Tess Croston of Lowestoft joins Gorleston accountancy firm Stephenson Smart

Tess Croston at Stephenson Smart.
Pic by TMS Media

Tess Croston at Stephenson Smart. Pic by TMS Media - Credit: Archant

Making a career change can be a daunting process.

But one Gorleston accountancy firm has offered a new trainee position to support a mum who is determined to pursue her dream.

Tess Croston has left behind her job in customer service at a water company to become the latest AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) recruit at Stephenson Smart, based at Beacon Park.

The 24-year-old has been given the opportunity by the company's partner Henry Pettitt as part of his vision to provide opportunities for school leavers, graduates and those pursuing a new direction.

From Lowestoft, she self-funded the AAT level two qualification at college before hearing that Stephenson Smart were looking for new trainees.

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And since she started her job four weeks ago the company have enrolled her for both the AAT level three and four, which she is aiming to complete within 18 months.

She said: 'I'm really enjoying it.

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'It's also been great as I haven't been shadowing one specific person.

'They are all helping me and they all work differently to achieve the same outcome, which is really interesting.

'I have definitely found that although I have a lot of technical knowledge I didn't know how to put it into practice and I think that would be the case with a lot of graduates.

'I would 100pc not be able to complete my training if I didn't have the on-the-job experience.'

She studied for her A Levels at City College, Coventry, before she began five-year stint at a Lowestoft water firm helping people to afford their bills.

She said: 'I had my little boy, who is nearly two and I wanted more for him.

'I really like the business finance sector and my auntie is an accountant, who I've always looked up to.'

In the future she hopes to take the ACA qualification and eventually become a senior manager.

'I crave a challenge and I always think there will be parts of this job that will be a challenge as I progress.'

Henry Pettitt, partner at Stephenson Smart, said 'We were really keen to support her enthusiasm and determination as both are major attributes we look for when introducing someone new into our team.'

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