Billy Dwyer began studying towards the AAT level 2 Certificate in June 2014. Only 10 months later, he is an Affiliate Member.
We caught up with Billy to find out how he so quickly completed a qualification that takes most people between two and three years to achieve.
The journey to success
Billy stresses preparation as a key factor in his success, explaining that the first thing he did for each unit was to make comprehensive notes. “At this stage I tried not to worry about understanding absolutely everything to a proficient level; I just enjoyed absorbing the new information.”
After gaining an overview of the unit, Billy’s next step was to pick out topics he could grasp easily, and spend a small amount of time learning and revising these.
The final part of the process was revisiting the more challenging course content, taking the time to gain a better understanding. For this stage, Billy explains, “This is where it helps to have a good tutor to get you through.”
Of course, support from a knowledgeable tutor is essential. Billy stresses that, “Really, I think it boils down to how attentive your tutor is to your needs.”
He says that, while he might not require any help for weeks on end, when he needed help he would want it quite intensively, requiring phone calls with a tutor for half an hour at a time. “The impressive thing about my tutor at Babington was that she was always available (including Sundays) when I needed her, so any obstacles that stood in my way could be easily surmounted.”
Tutor support is especially crucial for distance learners. Billy argues, “Moral support is really important when you are studying at home. My tutor was excellent in this area and was always very encouraging.”
After having several different jobs, Billy felt it was time for a sturdy career. Recognising that accounting is an essential function in most organisations, with great career prospects, he decided to prepare himself to enter the industry.
Billy needed a qualification that could take him from the very basics to an advanced understanding of accounting principles, telling us that “AAT felt like the natural starting point for someone who, like me, doesn’t have a finance background.”
Billy is currently seeking an entry level role in Management Accounting which, with an AAT qualification under his belt, is proving promising: “I have been getting plenty of interviews,” he tells us, “so fingers crossed, I will get one of the roles I’ve applied for.”
As a budding Management Accountant, he is now looking to advance onto the CIMA qualification, and has even begun reading through the CIMA syllabus. “In the next five years I would like to become a Chartered Management Accountant.”
We asked Billy if he had any advice for others looking to improve their career prospects, and received the following wise words in response: “Happy people learn quickly, so study something you enjoy!”