My name is Haidy Lane and I am a Level 3 Assistant Accountant Apprentice at Thurrock Council. Being a single mum and working long hours in social care was hard for me and my son so I decided to pursue my dream career in Finance.
I started studying bookkeeping at my local adult community college. As I was coming to the end of my Level 2 bookkeeping qualification I found out that there would be an Apprenticeship Recruitment Day happening soon in the college so I quickly applied online and lucky enough I received an invitation for the event.
The recruitment day came, I arrived with my positive attitude and my book trying to study in between the recruitment tasks because my Level 2 Bookkeeping exam was the following day.
I found the recruitment day was very informative and helpful. We all had the chance to meet managers from different departments. The group task enabled candidates to showcase their opinions, ideas and approach on certain problem solving.
To my surprise, I was listed for an interview that afternoon and a few days later got the job as the apprentice for the Corporate Finance department.
Applying for an apprenticeship is the best decision I have made in my life. Not only having a chance to continue my studies with the Association of Accounting Technicians.(AAT), it also helped me build my self-confidence and not to mention meeting lots of amazing people in the council.
As an apprentice, I worked alongside my manager to give support to budget holders, provide forecasts and keep them updated with balances and transactions that occurred on a daily basis. I had the chance to attend budget meetings and meet with budget holders.
I also worked with the Children's Services Accountant to help to monitor the salary costs for the service. I created and posted journals in our main financial system. Completing my qualification while getting all this experience and exposure was a bonus.
After 9 months of my apprenticeship fixed term contract, I applied for and was offered a permanent job as a Trainee Accountant. Now, I monitor 18 cost centres and have monthly meetings with budget holders. I guide them in using systems and help tackle more challenging situations.
Unfortunately because of this strange, challenging and unprecedented time caused by COVID-19, exams have been postponed. I'm hoping to finish my apprenticeship and my AAT qualification this March. After that I'll continue to study with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to become a qualified accountant.
I would like to thank my brilliant manager who, in spite of her busy schedule, still managed to always support me with my work and coursework and also gave me challenges from which to learn and grow. I also appreciate all my colleagues in finance for being so accommodating and friendly. I don't think my apprenticeship would have been as exciting without all of them.
I'm really honoured to have been short-listed for 'Apprentice of the Year' in our 2020 Staff Awards. To have my efforts recognised in these annual awards is amazing.
My apprenticeship has offered me so many opportunities to improve my career and my outlook in life. Apprenticeships are for everyone, you just need a bit of dedication and a willingness to grow. So when an apprenticeship comes your way, grab it with both hands because if I can do it, you can do it as well.
Haidy Lane, February 2021.