How an AAT Apprenticeship Changed my Life!
Our collaboration with AAT provides the perfect blend of learning, between Online and On-Campus, to allow you to gain your qualification in Accounting. Another great delivery of this course is through the Apprenticeship, where you'll spend time both in the classroom and in the workplace. This flexible approach means apprentices can choose how, when and where they want to study.
We heard from Michelle, who completed the AAT Apprenticeship, and told us about her experience!
Why did you decide to study an AAT?
After my daughter was born (I was 28 at that time) I had an opportunity to work as an accounts assistant carrying out basic bookkeeping. I knew if I wanted further my career in the accounting industry I would require a qualification. Weston College was offering Level AAT courses which I attended during one day each week. I completed Level 2,3 and 4 at Weston college with the encouragement from my tutor, Sarah. Even during the pandemic, Weston college helped support us with online sessions.
Did your employers offer you the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship or was this something you decided to complete?
It was my own decision to pursue the AAT qualification as I had self-doubted and low self-esteem when it came to my education. But, I knew there was more for me out in the world and AAT would open so many doors for my future.
How did you find the apprenticeship?
From the support & encouragement from both my tutor Sarah and class friends it felt like a great achievement. I’m really proud to have completed my AAT however it was down to my hard work and dedication. I also have made friends for life through the classes.
How long did it take to complete?
I completed level 2,3 & 4 over 3 years.
How often did you have to complete apprenticeship work?
I juggled all my study time around family life, especially considering I had a new born, and it was tough. I spent the majority of my evenings and weekends revising, but I made sure to make time. Each AAT exam will test your knowledge and it’s not just multiple selection boxes, AAT want you to know the understanding behind the question and how you have come to the decision you’ve made. Working in an accounting environment, it’s really important you have the understanding and knowledge to be able to advise and back up your decisions with the correct information.
How have you utilised the skills you developed during the apprenticeship?
All the skills that I developed on the course have been utilised, from double entry bookkeeping, payroll, Excel and accounting software.
Since completing the apprenticeship, has it helped you to progress your career?
Since completing my AAT, and becoming MAAT, all thanks from the support of Weston College, I have set up my own bookkeeping practice called Michelle Clarks Advanced Bookkeeping Services, as well as working for a really cool accounting firm in Weston Super Mare called “Neil’s Data Consultancy”. Having the support from not only an employer and as well as being my own boss, I have the best of both worlds that works for me. I enjoy meeting new clients and being able to encourage them to grow their own business.
Were there any specific highlights of the apprenticeship?
Attending my Graduation at Weston College was the biggest highlight and made me reflect on the hard work I put in to the AAT course. Wearing the gown and having a day of celebration felt amazing. Weston College went above and beyond for our graduation, celebrating everyone’s achievements.
What would you say to someone considering following in your footsteps?
Do it, don’t hold back. I recommend the apprenticeship to anyone to gain their AAT qualification at Weston College, it can open so many career paths for your future.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve your dreams. If the dreams for your future don't scare you, they aren’t big enough!