Katie Moran is currently working towards her Level 7 ACCA qualification on the apprenticeship programme with Reed Business School. As a mature student, who started her training in her 40s, her story is a little different to most…
Growing up, Katie wanted to be a teacher. She trained for it at university, but found herself in a banking job shortly after graduation. After returning to teaching some years later, she realised that the profession wasn’t for her after all, and that banking and finance were perhaps a better fit.
Securing a new job with Cheltenham Borough Council, she immediately felt encouraged to develop professionally, and began considering her options. Like many people, Katie assumed that apprenticeships were designed for and aimed at school-leavers, but was pleasantly surprised to find that anyone looking for a new career could start one – and her employer was very supportive of this.
“I’ve worked in various companies in various roles related to finance, but I never had the official qualifications or technical knowledge. Now I’ve got this fantastic opportunity to learn and get that knowledge while earning money at the same time.”
Although CIPFA might have been the more obvious choice for a public sector organisation, Katie’s line manager, as well as several colleagues, all had ACCA qualifications, and their experiences (including a couple of Reed Business School alumni) swayed her towards ACCA.
One of the features of the apprenticeship route is the focus on developing the necessary skills and behaviours to succeed in the professional environment. As someone with a lot of business skills and experience already behind her, Katie has considered (with the support of her coach) how she can improve these further to meet the objectives of the programme.
“A school leaver with minimal work experience might want to develop their professional communication skills and confidence in working with various systems. I knew these were already strengths of mine, so I thought I could help guide others in these skills, using my teaching experience, and develop myself at the same time.”
Katie really enjoys her classes at our school, as she can have direct access to her tutors to answer questions, and connect more personally with her classmates in the break-times. She likes being able to work on practice questions in her own time, while also benefitting from direct feedback from her tutors following her mock assessments.
As a former teacher, Katie is very diligent when it comes to planning ahead and preparing for each class, but also in undertaking the independent study element of the programme, making the most of the resources available to her.
“The resources provided are excellent. To support your learning you get copies of books, a bank of practice questions, mock papers and access to a CPD training site where you can take bitesize courses whenever you like.”
Katie’s advice to people seeking a career change a little bit later in life?
“Don’t be afraid to take the leap – it’s never too late to try something new. The two or three years this qualification takes are going to pass anyway, so you may as well spend that time doing something you’ve always wanted to do, then you’ll always have your qualification.”