Holly, 23, completed a Lower and Higher Level Apprenticeship in Accountancy, she is now a Chartered Accountant at MHA Monahans.

We asked Holly what made her pick the apprenticeship route and not the traditional route of University.

“I knew what I wanted to do from a young age, I enjoyed working with numbers and I was interested in the business side too and have family members who work in accountancy who spoke about the industry and it really appealed to me. My sister suggested AAT when I was choosing my college options as she knew this was looked favourably on by employers.

I started at Swindon New College doing AS Maths, AS Economics, and AAT Level 2. Many people think university is the only route. I don’t feel apprenticeships were common knowledge when I was at college, and I had thought they were only for manual labour type jobs, however, I saw the trainee vacancy at MHA Monahans advertised on the New College Facebook page and decided to apply. I was taken on and at 17 years of age I became the youngest trainee they have ever recruited.”

What would you say to others who are considering an Apprenticeship?

“Apprenticeships are a great option, you work and earn a living as well as gaining a qualification and vital on the job experience. Apprenticeships look good on your CV and can really help you to progress your career. Going to university can help to teach life skills however this can leave you with a large amount of debt, may be a slower way into your career and you may not have the experience that other candidates have gained via an apprenticeship route. Many jobs do not require a degree at all.

In terms of accountancy, going to University to become chartered is a slower process and I became a qualified Chartered Accountant two years earlier via the apprenticeship route. MHA Monahans provided me with great on the job training as well as support throughout my studies and as a trainee I was made to feel part of the team right from the start. MHA Monahans are an accredited training provider and take on both college and university graduates each year with fully funded studies at specialist colleges.”

Finally, what are your biggest achievements to date and your plans for the future?

“My biggest achievement was when I qualified and was able to put ACA after my name, especially at such a young age (just turned 22). It made me feel recognised in the professional accounting industry. Internally at MHA Monahans working through the apprenticeship route I was given early responsibility, particularly on accounts and audit jobs, and the opportunity to mentor those who came after me through the AAT route. I could pass on my skills, knowledge and experience which is rewarding part of my role. I am considering going back to more studying, to specialise as a tax advisor.

My apprenticeship journey has allowed me to gain professional qualifications whilst working in an environment with lots of challenges and opportunities. It has been hard work but it is worth it and anything is possible!”

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