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We spoke to the AATís new Apprentice of the Year Rebecca Fay about her prize-winning night, her career so far and her goals (sorry, excuse the pun!)

July 2017

Why accountancy and why AAT? I fell in to it! After studying A Levels I was unsure of what career path I wanted to take and although I knew university wasnít for me, I didnít want to go in to a dead end job. I was lucky enough to get the first job I applied for, as a finance apprentice for a property investment company, and studying the AAT qualification was the natural training route.

Whatís it like studying with First Intuition? They are fab; the class sizes are small, allowing plenty of time per student and the support network is amazing Ė the tutors are always happy to explain anything in great detail. Engaging with other students from different sectors helps me understand the syllabus.

How are you getting along? How far are you with your studies? Iíve completed Level 2 and 3 AAT, and am currently studying towards Level 4, with one exam to go. Iíve also gained a business diploma through studying on the apprenticeship program and plan to begin studying ICAEW this summer.

So how have you found the exams/ assessments? Any tips on studying? As I began with Level 2 AAT and have progressed through all of the AAT levels I have noticed a gradual increase in workload and found the modules more challenging. Be organised and stick to a study schedule, especially in the lead up to exams Ė donít underestimate them.

How are you find balancing work, life and study? So far so good! Although studying to better my career prospects takes priority, I do believe that downtime is important. By sticking to my study plan it ensures I have time to play football and socialise with my friends.

Tell us about your footballing career?
I started playing competitive football at the age of 11 in 2006 with Burwell Tigers, before moving to Cambridge City aged 16. I then had two seasons with Cambridge United Womenís FC (2014/15Ė2015/16) before returning to Cambridge City Ladies last summer for the 2016/17 season, where I have captained the team to promotion and two cup finals.

Tell us a bit about your current role? I moved from my job in industry to my current role in practice in February 2016 and have been gaining experience in accounts preparation, tax and audit as an accounts junior with Streets Chartered Accountants, Cambridge. I like being able to implement my studying directly into my day-to-day role in the workplace.

What is it like being the AAT Apprentice of the Year? Were you surprised to be the winner? Itís still sinking in. The nomination itself came as a complete surprise, and then to be shortlisted to the final four before going on to win on the evening were very proud moments.

Whatís the best piece of advice you have ever had? Nothing worth having comes easy. It sounds cheesy but itís true that the more you put in the more you get out!

Up close & personal
Job title and firm: Accounts Junior at Streets Chartered Accountants, Cambridge.
First job: Part-time lifeguard Ė unless a paper round counts!
What are you reading: A Lonely Planet guide Ė Iím off to Thailand.
Last cd bought/download: Craig David Ė Iím a massive fan.
Fav TV show: Love Island, my guilty pleasure.
When was the last time you laughed out loud: Always! I find it difficult to laugh quietly.
How do you chill: Sleeping.
What is your claim to fame: I met Princess Anne when I was in year 9.

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