Poppy Hawkes is in the second year of an outsourcing apprenticeship with Mercer & Hole, working in both their St Albans and Rickmansworth offices in the outsourcing department. Her day to day role is to keep clients monthly and quarterly book keeping up to date which helps with the preparation of VAT returns and management accounts. Poppy enjoys being super organised and presenting all the data in a way which clients can understand and make decisions from it.
Poppy joined the firm after completing A Levels in Maths, English Literature and History. “I always wanted to do an apprenticeship. Even when I was applying to university and going through the process I knew I didn’t really want to do it. I chose Mercer & Hole to apply to as the interview process seemed really clear on their website and you knew exactly what you were applying for. It made me more trusting, especially as they have lots of experience with apprenticeships rather than a business just starting up.”
The apprenticeship is living up to Poppy’s expectations. “There is lots of practical work and support. There is also a good amount of time between exams and we have study breaks in between starting new courses.”
Poppy also finds the combination of working and studying suits her and is made easier with the dedicated college days and study leave before the exams. “I also tend to get much higher marks in the exams where I am also working day to day in those areas, I do find learning on the job helps. I don’t have to revise as much as it comes more naturally after a while.”
Poppy’s advice to anyone considering an apprenticeship is: “Look into it and it’s more practical for the long term – being qualified in two years rather than completing a 3-4 year university course.” Poppy is thinking ahead beyond her apprenticeship which finishes this year and to staying with the firm and taking her ACCA exams. “Mercer & Hole is very supportive and encourages apprentices to follow on their first two years training with this course which is great to continue working and learning. Ultimately I’m thinking about being a Management Accountant. I’ll have got to where I want to be without any student debt and with some money saved as well.”