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Glenroy's journey from school leaver to audit associate

Glenroy Dacosta tells us how he went from school leaver to audit associate.

As a sixth form student, I didn’t really have any intention of going to university. My dream was to become an accountant and I felt that university wasn’t necessary for me to achieve this goal. And I didn't want a debt hanging over my head.

But life is unpredictable and we don’t always get what we want. Upon finishing my A-levels, the two apprenticeship academies I’d been speaking to didn’t have any positions available and I started a long 17 month period seeking an opportunity.

Out of all of my close friends I was the only one that had decided not to go to university. For months on end I was asked why I didn’t go and what I was doing with my life.

Learning through experience

I lost track of how many of my applications were unsuccessful; I got to the point where I was applying for positions in various professions as I’d accepted that accountancy probably wasn’t going to work out.

There were a lot of days spent waiting for phone calls or responses and I started to question whether my decision to not go to university was the right one.

I then heard about a six-week training course that would lead to six weeks of work experience as an administration assistant in the commercial audit department at Grant Thornton. This then blossomed into a full-time job as an apprentice in a team of three, providing administrative support to a department of over 90 auditors.

After a great 15 months – in which I completed a Business and Administration Level 3 qualification - two successful performance reviews and discussions with various people, I was encouraged to really think about what I wanted to pursue going forward.

Now, I’m happy to say that I am an apprentice once again on the firm’s school leaver programme. I’m an audit associate studying AAT Level 4 and will then progress onto a professional accounting qualification which will make me chartered.

Embracing opportunity

My journey has allowed me to start a career with one of the largest accounting firms in the world - a firm which presents me with a lot of opportunities and a bright future. I am working with a wide variety of clients and some fantastic people. All of my Kaplan courses are paid for, including the books, revision material and the exams.

When I was at sixth form, the norm was for everyone to go to university to get a degree; but this is not the only option. The apprenticeship route has allowed me to pursue the career I’ve always wanted and opened doors that I thought were firmly shut to me.

I’m definitely not the same person I was a few years ago. When I started here I was very quiet and pretty much kept to myself, whereas now I’m a confident individual that embraces challenges and new opportunities. I’m very grateful to those that made a lost dream a reality and to the firm as a whole.

Find out more about our school leaver apprenticeship programme.

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