In 2003 I graduated from London Guildhall University at the age of 38. At this age most people would have resigned to their fate and continue to pursue whatever career they were in.

With a degree in accounting and finance, but without experience in the profession, my certificate was doomed to a glass frame on the wall.

However the Path training programme gave me the opportunity of a life time. Today, I have behind me one year practical experience.

I can face employers and answer whatever question they throw at me with much confidence.

As a trainee accountant with the Leeds City Council’s Corporate Services department placed within the financial management team, I really feel like being in the action zone. This position is only for a selected few and I would never have been here but for Path Yorkshire Ltd.

To put things in perspective, over 150 applications were received for the Council’s trainee accountant’s programme.

Within this period of practical training at Leeds City Council, I have also been given the opportunity to try my hands on some professional examinations with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).

I have attended several interviews and my confidence grew with time. I took attending interviews as part of my training. The good news was that I got invited to 90% of the jobs I applied for.

Clinching the job was not easy as there was stiff competition at this time, but I knew that sooner or later something was going to happen. It did happen!

I am glad to say that at 40 I have my first main job in my new found profession. I have been offered a job as a monitoring and Finance Officer for a registered charity, here in Leeds.

I know that this would never have happened if I did not get the training opportunity that I required to build both my experience and self confidence in the profession.

The most vital truth is the fact that I feel very capable and confident to handle the challenges ahead.

It will be unfair if I end this write up without showing gratitude to those who helped me realise my ambition.

Thanks to all staff of Path Yorkshire Ltd., especially Hoa Nguyen and Sonia Hines.

My placement supervisor, Dave McNutt was too good to be real, so was the section manager Clare Maidment.

My piece of advice is that trainees should take a low profile initially to study their new environment, especially the people. Do not be shy or afraid to ask as many questions as are necessary. Do not feel that you are disturbing others; after all, they agreed to train and help you in the first place! Once you get the hang of things, then you can let your character show with the new confidence that you now have. Do not forget that you are also helping them by carrying out various tasks. Nonetheless, approach people with respect and be very polite as rude people don’t go far as professionals.

Thank you.

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