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My ACA experience: Jessica

After completing a two week work experience with BDO, Jessica went on to become an Audit Trainee at the firm. Inspired by one of the managers who followed the same route, she hopes to be working as a manager herself soon and help new higher apprentices start their career.

Jessica Boase

Jessica Boase Audit Trainee, BDO

ICAEW route: Apprenticeship

Industry: Audit and assurance

Location: UK, London

Jessica's story...

When I found out about the higher apprenticeship, I already knew I wanted to go into accountancy, and had received an offer for a five-year university course. However, the fact that I could get a head start over friends who had chosen to go to university and come out of it all debt-free, helped me decide. My mum’s encouragement also played a big part in this.

Before year thirteen I completed a two week work experience with BDO, which was a great stepping stone and to increase my chances of securing an apprenticeship, I developed my presentation and communication skills whilst at school.

Being a higher apprentice is both challenging and rewarding. It’s a full-time job with a lot of study, but if you manage your time right, you can fit your social life in. 

Due to the nature of audit, I meet with lots of different clients every few weeks, all around London. This is also one of the things I love about my job, along with the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of numerous businesses, which has enabled me to develop my communication and management skills.

The person that has inspired me the most so far in my career is one of the managers I work with. He also completed a school leaver programme, so he is one of the youngest managers in my department. I hope to follow the same route and to be working as a manager in my audit firm within five years. This will also allow me to help out new higher apprentices starting out their career.

I would encourage anyone considering their options to have a serious look at alternatives to university. Not only will you avoid the debt, but you will also be able to gain a highly recognised qualification.

Find your route

There are a number of different routes to becoming an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. You can start your journey straight from school, while you're at university or after you have graduated. Find out which route is right for you.

Find your route