Catherine McCay, Higher Level Apprenticeship, Accountancy
22-year-old Catherine McCay from Londonderry spoke about her experience of studying a Higher Level Apprenticeship in Accountancy at North West Regional College:
‘’Before I came to the college, I studied History and Anthropology at the University of Sussex. I really enjoyed the course but I decided to move back home because it was too expensive to live in Brighton.
‘’When I returned home to Derry I couldn’t find any work relating to my degree because I didn’t have any administration experience so I had no choice but to sign on at my local jobs and benefits office.
‘’I met Christine Hutton and Claire McLaughlin from North West Regional College at the jobs and benefits office and as soon as they saw me, they called me over and I asked them about the colleges open day.
‘’I told them I studied History and Anthropology at university and they advised me to apply for a Higher Level Apprenticeship in accounting because most people who studied history tended to gravitate towards it.’’
She explained: ‘’I wasn’t having any luck before the course and I thought it was a great way to gain the experience I needed to get a job in accountancy so I submitted a mini essay to the college stating why I wanted to do the course along with the rest of my information.
‘’I’m really enjoying my time here at the college and although it can be difficult sometimes to balance my studies with my job at North West Mechanical Services, the lecturers have all been really helpful and my work colleagues have been very understanding as well.
‘’By the end of my Higher Level Apprenticeship course I’d like to become a member of Accounting Technicians Ireland (ATI) and achieve an accreditation. I’d also like to further my studies and hopefully forge a career as a forensic accountant.
She added: ‘’I would definitely recommend people to choose the Higher Level Apprenticeship route because I have a job now and I didn’t have that before I enrolled on the scheme.
‘’The Higher Level Apprenticeship is also free and it provides people with on the job training. They’re also paid by their employer to come and study at the college so there’s no reason why people shouldn’t look into pursuing an apprenticeship.’’
‘’I’m a prime example of someone who went to university, studied for three years, got a degree but still couldn’t get a job in accountancy.”
For more information about applying for a Higher Level Apprenticeship in Accountancy, call Anne Marie Deehan on 02871276182