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Ibrahim Ghaznavi

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What was your pathway into an apprenticeship?
I’m 18 and joined the firm in September 2021 after completing my A Levels, so I’ve had four months with the firm and I’m really enjoying it.

You spend the first two years studying for AAT, level 4 qualification and potentially going onto either the ACA/CTA or the ATT/CTA.

I always knew I wanted to go into finance and was keen on accountancy and economics as I did maths, economics, and psychology at school. My school was very positive about apprenticeship schemes and we had talks by people who were doing them, so after chatting it through with my parents I decided to go for it. I’m more of a practical, hands-on learner and being able to learn and put that into practice every day is important to me. I decided to apply to a firm that would enable me to gain experience in different sectors. I’m a Trust Apprentice but I’m working on a variety of trust, probate, and tax matters. I’ve already gained a lot of tax experience.

How has it worked?
So far I’m really enjoying it as no two days are the same and I’m working with lots of different people. I really wanted to come into the office to work rather than work from home, so that I can learn from those around me which I have been doing.

I think I would like to stay in tax and trusts as everyday there is a new task, it is exciting and every client is different. It certainly isn’t repetitive as every matter is unique. I’ve passed my first exam and I’ve got my second coming up in the next month, so I take a ½ day every Friday for study leave and then after that has been completed I’ll start to go to college one day a week. When I have an exam I get the day of the exam off as well as the working day before, so the firm gives you a lot of time to revise and is supportive.

I think my perception before I started was that I might be working alone and it would be a strict environment, but everyone here has been really welcoming and you get to work in teams with people of all levels – directors, managers, and other apprentices, so it is more relaxed than I thought and a great environment for me to work in.

What advice would you give to someone considering an apprenticeship like yours?
Starting work straight from school was scary as I hadn’t been in the professional work environment before, but after a week it was ok. There hasn’t been a huge pressure as my colleagues know I’ve come straight from school and they are helpful in allowing you to make the transition.

My advice would be there is nothing to worry about, you will adjust quickly and support is available here.

What’s next?
Before I joined I thought I was really clear on what I wanted to do but I’ve realised that there is much more to being an accountant, there are many career paths you can take. I’ve not had enough experience yet to know what I would like to specialise in, but the probate work has really surprised me as I really enjoy it.

I’ve just finished working with one of the directors on an Inheritance Tax return and that was interesting to do as there were also many aspects of law that came into it as well. If I had to name one area now I could see myself specialising in it would be probate work.

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