Movember: meet David Walker, Team Factory captain
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Job title: Project and Cost Accountant
Category: Business & Law Apprentice of the Year
Apprenticeship: Level 7 with the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA)
Training provider: First Intuition, Cambridge
Mark first came to Baker Perkins back in 2015 on his placement year from Nottingham Trent University. He was back in 2017 as a Trainee Accountant having graduated with a 2:2 BA (Hons) Economics, Finance & Banking degree, and promptly continued his studies. Ironically it wasn’t an apprenticeship that Mark started, moreover he tried to self-study for his ACCA qualification. However, combining this with work didn’t suit Mark’s way of learning and he described his progress as slow. As someone who had benefitted from a set programme and structure in the past, he switched to an apprenticeship which provided a framework and progress was tenfold.
This started with face-to-face learning, that switched to remote learning during Covid before reverting to face-to-face for his final 4 exams. Exams were every quarter, and he recently passed his end point assessment and final exam to become fully qualified. Along the way he also achieved a notable milestone, passing one of his exams with the joint highest score worldwide.
With the awards a few days away, here is what Mark has to say about his time studying for an apprenticeship:
How did you balance work and studying?
Over the course of my studying, my role has evolved owing to colleagues retiring. This increased my workload and was something I had to balance but being disciplined with my time management at work allowed me to focus on my studying at home. I would always ensure that a month out from my exams, my revision would begin so that come exam time I would feel prepared. It also helped that my family were really supportive, from giving me lifts to exams/train stations to easing the workload at home.
What about the support you’ve received at work?
Baker Perkins provided me support by helping to manage my workload to ensure that I could remain focused on my exam schedule and continue to pass my exams.
Would you recommend an apprenticeship?
I would recommend an apprenticeship for anyone that’s looking to complete a long period of studying. It helps to provide a regimented approach to studying much like school and helps to maintain your focus throughout the journey. Apprenticeships also allow you to interact with likeminded individuals both throughout the classes and relevant skills days. These help to provide new ways of approaching questions which in turn I found helped me to improve upon my answers. They also allow you to build up other skills throughout the journey not just the knowledge to pass the exams, thus helping you to become a better, well-rounded individual.
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