Don’t be afraid to change course
Each year EQ Chartered Accountants recruits a new batch of trainees and it is now accepting applications to commence CA training contracts in August.
The majority of 2018’s intake of seven, who are spread across all of the firm’s offices in Dundee, Forfar, Glenrothes and Cupar, are accountancy/ finance graduates.
However, when it comes to its “wishlist”, EQ is seeking more than financial prowess. Indeed, as part of the firm’s commitment to identifying the right calibre of graduate regardless of their discipline, EQ has welcomed Aiden McIntyre, 24, an aeronautical engineering graduate from Glasgow University.
Aiden, who was born and brought up in Glasgow, had always enjoyed maths and physics so, as he approached his final years at school, engineering seemed the natural, next step. However, as his Masters degree progressed, his interests changed.
“During my third year at university, embarked on an internship with an
Iengineering company,” he says. “Around 90% of my tasks were centred on engineering, with the rest related to the business aspects of the company, such as project management and costings. I soon realised that I was more interested in the business side of the projects than the actual engineering, making me wonder if I should consider a different career path altogether.”
Having won a scholarship from The Robertson Trust’s Journey to Success Programme, Aiden benefited from many networking and mentoring opportunities so, after graduating with an MEng aeronautical engineering degree in 2017, he decided to reach out to his network of contacts for some advice. Considering a range of different options, he finally decided to consider a chartered accountancy training contract, which he felt would provide him with the technically and numerically challenging career he was seeking.
However, although aeronautical engineering may sound drastically different from accountancy, there are strong similarities, particularly in relation to the problem-solving each profession.
Aiden explained: “The thought process involved in engineering and accountancy is remarkably similar. Both require close attention to detail and an aptitude for working with numbers but, more importantly, both have a significant impact on real life.
“Each and every figure we are working with in accountancy has a real-life implication, in the way that engineering does, so it’s about understanding what these figures relate to and their impact on the business and the scenarios it faces.
“My degree may not be directly related to accountancy but it’s definitely a useful asset, with many transferable skills. On a more general level, at university, you have exams every semester, so you’re building up a work ethic which is definitely needed for pursuing the CA qualification.”
Aiden then went on to conduct his own research, proactively attending ICAS Become a CA events, where he was first introduced to EQ in the form of his aspects of future colleagues, Katie Edward, human resources assistant, and Chris Price, CA trainee based in the Glenrothes office. Impressed by the firm’s focus on people, from both a client and staff perspective, Aiden decided to apply for the graduate training scheme and was delighted to be accepted, taking up the position last August.
He added: “The recruitment process wasn’t all about aptitude tests – it really focused on graduates’ personal qualities. I’m now three months into my training contract and it’s even better than I expected.”
Studying every night, Aiden is now working towards his ICAS test of competence (TC) exam in December, which is the first stage of the CA qualification.
EQ is currently accepting applications from graduates of all disciplines to commence CA training contracts in August 2019. The firm is also inviting applications for internships this summer. Details of both positions can be found at www.eqaccountants.co.uk/careers/ graduate-recruitment