Tapuwa Mugwagwa took a bold decision after two years studying at university when he decided to change career direction and embark on an apprenticeship with Mercer & Hole.
Tapuwa wanted something that would build on what he had already been learning, but which would also give him more practical work experience as well. “Following a family bereavement, I reviewed what I really wanted to do and decided I wanted something that would combine work and academia. The law degree I had been studying at university has been helpful as I’m a tax and trusts apprentice. I don’t feel like I’m abandoning the knowledge and skills I had already learnt, as an appreciation of the law is very useful.”
“I started with Mercer & Hole in September 2021 and I’m doing an AAT Apprenticeship (tax and trusts). The biggest adjustment is the change from a student life to a full-time, professional environment. Everything was a big adjustment but it is also a great experience and I’m really enjoying it.”
With exams approaching in May and mocks under his belt, Tapuwa has welcomed the study days and the opportunity to put his learning into practice during his day to day work. “I feel this is a firm I can grow with and that there will always be an interesting role for me. Mercer & Hole stood out from the other firms I looked at as it is an established and growing firm. I also really love Milton Keynes, it’s a great city to live and work in.”
Ultimately Tapuwa would like to continue to grow his knowledge and possibly his broader tax experience and to qualify as a tax adviser or accountant. He is pleased that after his apprenticeship there is a clear career path available with the firm. “I’m lucky as my manager also joined the firm as an apprentice, so he has been on the same journey as me and is very understanding. With Mercer & Hole there is an opportunity for continuous learning and I will always be able to add value to the firm and to gain knowledge and to use all of my skills.”
Tapuwa is working with private clients, estates and trusts and he enjoys working with different people and the opportunity to get to know lots of different people across the firm. “Dealing with private clients you have to be quite agile and adaptive in the advice you give as people’s lives change and their circumstances change and that makes it exciting, especially when you get to know more and deal with more complex matters. Year on year there can be some big changes for people.”
“Experience is what employers want and here at Mercer & Hole it is a great place to get that as they give you a very hands on opportunity. Unlike university I am able to learn in my lessons and then to practically apply that here in the workplace. When I have finished I will have both a qualification and experience and I will be more ahead in my career than those people who have just gone to uni.”
And despite dreams of a warmer climate, especially during these cold winter months, Tapuwa confesses it would in the future be hard to leave Milton Keynes. It’s a place I’ve been used to all my life and I know how it works.”