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“Mercer & Hole are extremely supportive when it comes to time for exams & studying. You are allocated study days and it is split into 20% apprenticeship study and 80% work – with one day at college and four days at work.”

A debt-free alternative to university

After completing my A-Levels in Economics, Law and Spanish, I knew that I did not want to go to university unlike most of my friends. Instead, I wanted to be able to gain experience working in full time employment and earn my own money whilst gaining a qualification. One of the main reasons why I decided to apply for an apprenticeship was that I did not want to finish education in debt from university.

I started out my career working in the retail industry, but because of the pandemic, I needed to find a new career path. I was looking at apprenticeships online and I found the Accounting Apprenticeship at Mercer & Hole. I always knew that I wanted to work in accountancy as I loved maths at school, so I looked into the firm, the benefits and the pathway that they offered and decided to apply.

“One thing that appealed to me about the apprenticeship was that I’d qualify as an accountant one year quicker compared to if I had gone to university.”

The hard work pays off

It is a fantastic apprenticeship scheme and I really do enjoy working at Mercer & Hole. I am lucky to work with such a supportive and fun team.

Doing an apprenticeship can be difficult at times – especially as I am the only one of my friends that decided not to go to university – but the hard work does pay off! People sometimes think that by not going to university, you have it easier, but with an apprenticeship there is a lot of work involved with essays, assignments and exams.

The application process was very simple and not at all stressful. All I had to do was apply online, complete some online tests and have an interview at their offices in London. They also did not keep me waiting to find out if I had successfully got the job; I found out within a week of the interview which was great.

Be aware of all the options open to you

The best advice I can give anyone is to go into a career path of something that you like doing; if you enjoy maths and numbers, then go into accountancy! I would encourage people to look at the different options out there, before jumping straight into university. I know so many people who went to university as they were not aware of all the options open to them and thought it was the only way to gain the qualifications they needed.

“I feel like apprenticeships open a lot of doors and give you the opportunity to gain a qualification and work experience at the same time.”

My path to becoming a successful accountant

When I first joined the firm, I started at Level 2. After two years, I have now completed Level 2 and 3 in accountancy and I’m now working on my AAT Level 4 Professional Certification. I would encourage people to look at the different options available to them. There are so many apprenticeships out there, so I would encourage people to look around and research thoroughly.

“I see myself working as a successful accountant and building my career at the firm. I am looking forward to seeing what the future might hold!”

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