4 months in…

A lot has certainly happened in 4 months! Moving to London, exams and quite a bit of travelling- for work that is!

Moving to London was an experience filled with a mixture of emotions- I’m pretty sure I covered the full range of smileys on an emoji keyboard. First there was the excitement of viewing flats, then the pain of paying a holding fee and deposit, then the hassle of taking delivery of furniture, which was made even more difficult as I live on the 8th floor. Finally, there was the joy of decorating my flat and having my own place for the first time!

Within the first few months, I realised how outgoing people are at Shipleys. Social events always have a big turnout, with most people in attendance, including partners! That’s one of my favourite things about Shipleys- there are always opportunities to interact with people you might not necessarily work with on a regular basis.

Another positive about work socials is the variety of events that are available. Since I’ve joined the firm, I’ve been to the Christmas party, Curry night, end of month drinks- well the end of month drinks is not strictly every month, more like once a week! There are a lot of upcoming events which sound pretty exciting, especially the Quiz night! Last year’s theme was centred around Pointless, not sure what this year’s theme would be but I’m looking forward to it nonetheless.

Then there’s college and exams… which I must admit feels really intense but then after the first set of exams you get used to it. The best thing about being a junior is that you get a lot of periods where you’re free for work, if you’re in the office that is, which is great with getting in a bit of revision. I’m trying to make the most of it now because I’ve heard from the seniors that this isn’t likely to be the case as you progress through the ranks.

There’s still so much more I could talk about… I’ll probably cover the types of jobs of I’ve worked on both in and out of the office, training courses and all that type of stuff in my next blog. On that note, I better sign off this blog before I carry on rambling on!

Lara Anifowose

I graduated from the University of Southampton with a degree in Accounting and Finance then joined Shipleys as a trainee in January 2016. I work on Audits and Accounts Preparation for different entities. Outside of work, I am a bit of a travel enthusiast!

My Shipleys experience

Wow a lot has happened in the last four months! Beginning my training contract at Shipleys in January 2016 was so exciting. I’d had a wonderful Christmas with my family, I’d also been on holiday with friends and saw the New Year in with a “Cheers”, champagne & celebrations. It was the best time of the year for a new job – as they say, “a new year…a new start”.

Having graduated in the summer of 2014, I’d had about 18 months out of studying (and I was starting to miss it!), so I couldn’t wait to get back into the swing of things. And definitely did I get stuck in – on my very first day I went straight to college at Kaplan to begin the first two modules of the ACA – Accounting and Assurance.

I found the first few days at Kaplan to be quite intense and fast-paced, nevertheless, it’s surprising how quickly you are able to pick up new topics and as long as you keep up-to-date with all the homework you feel a lot more confident when the revision period starts. My top tip would definitely be to attempt all the questions set, follow the study materials and to just dedicate a few hours every night to recap and remind yourself of what you’ve learnt at college that day. This all helps to put you in good stead for the exams, and I found that as long as you put the hours in, the hard work does pay off.

January flew by and with a mixture of SWAT training, accounts preparation and a few audit jobs undertaken in February, by the start of March I’d already completed the Accounting and Assurance E-Assessments. Since then, I’ve been working on a variety of clients from films to television series to charities and investment funds. I undertook my first stocktake and was back at Kaplan at the start of April to study the Principles of Tax module, and by the end of April this third E-Assessment had been completed.

Studying and working can be quite daunting at first, especially if it’s the first time you’ve ever had to balance the two, and for me this was the case, so on a Sunday evening I try to plan out the week ahead, just so I know what topics I need to revise, focus on or prioritise, and this is even more important during the run up to exams.

Shipleys is a very supportive firm, right from the junior staff and senior staff to the Managers and Partners. Everyone is always willing to help with any queries you have, whether it be work-related or college-related, and I’ve also found college to be another great support system. By meeting new people of similar ages entering into the same industry as you means that not only do you have the support from your firm, but you also have the support from your peers as everyone is in the same boat, and it’s nice to think that I now have a close knit group of friends at Kaplan.

I would like to stress that working hard is important, but it’s not all work at Shipleys. There are lots of events organised by our social committee. I attended the Christmas party in December 2015 (even though I wasn’t starting my training contract until January, I’d been asked to come to and enjoy the celebrations.) It was a fabulous night in the West End and a good way of meeting my fellow colleagues before the first day in the office. I think this highlights the welcoming and friendly firm that Shipleys is. We’ve also had a curry night, end of month’s drinks and most recently the Quiz Night.

With the variety of work on offer at Shipleys, no two work days are ever the same, and I think this is one of the firm’s strong points and one of the main features that attracted me to Shipleys.

What I’ve found the most fulfilling so far is being able to put what you’ve learnt at college into practice in the workplace. With every day I feel more confident and I look forward to going into the office and seeing what the day will bring.

Shenai Doughty

Shenai graduated from the University of Southampton with a Law degree and joined Shipleys in January 2016 as a Trainee Chartered Accountant. Her time is divided between working within the audit team in the London office and studying at Kaplan and attending SWAT training.