|English and Related Literature|
|English/Writing and Performance|
|North Yorkshire County Council|
|Government and civil service|
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A day in the life of a Trainee Accountant in the United Kingdom
I am currently studying with CIPFA to become a qualified public sector accountant. This sits alongside my job at the County Council, where I have worked in the Strategic Financial Planning team and Business Partnering Services team.
Briefly describe the organisation you work for
North Yorkshire County Council
What do you do?
I am currently studying with CIPFA to become a qualified public sector accountant. This sits alongside my job at the County Council, where I have worked in the Strategic Financial Planning team and Business Partnering Services team. I help budget managers across the council manage their spending, particularly within Health and Adult Services at the moment. Essentially, it's about helping the Council manage its money more efficiently, in order to provide better services for residents.
Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?
I've done a variety of different jobs since graduating, first working for Cambridge University Press, then for Hasbro Games writing instruction manuals, before training as an English teacher. I worked in secondary schools for eight years before re-training as an accountant, which is very different to teaching indeed!
Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?
Entirely different! I always assumed I would do something using my writing skills, which I did at first, but now I find myself using spreadsheets and looking after large sums of money, which is certainly not what I envisaged as a twenty-year-old student!
Describe your most memorable day at work
Shadowing a social worker for a day, to meet some of the people the council provides services for and see how the money I manage gets put to really good use. Local government tends not to get much publicity in the media, but vulnerable people across the country rely on our services and what we do benefits the whole of society.
Are there any challenges associated with your job?
I am currently studying for exams at the same time as working, which requires lots of effort and good time management when juggling this with family life.
What’s your work environment and culture like?
The work-life balance is good and the staff are very friendly. We sometimes work from home, but I find being in the office better in order to learn more readily from more experienced colleagues.
What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?
Writing and editing for Vision newspaper, volunteering with York Students in Schools, presenting a radio show on University Radio York.
What would you like to do next with your career?
Qualify as an accountant, then who knows! I'm enjoying what I'm doing right now, and there's lots more to learn.
What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?
Be flexible and open-minded: don't be too set on one thing, as you don't really know what will suit you best until you try it. Give things a fair shot, but equally, don't stick doing something for years and years if it's not right for you.
What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?
I've had a wide range of career experiences, and I think I've finally found my niche, so I'd be keen to answer questions on choosing the right career and how to get started in it.
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