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 determined distance learner fulfill his potential. Wade Newell, MAAT Then: Wanted to follow in his mum’s footsteps Now: Working for an upmarket hotel in London Not every workplace is as glamorous as Wade Newell’s. He handles all the payments for the London Edition, a five-star hotel near the British Museum. A lot of his work revolves around food purchasing; the hotel is home to the highly rated Berners Tavern restaurant, as well as a manor house-inspired cocktail bar and a well-stocked lobby bar. But Wade is used to opulent settings, having made a career out of finance for luxury services. Previously, he worked for bespoke tailor Tom James, whose suits range from £599 to over £20,000: “There was one client who bought six suits that came to around £120,000,” he recalls. Wade’s mother is also an accountant, and he always wanted to work in a profession that pays well. “People have always told me that I was good at maths, so my mum said that accountancy would be good for me,” he says. Wade chose to study via distance learning, as he’d always learned more by studying in his own time, rather than in a classroom. This requires self-discipline, though. “A lot of the time, my family distracted me,” he says. “I’d come home and everybody would end up in the kitchen talking about their day. So, when it was study time, I’d go straight to my room and just get on with it. You have to set a routine.” Since qualifying, Wade has been getting involved with AAT branch events and forums. Most recently, he went to a Be Your Own Boss event in London, which has left him thinking about starting his own practice in the future. “I always get people saying to me: ‘Oh, you’re an accountant! Can you do my accounts?’ These days, everyone’s becoming an entrepreneur, so everyone wants an accountant. I might do it as an extra source of income,” he notes. Wade is also considering becoming chartered: “AAT is a pretty strong foundation to have in the accountancy world. Once you’ve got that foundation behind you, you can learn more as you go.” To get started visit StudyAAT or call +44 20 3735 02400 Read Amy’s story Read Thomas’s story Read Cristina’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.