Lauren, AAT School Leaver Trainee, London

How you determined your career choice

As I approached taking my A-levels, I knew that I wanted a career in Finance and set about researching the different pathways to get me there. I of course considered going to University, however soon realised that an apprenticeship with an established accountancy firm would be the best fit for me, providing me with a better balance to support my own career learning and development.

As a school leaver, I knew I needed to work hard to make my application stand out from those of other applicants. So I focused on my personal values and where I thought they aligned with those of Wilkins Kennedy. By being able to confidently talk about how this alignment made me a good fit to the business, I felt I could demonstrate my suitability and commitment for the role.

We’re now in October 2018 and having started my career here in August 2018, I can honestly say that I am enjoying the work and college balance. I have found the resources at Wilkins Kennedy really useful and gotten to know some really supportive new colleagues who have made my transition easier.

One of the many benefits of working at the same time as learning is that I’m able to relate my college work with real cases and scenarios. Over the next few years, I think being able to apply these real life practical experiences with the theory I’m learning at college will be of huge benefit and make me a more rounded auditor in the long run.

With my A-levels behind me, I feel confident I’ve made the right choice and look forward to completing my AAT exams and progressing my career with Wilkins Kennedy.

Harriet, ACA Graduate Trainee, Hertford

Support and experience on the job

In 2017 I joined the firm as a graduate trainee and started the ACA qualification straight away. It is a time consuming role, trying to balance working full time whilst having to prepare for exams outside of working hours, but is made a lot easier with the support available from colleagues. It can sometimes feel like a lot to take on, but being around others who are going through the same process, or have successfully completed it, provides a very supportive and motivational environment.

How the qualification helps your job

I think that going through the exam process alongside working is very beneficial and allows you to bring exam theory into practical work as you go along. It can be very rewarding seeing how this knowledge is used in every day practice, and that exam theory is not just learnt for the exam and then forgotten.

My advice to anyone who is about to start this journey is to be prepared to put in hard work, but also know when to give yourself a break! You will be amazed how much experience and knowledge you gain in a short amount of time and is well worth the effort.

 

George, ATT Trainee, Tax, Maidstone

Something that has surprised you about working at Wilkins Kennedy

I graduated from University with a degree in Accounting and Finance in July 2017 and then took a year out to go travelling. I joined Wilkins Kennedy in July 2018. The workplace here in the Wilkins Kennedy tax team in Maidstone is ideal for a trainee.

I thought when starting in a trainee position that I would start relatively slowly and feel like I was burdening my colleagues when asking for support. Actually, it’s been the complete opposite. I was trusted with challenging tasks straight away, and given the freedom to get on with work at my own pace and also feel like my questions are welcomed at all times.

I’ve been really surprised how I’ve been allowed to develop quickly and learn on the job in a way that I never expected. Now I’m eager to get started on my ATT exams and start taking on more advanced tasks as I continue to develop my tax knowledge and skills.

 

Dee, ACA Trainee, Business Services, Maidstone

Support and experience on the job

When I joined the firm in August 2016, I never expected there to be so much variety in my job. Within my first few months I was given the chance to prepare year-end accounts, attend a client’s stocktake, work on an audit job at a client’s premises, and much more. There really is a never-ending list of things that I have been able to experience in just two years of being a trainee accountant.

Consistent hard work is rewarded with additional responsibilities, and opportunities to get involved in new and exciting things. For example, this year I have been working in collaboration with another office in the region, assisting with internal audits for a number of primary schools in the local area.

In a firm like WK there is a continuous stream of trainees, so it’s great to always have peers who have been through the exams you’re going through, or are going through them alongside you. I have received invaluable advice from many of the other trainees in my office; there is a real sense of fellowship among us!

I have no doubt that if you decide to join WK, you won’t look back.