By AAT Comment Career Unlock your potential: 5 people who found their future with AAT 3 Aug 2016 Do you want a new career, a better work-life balance or simply to earn more? Here’s how studying AAT helped this relentless self-starter fulfill his potential. Thomas Brinsley, student and 2016 AAT Distance Learner of the Year Then: School leaver seeking a great job Now: Aspiring chartered accountant When most of his peers were headed to university, Thomas Brinsley was desperate to start working. “It’s hard to be extremely ambitious and yet not want to follow the usual academic path,” he says. Working for a great company was a priority for Thomas, so he threw himself into winning a place in Nestlé’s Youth Employment Initiative, which he succeeded in doing aged 18. His commitment made such an impression that he was offered a permanent job working in HR in his first month. However, above all, Thomas wanted to work in accounting, and began studying AAT through online learning with Home Learning College. “I needed a way of studying that wouldn’t impact my career in a negative way,” he says. “Studying online means I can study whenever suits me. The flexibility that the Virtual Learning Campus offers is perfect.” “I’ve always said I would never allow my course to affect my job,” he notes. “I will make time for both and, if a sacrifice has to be made, it will be my spare time – a small price for a lifetime of reward.” Having recently left school, paying for the course was a struggle at first, but Thomas budgeted carefully to meet the monthly costs. Then, a few months in, he was offered a job at another company. Nestlé didn’t want to lose a talented employee, so it offered to pay for Thomas’ AAT studies. It also promised to fund a future chartered course. Thomas was set for the rest of his studies. “Studying AAT has unlocked so many career paths,” he says. “If it wasn’t for the opportunities offered by AAT, I couldn’t follow my dreams or believe I could have the career I want.” Case study provided by Anita Skurr, Home Learning College To get started visit StudyAAT or call +44 20 3735 02400 Read Amy’s story Read Cristina’s story Read Wade’s story Read Stefanie’s story AAT Comment offers news and opinion on the world of business and finance from the Association of Accounting Technicians.