Even though I have always been good at maths, I had never thought of being an accountant. I was told by my school to get a work experience placement to see what path I wanted to take in life. Last year I chose to work in my old primary school since I wanted to be a teacher, but this year, I decided to take a completely different route, and try something that was completely unknown to me.
Let’s just say that my first day didn’t go that well (in my opinion) as I felt completely out of my depth. After day one, I was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy the rest of the week, but I was wrong. My second day at C+T was more of what I excepted and what I hoped to be doing – Personal Tax. I felt comfortable in that environment as I could use my knowledge of maths and Excel to complete my work, as well as working beside lovely people. I did use my knowledge of maths at C+T, but it isn’t a necessary requirement for being an accountant, as Excel formulas are always used. Yes, having maths is useful but you don’t learn tax at school or university, you learn it when you start working here. Many people who work here have told me that the degrees they did at university (like maths or physics), are not used as much as they expected when doing their job.
Throughout the week I worked with different departments, such as personal tax – that I previously mentioned – but also the VAT team and the Marketing team. I learned how to do VAT returns (the base knowledge of them) and how to design invitations and work on the Chiene + Tait website from behind-the-scenes with marketing, which was a lot of fun in my opinion (as something is very satisfying about turning an orange dot to a green dot for SEO, just by changing small details).
Compared to working in a primary school, an office environment is the polar opposite. Being a classroom assistant to Primary 1’s is hard work, but a different type of hard work to working in an office. Working in an office is more mentally exhausting, while working in a primary school is definitely more physically exhausting. Going back to my primary school was exciting, and it was comfortable returning to the place I knew extremely well, as I got to reminisce the memories with my friends. Working in an office however was new to me, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. This week has been somewhat challenging, but I have learnt that I can do more than I thought I was capable of doing.
I’d glad I have done work experience here, as it has opened my eyes to office life, and has shown me what I can do if I want to be more than a teacher. Currently, I am still wanting to do a maths degree at university and possibly a post-graduate in teaching, but I will definitely consider applying for a summer job next year, to hopefully learn more about the departments, and working life at Chiene + Tait.