Don’t be afraid to change course

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - JOBS IN SCOTLAND -

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

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