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Siân Jones

Management Accounting Apprentice, Scottish Water

" I am earning while studying due to working full time and I am able to put the theory that I am studying into practice on a daily basis which means I am constantly learning on the job"

Tell us a little bit about you, your family and where you live.
My name is Sian Jones, I am 19 years old and live in Larbert with my mum, dad and sister. I firstly chose the university route after leaving school, going to Glasgow University to study Chemistry.

Sian - Scottish WaterHowever, after a few months I realised it wasn’t for me and left university, which my parents fully supported. I then looked at different routes I could take and decided an apprenticeship might work better for me.

I started my apprenticeship on 23 March 2015 and have completed one assignment and two certificate level exams so far.

I am scheduled to attend a course for my next exam in March, hopefully passing the exam in April, while continuing to work on my current assignment.

What was your schooling/education like before you started your apprenticeship? Did you enjoy it?
I attended Larbert High School for five and a half years – I left at Christmas during sixth year. During my 2nd and 3rd year I achieved 7 Standard Grades at Credit level and an Intermediate 2, and during my 4th and 5th year I achieved 5 Highers.

I started to study further subjects during 6th year, however I applied for Chemistry at university and was accepted. I then left school to work and start to save for university.

I enjoyed high school all throughout the 5 and a half years I attended, achieving awards for various subjects each year including Chemistry, Administration and Graphic Communication.  

What are your friends doing now they have finished school? And what do they think of your apprenticeship?
My friends from school have taken various routes after leaving school. One of my friend’s studies Criminology at University and is in her 2nd year now.

Another friend attended college to study Travel and Tourism for a year after school and is now working in the tourism industry at the airport. When speaking to them about my apprenticeship, they all have positive views.

There are a few advantages of my apprenticeship that my friends don’t have due to the route they have taken after leaving school.

I am earning while studying due to working full time and I am able to put the theory that I am studying into practice on a daily basis which means I am constantly learning on the job.

What options were you considering after school and what made you choose the higher apprenticeship in management accounting?
When I was in sixth year at school, I was sure that the university route was the most appropriate route for me.

I feel that this was the case because teachers encouraged me to take this route as I had the grades and ability to allow me to do this.

However, when I left university and was looking for other options, I chose to apply for this Management Accounting apprenticeship as I enjoyed Maths, Administration and Problem Solving at school.

All of these apply in a Management Accountant’s daily job, so I felt this would suit me well.

What do you see yourself doing after your apprenticeship? And how about further down the line in 5 years?
On completion of my apprenticeship, I will go on to sit the professional CIMA exams and aim to pass these in the next 3-4 years, hopefully becoming a qualified Management Accountant after completing my log book of experience.

In 4 years time I hope to be working as a Management Accountant in Scottish Water Horizons. 

What would you say to someone considering the higher apprenticeship in Management Accounting?
I would fully encourage somebody to consider the apprenticeship in Management Accounting. It has a great structure to allow you to progress at a rate that suits you and the assignments encourage you to carry out tasks that may be slightly out of your comfort zone.

This has included chairing a meeting and doing a presentation. I may not have done these as quick as I had if it wasn’t for the assignments – these have allowed me to build up my confidence.

However, another point I would make about the apprenticeship is time management. Anyone considering the apprenticeship must understand that working full time, studying for exams and completing assignments can be time consuming although it will be worth it in the end.  

Find out more from Scottish Water about the benefits of hiring CIMA apprentices within their organisation.

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