My ICAEW apprenticeship journey with Dominic O’Sullivan
Next up in our series on accountancy apprentices for NAW23 is Dominic O’Sullivan, trainee accountant at Richardsons. 16-year-old Dominic was very much into economics and finance, and so opting to […]
Next up in our series on accountancy apprentices for NAW23 is Dominic O’Sullivan, trainee accountant at Richardsons.
16-year-old Dominic was very much into economics and finance, and so opting to study Maths and Economics at A-Level was a no-brainer for him. But after receiving disappointing results in his first round of exams, Dominic had to dig deep if he wanted to gain a place at his university of choice.
“Those results were the first proper stumbling block I’d faced in my life. I decided that I had to get my head down and re-take some papers, and thankfully I was able to achieve the results I needed.”
Dominic had an enjoyable three years studying for his Economics degree, but was still struggling to uncover a particularly clear career goal. He definitely hadn’t considered accountancy due to the ‘boring’ reputation it had!
However, it was a placement he did one summer at a pension fund, that opened his eyes into the kind of work he could be doing.
“That placement gave a glimpse of the real world of business and what it would be like to work in an office environment. I had the opportunity to talk to fund managers and graduates of a similar age to me who were on various training pathways that I could research.”
So, research he did, and while he graduated in 2020 into a period of great uncertainty, Dominic was, by this point, certain that ACA training was the path for him. He discovered trainee opportunities at local firm Richardsons, and knew straight away it was the right fit for him.
As a graduate, Dominic was really keen to dive in and start his Level 7 apprenticeship with Reed Business School. He initially struggled with the time management aspect, but once he found his rhythm, he was even impressing himself with how much he was learning!
“It has been hard, but I’m able to apply my learning at work, and I understand it so much better and can feel myself improving so much. It feels really rewarding.”
Dominic has passed all his exams first time so far, and believes Reed Business School’s classroom set up is a key factor in this.
“Being there engages you in the studying so much more, especially for the revision period. Having a group of classmates from different firms you can chat to and use as a support network is really useful, and having dedicated revision time with a supportive tutor is so rare and special. You wouldn’t get this at another provider.”
Throughout his apprenticeship, Dominic has also been developing his critical thinking skills with the help of his business coach, Rob. He’s been learning how to view situations from multiple angles, and speak up in the right circumstances to apply his questioning mind.
Dominic’s advice to those starting out?
“Don’t keep things to yourself. Talk about anything you’re unsure of – in class or at work. Not speaking up doesn’t help you, or anyone else. Continue to ask questions and have conversations, and you’ll progress much faster.”
And a word from Dominic’s manager
“At Richardsons Chartered Accountants, we want our staff to have the best possible experience whilst studying towards their exams. Reed Business School has excellent teaching staff, a strong record of pass rates along with fantastic facilities for our students to study and relax. The support staff have been brilliant with enrolling the students on to apprenticeships, dealing with our queries promptly and accommodating for any changes. We have been using RBS for many years now, with lots of students successfully completing their qualifications.” Jack Armstrong, Associate Director, Richardsons Chartered Accountants