I came to the UK from Rwanda to study in 2009. It was hard to live in Rwanda before the genocide in 1994 and until 1998 it remained a dangerous and difficult place to live. The conflict between the tribes – the Tutsis and Hutus – was a big issue that affected me and everyone else in Rwanda at that time.
Moving to the UK and Cardiff, where I live now, was very challenging. In Rwanda I had my family, and English is not my first language. I had to work hard to get where I am today, but it’s also been very rewarding to have the chance to finally do what I want to do.
Why I chose to study accountancy
I’ve always liked numbers and I really hate writing. For me it was clear early on that accountancy was going to be my trade. I loved numbers and couldn’t see myself doing anything where you had to rely on writing a lot. I worked in auditing back home and I wanted to come here to study and learn more about accountancy. I’m glad I took the chance despite knowing it was going to be hard and challenging.
I’m very excited about the prospect of managing my own business in the future. From as long as I can remember, I always wanted to start my own business. When I asked people for advice on how to do this, they all pointed me towards accountancy. By studying and practising I hope I will acquire the skills I need to one day start a business and make it grow. This way I can give many people jobs and make their life better. That’s my target.
I’m motivated by moving from one step to another and improving my life. I don’t know now where I will end up living and working. And, for me, the more important thing is being somewhere where I can be free to learn and eventually achieve my target of starting my business.
Putting my AAT studies into practice
AAT has allowed me to learn everything from scratch and I’ve been given enough time to absorb it all. It has been a great experience. I did a work placement and it put things in perspective for me. Earlier this year I did a work placement at the Welsh brewery Brains and it was great to finally see how what I’ve learnt in theory worked in a real company.
It was a really valuable experience and it made me realise how much experience you need – on top of the theoretical skills – to develop and run a successful business. But I hope that one day I will be there.
Emmanuel Gatete is a former AAT student..