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Day 5 of National Apprentice Week – Read Kieran’s story here.

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It’s day five of National Apprenticeship Week and we want to celebrate all the amazing work our apprentices do every day.

Each day this week, we will share their experience and what they’ve been up to. Friday is all about Kieran, Finance Apprentice at AO and his experience so far.


What’s your role at AO?

My official title is Retail Finance Apprentice, which means I’m getting some great experience at working in a real life financial environment. I work in areas like Sales reconciliation, which means making sure the retail incoming and outgoing are accurate. I also work on the company’s Profit and Loss balance sheet.


What drew you to AO originally? How did you end up as an apprentice at AO?

Working in finance is something I’ve always been interested in. Since I’ve started I’ve learned so much about how a finance department operates and what it takes to be successful as a business. It’s been a real positive experience so far and I’m glad I decided to apply for the position.


What is the favourite part about working for AO?

There’s loads of things I love about working at AO, it’s a great environment to work in. I was completely new to the industry when I started so it’s been a very scary but positive journey. No two days are the same because I’m always experiencing new things and developing new skills that will aid me in my future working in finance.


Did you always want to do an apprenticeship?

I think so, I wanted to work in finance and know it is a tough industry so having the support of an apprenticeship has really helped me grow as a person as well as in my job role. But yeah, I knew I wanted to have a crack at being part of AO, I live locally and know we have a great employer brand. A few people I knew at the time worked at AO, it came highly recommended especially because the apprentice scheme has won awards.


What’s your proudest moment at AO so far?

My proudest moment would be passing my level 3 AAT (accounting course). AO put me through the course from start to finish, and now it’s a qualification I have for life! I’ve also recently achieved my Duke of Edinburgh Gold award. It was a really tough experience but now I’m going to Buckingham Palace to receive my award, that’s pretty cool.


What’s been your biggest challenge during your time at AO?

So as well as it being one of my proudest moments at AO, it was also the most challenging. The Duke of Edinburgh award was a real test. I had to throw myself into things I had never done before such as camping out for 4 days in a country I had never visited before. I’ve learned to embrace being out of my comfort zone at AO and tackle a challenge head on!


What made you realise this is what you wanted to do?

Since school I’ve always been good with numbers, so I always knew I would do something involved the subject. I just didn’ know I would enjoy finance as much as I do. It’s a rewarding experience to review how the business is performing and explain the logic behind them, it feel like I make a difference.


What are your hopes/plans for the future?

My main career goal is to become a chartered accountant. I know that my apprenticeship here at AO is putting me on the tracks to getting what I want eventually. I’m very goal driven and know that as long as I keep working hard I can get where I want to be. My hopes for the future are also to stay enjoying my work as much as I do right now.


What skills have you gained on the job here at AO?

I believe that my time at AO has given me so many valuable skills that can be utilised in my personal life as well as professional. The Duke of Edinburgh Award activities have allowed me to develop skills such as communication, team work and it’s also really built my confidence as a person.