Tamara Salter MAAT AATQB won AAT Student of the Year 2018, and in the lead up to the AAT Training Provider Awards in June 2020, we reflect back on how she did it, and the tutors that made a difference.
Tamara worked for BT for a number of years and completed a number of accounting tasks as part of her role, but never had a formal qualification (apart from O Grade & Higher Grade Accounting from her Scottish Education many years before!).
When she left BT and was looking for a new role, she noticed a number of job adverts were looking for people with AAT qualifications, in addition to the experience she already had. And the rest is history. She put some of her redundancy payment from BT towards AAT qualifications from a training provider and signed up for Levels 2 and 3.
What made you stand out as a student and win AAT Student of the Year award?
Whilst I was studying for my AAT I was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation and Syringomyelia. I later learned that I’d likely had these conditions since birth, but they had become symptomatic and were causing me a number of issues.
As a result, I had to undergo major brain surgery to try and help improve the symptoms. This meant that I had to take some time away from my studies to recover, but I was determined to eventually get back on track and complete my qualification.
Once I completed my Level 3, I went on to complete my Level 4 and obtain MAAT status.
What advice would you give to other students and apprentices?
When obstacles get in the way of your studies, take the necessary time to resolve them so you can get your well-deserved qualification. Even if that means stepping back for a while.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it and believe in yourself – you can do it!
Who was your favourite tutor and why?
When I decided to carry on with my Level 4 qualification (Professional Diploma in Accounting) I went to Premier Training, who were amazing.
They took the time to give me useful feedback and explained things so clearly, which is just what I needed.
I’d definitely pick out Peter Clarke and Mark Staton from Premier Training for their dedication, understanding, kindness and patience.
What makes a great tutor?
Someone who understands that not all students learn in the same way and picks up on what will help students understand where they may be going wrong in their understanding.
Patience is definitely a virtue when it comes to being a great tutor, and great tutors can also be a trusted mentor to their students.
The AAT Training Provider Conference
The AAT Training Provider Conference 2020 provides a great opportunity for training providers, apprentices and students to get involved in their AAT community. And most importantly, reward yourself for your year so far.
At this year’s conerence, on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th June in Stratford-upon-Avon, we’ll be hosting talks from a range of speakers, and will also be giving you an insight into AQ2021, and how you can deliver this exciting new syllabus.
Further reading on AAT tutors who are inspiring their students:
Sophie Cross is the Editor of Freelancer Magazine and a freelance writer and marketer at Thoughtfully.