Education: Glasgow Caledonian University - Accountancy - Graduated 2019 with First Class Honours
Role: Audit Associate at Grant Thornton UK
Top Tip: "You're at the start of your career journey, so make the most of every opportunity that's offered to you."
Coming from the east end of Glasgow, I wasn’t sure whether to undertake an apprenticeship or study at university when I left school. My teachers helped me understand the options open to me, and my family were always really supportive, but I felt that deciding to go to university probably wasn’t the obvious option for someone with my background. I also found it difficult as I didn’t know anyone who worked in a professional role who could share their experience of study and working life.
I originally started a business degree, but I realised by the end of my first year that it wasn’t for me – fortunately, I was able to switch to an Accountancy degree instead. Looking back, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at university, and I think being part of the Foundation helped me become more confident.
I heard about the ICAS Foundation near the end of my first year and applied to join for the next academic year. Being part of the ICAS Foundation programme offered me many opportunities, such as attending events where I was able to meet accounting professionals and develop my contacts in the sector.
I benefited most though from the mentoring relationship - from our first meeting, I was able to ask Chris anything. He helped me find work experience and apply for internships and graduate roles. I felt really fortunate that someone who worked in the profession, and who understood the challenges that I faced while studying accountancy, would give their time and effort to help me succeed. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor!
Having the financial support of the bursary allowed me to look for employment that would benefit me in my future career, including part-time work and summer placements, without worrying about finances. This experience was so important when I was interviewing for graduate roles – I had the opportunity to find out about different departments at RSM, and one internship even included time in the Orkney Islands while working with Audit Scotland.
I’m now at Grant Thornton, a fantastic company to work for – my colleagues come from so many different backgrounds and everyone has been so welcoming. Audit has given me great experience in terms of working with clients, and I am confident that when I complete my CA qualification and join ICAS, so many more doors will be open for me. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities that the ICAS Foundation has given me.