Finding and training your future stars


Opportunities at Starting Off

Degree Success for former AAT Apprentice!

Laura Youens, a former AAT student from Starting Off, has just graduated from the University of Northampton with a first class honours degree in Accounting & Finance.

Laura started her accountancy career at a company called Textile Bonding back in 2001 when she was placed there by Starting Off and she did all 3 levels of AAT, completing Level 4 in 2006. After AAT she remained at Textile Bonding for a further 3 years, building on her accountancy role whilst she started a family. Impending redundancy eventually meant that Laura had to move on to other opportunities but she had often thought about doing a degree course.

In 2014 Laura decided to take the plunge only to have to defer her place for a year after finding out she was pregnant with her 3rd child, so eventually she started in 2015 when her baby was 8 months old and able to go to nursery. A brave choice to take on that level of study with a young child!

Laura was delighted to discover that her AAT Level 4 qualification exempted her from the first year of her degree course. With 3 children, including one at nursery, she was limited to study in the evenings but Laura’s hard work and perseverance paid off, for in July 2017 not only was she awarded a first class degree, she also gained the University’s award for the best Corporate Finance Student.

Laura is shortly due to start a new job as an Assistant Financial Accountant in Wellingborough and is looking to complete her studies by doing the ACCA qualification. Her degree now gives her a 50% exemption route on ACCA so not surprisingly she feels it is worth doing!

Looking back, Laura can see what an invaluable qualification AAT was to get her into the world of finance. From her experience she knows:

“It can open up so many doors and opportunities and is a fantastic way to start an accountancy career which I would recommend to anyone”.

At Starting Off it’s always a great part of the job to see our former students grow and succeed! We congratulate Laura on all she has achieved and wish her all the very best for her next chapter.

If you feel you could help someone start an accountancy career, the AAT qualification is available as part of the Government’s Apprenticeship Programme. Please contact Helen Deacon at Starting Off for details.