From Aeronautical Engineering to Accounting
Published on 17 December 2018
Each year, EQ Chartered Accountants recruits a new batch of trainees and is now accepting applications to commence CA training contracts in August 2019.
The majority of their 2018 intake of seven, who are spread across all of the firm’s offices in Dundee, Forfar, Glenrothes and Cupar, are accountancy / finance graduates.
However, when it comes to their ‘wishlist’, EQ is seeking more than financial prowess.
Indeed, as part of the firm’s commitment to identifying the right calibre of graduate regardless of their discipline, EQ has welcomed Aiden McIntyre (24), an Aeronautical Engineering graduate from the University of Glasgow.
Aiden, who was born and brought up in Glasgow, had always enjoyed maths and physics so, as he approached his final years at school, engineering seemed the natural, next step. However, as his Masters degree progressed, his interests changed.
“During my third year at university, I embarked on an internship with an engineering company. Around 90% of my tasks were centred on engineering, with the rest related to the business aspects of the company, such as project management and costings. I soon realised that I was more interested in the business side of the projects than the actual engineering, making me wonder if I should consider a different career path altogether.”
Having won a scholarship from The Robertson Trust’s ‘Journey to Success Programme’, Aiden benefitted from many networking and mentoring opportunities so, after graduating with an MEng Aeronautical Engineering degree in 2017, Aiden decided to reach out to his network of contacts for some advice. Considering a range of different options, he finally decided to consider a Chartered Accountancy training contract, which he felt would provide him with the technically and numerically challenging career he was seeking.
However, although aeronautical engineering may on the surface sound drastically different from accountancy, there are strong similarities, particularly in relation to the problem-solving aspects of each profession.
Aiden explained, “The thought process involved in engineering and accountancy is remarkably similar. Both require close attention to detail and an aptitude for working with numbers but, more importantly, both have a significant impact on real life. Each and every figure we are working with in accountancy has a real life implication, in the way that engineering does, so it’s about understanding what these figures relate to and their impact on the business and the scenarios it faces. My degree may not be directly related to accountancy but it’s definitely a useful asset, with many transferable skills. On a more general level, at university, you have exams every semester, so you’re building up a work ethic which is definitely needed for pursuing the CA qualification.”
Aiden then went on to conduct his own research, pro-actively attending ICAS ‘Become a CA’ events, where he was first introduced to EQ in the form of his future colleagues, Katie Edward, Human Resources Assistant and Chris Price, CA trainee based in the Glenrothes office. Impressed by the firm’s focus on people, from both a client and staff perspective, Aiden decided to apply for the graduate training scheme and was delighted to be accepted, taking up the position in August 2018.
He added, “The recruitment process wasn’t all about aptitude tests – it really focussed on graduates’ personal qualities. I’m now three months into my training contract and it’s even better than I expected. When you’re younger, deciding what to do with your life, you always wonder if you’re making the right decision and leaving engineering to pursue a completely different career in a new city was obviously a serious shift. However, I have no doubt that I’ve made the right decision and, although there is a lot of work ahead, juggling a full-time job with some serious study commitments, it will definitely be worthwhile.”
Studying every night, Aiden is now working towards his ICAS Test of Competence (TC) exam in December, the first stage of the CA qualification.
Joining Aiden on his journey are fellow trainees Lia Hay (21), Melanie Martin (22), Samantha Turkington (22) and Caitlin Treschman (21), all Accountancy graduates from the University of Dundee; Isla Millar (22), an Accountancy and Finance graduate from Heriot-Watt University; and Mark Moseley (22), an Accountancy and Finance graduate from Heriot-Watt University.
So, what is Aiden’s advice to anyone working towards a degree but contemplating a new direction?
“My advice would be not to just sit there but to get out there, make inquiries and use your networks. Your degree does not define you, or limit your opportunities. You can focus on your transferable skills and how they might apply to a range of different industries.”
EQ is currently accepting applications from Graduates of all disciplines to commence CA training contracts in August 2019.
The firm is also inviting applications for Internships for Summer 2019. During the six week placement, interns will gain invaluable experience and sample life working with a progressive accountancy practice before making a decision regarding their future development.
Details of both positions can be found at https://www.eqaccountants.co.uk/careers/graduate-recruitment/