The following article was originally published in the Spring 2023 edition of the Jersey Evening Post Careers Supplement

When asked what is the one piece of advice Rachel Hicks, would give to anyone considering training as a Chartered Accountant, the theme of her reply is ‘look after yourself’.  She clarifies, ‘At the start of the training contract everything is new and it can feel quite daunting, there’s lots to learn both at a work and exam level and maintaining a good work life balance can seem challenging but is hugely important.’

Rachel goes on to say ‘I found this hard at first, having come straight from university where the study hours are quite low and there’s so much time to socialise, going into my first full time job with studying on top, while also trying to spend time with friends. It was a challenge to find a balance, however once I found a good routine, it was much easier to juggle all the elements and leave enough time for socialising and relaxing.’

Having outside interests and making time for them is important.  Rachel found that having a clear routine and timetable for how and when she would do her study made it easier to relax and unwind when at the gym, swimming, painting or spending time with friends as she wasn’t worrying about when she would do her study.

Having now completed all of her exams Rachel comments that, ‘anyone at the start of their training contract should be happy asking questions and enjoy learning new things. Take one task at a time and ask as many questions as possible of your colleagues. Something new is learnt every day and this leads to increased confidence and skills.’ 

Rachel considers the most enjoyable part of her job to be the variety of clients and types of work she undertakes. ‘One week I can be auditing a client in the hospitality industry, the next week a pension scheme and the next a listed entity. There are so many different clients, I’m never bored. I love going to visit clients, to get a real sense of what they do and how they operate and get to meet their teams and ask questions face to face.  I also get to work on the technical accounting and tax aspects of assignments, developing my skills across a range of experiences.’

‘The best thing about RSM is the people’ Rachel comments. ‘There are a number of trainees like myself, as well as qualified staff, who I get on well with and I’ve enjoyed being able to learn from my colleagues who have helped me through the training experience. 

With the end of her training contract in sight, Rachel notes ‘I have learned so much since I first started and am looking forward to what the future holds.’

RSM Channel Islands is an Approved Employer with both The Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.  

Candidates wishing to apply for training positions with us should submit a covering letter and full CV by email to [email protected].

RSM Channel Islands is an independent member firm of RSM, the world’s sixth largest provider of audit, tax and consultancy services, encompassing 120 countries, 830 offices and more than 57,000 people.