It’s Never Too Late to Change: Eagle Interview
Like many of us, Sarah Meredith was becoming disillusioned with work life. She needed a new lease of life. After some reflection, she tried an AAT course in hope of a new challenge.
Within a few months new doors were being opened, and she never looked back. Here is her story…
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m 28 years old and live in Stanton, Shropshire. I live with my husband (Richard), dog (Riley) and 2 tortoises (Sheldon and Charlie).
When did you decide to study AAT and what made you choose this course?
Back in 2015 I was a bit disillusioned with my job. I was at risk of redundancy and felt trapped. I didn’t have any qualifications either, so felt vulnerable and like I couldn’t progress.
It was actually my husband’s idea to study accounting! As soon as he suggested it, I started researching!
After much research, Eagle seemed to offer the most flexibility. The Study Buddy really appealed to me, and their previous students only had good things to say about it. Although they weren’t that local to me (there were closer options), I still chose Eagle, and I’m glad I did!
How do you separate time between study, work and living your life?
I learnt simple tricks throughout my study time, to suit my lifestyle.
I’m a morning person, so Richard would often hear me disappear downstairs at 5.30am to go and study. I’d put my headphones on and work through my Study Buddy until it was time to get ready for work.
I also listened to YouTube video’s and podcasts whilst doing basic tasks at work. I often couldn’t absorb all of it, but some of it used to sink in!
“After much research, Eagle seemed to offer the most flexibility”
What do you like the most about studying AAT?
Whilst studying via distance learning, you can take things at your own pace. I tried a local college for the beginning of AAT Level 3, but soon realised it didn’t suit me.
I learnt much better on my own terms, where I could book exams when I was ready. So I went straight back to Eagle!
Another reason I liked studying AAT, was that it’s so widely recognised and respected. I knew it would help me with my career, and look great on my CV.
What do you dislike the most about studying AAT?
It’s hard to think of an answer for this one. The only thing I can say is that it can feel like a really long time to get your exam results! But this is part and parcel of human marked exams I suppose.
Do you feel AAT will provide you with new career prospects?
As soon as I started the AAT course I got a fantastic job in finance, and 4 months later I was promoted to Finance Officer!
I’m lucky my managers are amazingly supportive. They’ve motivated me throughout and even after completing my AAT, they still continue to offer development opportunities.
As well as working in finance, I have also launched my own business. ‘Life of Riley – Pet Bakery & Boutique’ is my passion and I will no doubt use the skills learnt from my AAT course!
Have you faced any difficult obstacles whilst studying for AAT?
I am dyslexic, so I did struggle with certain aspects. Also, buying a house, which required a lot of renovation at the time, was a challenge. Fitting that in with my studies was difficult, but it eventually paid off.
How did you overcome those obstacles?
I kept motivated. I wanted to prove I could do it all, and I did.
The tutors always respond really quickly if you’re stuck. They’re very helpful and happy to talk things through with you.
“I learnt much better on my own terms, booking exams when I was ready”
If you could give advice to somebody considering studying AAT, what would it be?
1. Just go for it, don’t wait for the ‘perfect time’ as there will never be one!
2. Make sure you pick the learning method that’s right for you. Distance learning takes discipline, but if you’re motivated you’ll be fine!
3. You must use the online sample assessments on the AAT website before your exams. They will help and prepare you more than you realise!!
4. Try not to get too bogged down by the horror stories people put out on social media. They are often negative and unhelpful. Once I blocked them I felt a lot more positive (and passed every exam first time!).
Finally, in just three words, describe your experience of AAT so far.
Rewarding, motivating & promising
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From School leaver to retiree; it’s never too late to change your career path. With AAT, an accessible route into accountancy, new opportunities can emerge.
To find out more, download our brochure today.