My AAT Journey – Alex Mellor professional rugby player

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Alex is a professional rugby player who is also studying AAT, here we talk to him about his journey and how he’s faced any challenges along the way.

When did you start AAT? 

I started my AAT journey in December 2017. I wanted to do accounting because I’ve always been strong with numbers and enjoyed working with them. I love the way there is always a correct answer and the maths needed to find this really interests me, whether it’s straight-forward or you have to problem-solve. I’m quite money orientated and have always been interested in the financial nuts and bolts of business and how the cogs to that side of a business operate but I wasn’t sure what the job really entailed. 

I spoke with a careers advisor who told me a bit more about it and gave me two options for studying – through university or the AAT course. I knew the AAT course was the right choice for me as it suited the time I had available.

Tell us a bit about your journey so far

I chose ICS Learn as it gave me the freedom to study when I wanted to and work it around my job. I’m a professional rugby player with the Huddersfield Giants so I study alongside that to plan for my future. 

I really like the knowledge and content. ICS Learn is easy to follow and everything you need is in one place which makes it easier to pass but sometimes I find it hard distance learning with just your own thoughts and the textbook. The online tutor helps as does watching YouTube videos and I’ve also spoken to an accountant who has offered me some guidance.

Where are you at now with your studies? 

I started at Level 2 Foundation which took 12 months and then did Level 3 Advanced which took 18 months. I’ve just started Level 4 Professional which will take 18 months. 

Have your AAT studies and qualifications helped your career progression?

I’m 26 now and I’ve been playing rugby for eight years. I should have eight or nine years left until I retire but I want there to be an overlap in the careers. Hence I started studying at age 23 to give me plenty of time. 

Ideally, I’d like to own my own accountancy business one day. I want to get as much experience under my belt as possible so I’m starting work experience with a local business next month. Then I intend to work part-time about ten hours a week to broaden my knowledge and keep it fresh. I should be a good asset to a company after completing Level 4. 

Have you faced challenges with your studies?

I’d actually lost a bit of love for my studies because I was rugby training a lot and recently moved clubs so I found it a bit difficult to motivate myself when I was coming home tired. Because of the pandemic, there were four months with where I couldn’t rugby train which gave me an excuse to fully focus on AAT. It reignited my enthusiasm for it. I went through four books for Level 3 and had four exams lined up as soon as they re-opened.

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This content is brought to you by ICS Learn.

ICS Learn is an online learning organisation. They have been a pioneer in teaching skills and qualifications at a distance for over 130 years, giving you the opportunity to learn while earning and to fulfil your ambitions..

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