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From Psychology to Accounts – Read Emma’s Story

24 Aug 2020

Emma Woolley is an employee of the Growth Company, working in the Accounts Department. Emma has recently completed a Level 3 Accountancy Qualification (AAT), in which she has achieved a distinction - the highest possible grade.

Straight from Sixth Form, Emma attended the University of Nottingham and attained an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience. Upon completion, she moved back to her hometown of Manchester and initially undertook some temp admin jobs while trying to figure out which field to pursue career-wise. Emma worked for 9 months as the administrator for GC Education and Skills (formerly The Skills Company) with the Accounting team who deliver AAT qualifications. This is where Emma took an interest in the finance industry. She decided to pursue this and took a position as Finance Assistant with the Growth Company.

When Emma started her current role, she realised there were limitations to her ability and understanding, as she lacked the background in finance that many of her colleagues had. Her manager recognised this and agreed to support her completion of AAT qualifications in order to improve her performance and to support a potential upward trajectory for her career within the company.

When asked about her journey, Emma said; “I have felt that my tutors have offered not only academic support and guidance, but also mentorship for my personal development. I have had many instances of personal difficulties both work-related and other, where I have leaned on the team and used their advice to best deal with the situation. When I first began the qualification, I felt very overwhelmed after my first session as there were references being made to material covered at level 2 which I could not complete within the current framework. I expressed this to the team who gave me supplementary tutorials and workbooks to work through independently; my tutor at the time also gave me some one-on-one support to cover any aspects I was unsure on or had questions about. This approach continued throughout the qualification and I have always known that the tutors welcome any additional questions or requests for extra guidance to support learning. My tutors have always made me feel valued both as a student, and as an individual, and I feel like I have received a bespoke service from the Growth Company for this reason.

“I also had to take a period of sick leave during the end of my qualification; when I returned to work, the team were exceptionally supportive and gave me the necessary time and resource to pick up my workload without putting any pressure on me. This greatly supported my return to work and made me feel less anxious and more secure in my ability to finish my qualification. It was a difficult time in my life, and I feel like the support of my tutors was critical in getting through it. I have recommended the programme to my manager who has since enrolled other members of my team; there are also other individuals in our wider Finance team who have expressed an interest in taking level 4 on the back of my recommendation. I would continue to recommend the Growth Company to anyone interested in AAT.”

Jillian Ward, Team Leader for Accounting added; “Emma is an inspiring young lady, who undertook her Level 3 Standards in Accountancy with no prior qualifications relating to finance. Her determination and enthusiasm to learning enabled her to build on her communication, teamwork and leadership skills. Emma is highly valued within her team and by her Manager and has recently been supporting other apprentices with their qualification and transactional processes surrounding Accounts Payable. Emma well and truly deserved her Distinction in the Assistant Accountant Standards – Well done Emma”.

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