An introduction to Affinity Apprenticeships with Sonny Wilson, Accounting Apprentice

Published On: 12/07/2023

Here at The Affinity Group we offer apprenticeships to suit almost every department within the company. Whether it’s Digital Marketing L3, AAT Accounting Apprenticeship L2, or Business Administration L2 we’ve got an apprenticeship to suit your passions and future. But we don’t just take on anyone, you have to be driven, focused, and ready to become part of something more than just another company. The Affinity Group is a collection of talented, driven and special professionals who work hard, but also have a really fun time doing so! But why take our word for it, and what’s it really like to be an Affinity apprentice?

In this blog we ask Sonny Wilson, one of our current Accounting apprentices all your burning questions, to give you an insight into our world.

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?

I wanted to get a head start compared to my peers who would be going to university. Knowing I can gain the relevant qualifications whilst working was much more appealing than spending 3-4 years studying. You also have the added bonus of earning whilst learning, whereas at uni you come out at the end with a mountain of debt and not necessarily any better off.

Why did you choose to go into accounting?

Accounting is something I have liked the idea of from a young age (not every kids dream I know!), but I also had close family and friends that said it would be a useful skill to know no matter what I chose to do in life.

What does a typical day at work look like?

I usually spend my days answering client queries either on the phone or via email, completing personal tax returns, and also doing a small amount of learning either by reviewing college material, or paid material that is pertinent to my role within the tax team.

What do you enjoy most about your apprenticeship?

Gaining a deeper understanding of how peoples’ income is taxed and how to best minimise this to benefit a client. Being able to resolve a long standing query is also really satisfying.

How do you manage to balance your work responsibilities and college studying, and how does the Affinity Group support your apprenticeship?

The Affinity Group as an employer have been able to set up internal training sessions to support my college work and exams, and give extra time to study if required. I am also provided time during the week to ensure college work/portfolios are up to date whilst being uninterrupted by BAU tasks.

Why did you choose the Affinity Group?

The application/ interview process was smooth and seamless, and being interviewed by Kerry (who previously was an Affinity apprentice, and is now head of one of the accounting brands) really helped in selling the role. Knowing the help and support The Affinity Group were able to provide throughout my learning also made choosing them very easy.

What is the best part about working at the Affinity Group?

The opportunity to develop is huge driving factor for myself, as there are many options to choose from once I complete my apprenticeship. Also during your working day you’re split up into smaller teams, which gives you the freedom and ability to mix quite well when the time comes for events or social committee activities.

What skills have you learned from your apprenticeship that will help you in your career?

Being quite young (I’m 19) I have had minimal exposure to how to project myself and conduct myself professionally within the working environment. This is something that I believe I have grown exponentially in during my tenure here so far, and look forward to seeing how my confidence and professionalism develops as my apprenticeship continues.

What are your plans for the future? (further qualifications/staying on at the company, etc)

Once my apprenticeship finishes, I am hoping to move swiftly into the ATT-CTA pathway. This a personal taxation focused set of qualifications that I hope to achieve within the next 5-7 years. My apprenticeship here at The Affinity Group will set me up perfectly for this, and help me hit the ground running for my next professional challenge.

What advice would you give those considering an apprenticeship?

Stepping into the workforce within your field of interest rather than going to uni will give you a massive advantage, not only with work experience but also with general life experience. I would say for myself I have grown more over the past 11 months, compared to the past few years at school. Also don’t be afraid if this is your first job, learning is at the core of being an apprentice and should not deter you if you have no previous experience! It’s great fun, I’ve made so many new friends and contacts, and really value my time here at Affinity. Plus we have the best social events, so you’ll never miss out on a good time once all the hard work has been done.

The Affinity Apprenticeship Academy

Our doors are always open to future apprentice applicants, so if The Affinity Group sounds like the perfect professional setting to start your apprenticeship, get in touch. Whilst we take applicants twice a year (traditionally in April and September), we’re always keen to interview and meet enthusiastic potential new apprentices, so register your interest with us now so you don’t miss out on our next enrolment. We look forward to meeting you!

Note: All the information and advice in this blog post was correct at the time of writing.

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