with. It seemed very overwhelming trying to find time in my schedule to fit in studying for exams, however, as the apprenticeship progressed, it slowly became second nature. 

Understanding that the studying is what will assist in passing my exams, therefore progressing in my career made it click in my head how important it was to take a few hours a week to prioritise looking at my college books. 

Any advice for someone considering an apprenticeship?

Advice I would give to someone considering an apprenticeship would be - go for it! The doors it will open for you in the future are so worth the times that may be a little stressful or overwhelming. 

Having a support system around you who help keep you on track, encourage you with studying and celebrate your wins with you will help push you through. The time will fly by and in the blink of an eye you will have achieved something incredible for your future. 

You do not need to have prior knowledge or skills in the area of work the apprenticeship is in. A willingness to learn and ability push yourself is all you need to be suitable for an apprenticeship, so if you are thinking about it, why not apply?