From Apprentice to Business Owner: Jamie Selby

Posted by: Tom Post Date: 14th March 2016

Jamie Selby is an ex-Babington apprentice and is now the proud owner of his own chartered accountant and tax advisory business, SelbyJones Ltd. Jamie gives back to the service that helped him start his career, as apprentices at SelbyJones Ltd are working towards their AAT and then onto to further qualifications (ICAEW, ACCA, ATT).

Jamie has had a rocky journey to his dream career, taking up many different jobs and courses to discover what he wanted to do. If you’re uncertain about your future, give Jamie’s story a read.

“I started my working life like most teenagers – I didn’t have a clue. I did what most would do and turned to my parents, who helped me start looking in the right places. They told me to do something I enjoyed, something I’m good at.

Sounds easy right?

I spent the next month thinking what was I good at? What did I enjoy? I used to play football to high standard at South Notts, but I also enjoyed electronics, woodwork, and science. In particular I enjoyed business studies, and like most teenagers used to dream of becoming a millionaire!

This is what led me to college to do a Business studies GNVQ advanced. I liked the diversity of the course, which covered all aspects of business. It was here I also learned that I definitely didn’t want to go to University, as I couldn’t see myself purely studying for another 3 years and I didn’t fancy all that debt. But I was still struggling to figure out where to go next in my career.

This was about the time I found an advert in the newspaper for an accounting apprenticeship at Babington. At college I achieved 97% in my accounting modules, and was even tutoring my fellow students. At Babington I was going to get paid while I studied, and would be doing something I excelled in. I finally found out what I wanted to do… I wanted to become an accountant.

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I called Babington and within a couple of days I had an interview with the college, and after that I had an interview with Mazars. I turned up for the first interview extremely nervous, but upon researching the company I knew I definitely wanted to work with them, and that spurred me on. I received a call asking me back for a second interview, and at the time I didn’t even know about second interviews, but I thought this has to be a good sign.

At the second interview I was asked where I wanted to be in the future, to which I replied ‘I want to be a partner’. They asked what starting salary I would expect and I said ‘£30,000’, which prompted laughs. I feel that the manager liked my drive and determination, and he offered me the job on the spot.

I was at Mazars for 7 years where I completed my AAT and also moved onto my ACA (ICAEW), and I was progressing well after starting life as a Junior and moving up to Senior. I was the first junior at Mazars to bring additional work into the business, and a lot of additional work at that! I felt that I wanted to continue moving up, so I decided it was time to leave and I joined a small firm called EMTACS where I was offered partnership after only 3 years. Geoff was an amazing boss and was inspirational to me in my time at EMTACS.

It was here that I was at a cross road. I really wanted to become a partner, but I wanted more control of the business and was keen to start integrating technology. But it was clear that this was not going to be an option as it was a big investment. So I decided to go at it on my own, and SelbyJones was born!

We are now looking to recruit two new apprentices through Babington, as I know as well as anyone about their desire to learn. We aren’t looking for CV’s that go over too much about schooling, as we are mainly on the lookout for the right personality.

What I’ve learned from my apprenticeship experience is that the only person that is ever going to stop you achieving what you want in life is yourself!

This has been an amazing journey for me so far, but truthfully it has only just begun.”

If you are considering an apprenticeship to start your accounting career, contact us below.

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01332 613 688

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