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The lockdown global prizewinner for ACCA APM

Young lady in the countryside

Global prizewinner, Katie Scott, is a Management Accountant for St George’s Hospital. A passionate accountant and NHS worker, she shares her story.

I always knew I wanted to work in the public or charity sector, which is why I applied to work for the NHS. They have been great, offering loads of support and they put me through my studies. It’s a really interesting place to be and that’s why I have stayed.

Now I’m working in the Children’s, Women’s and Outpatients area, as a Finance Manager. I love it.

I also enjoy Management Accounts. I like the mixture of finance related work and the relationships you develop outside of Finance. It’s a more people-focused role, and I’m surrounded by positive people who want to make a difference.

NHS Finance is a small world with lots of great opportunities and colleagues so I will probably stay here for a while!

Changing study method

With my ACCA studies last year, I started out in the classroom, but of course I had to move online because of Covid.

When I made the transition, these were my initial observations:

  • Not being around other students was a challenge - I found this tricky at first, in terms of motivation and having peers to talk to.
  • I was worried about live online study for APM as it’s very wordy and which can make it harder to follow. I overcame that with question practice.
  • The tutor was also great at keeping everyone engaged via online chat. She did a brilliant job keeping everyone motivated and engaged, which must be really hard without face-to-face contact.
  • Despite the change I still felt quite confident going into the exam. I just had the usual exam nerves.

Dealing with disruption

It’s lucky that we have all of these digital platforms to share information and get things done or I would definitely be stuck!

At first, motivation was an issue. I was meant to be sitting an exam last June but that got cancelled when the first wave of Covid hit. This meant there was a sizable gap in my studies and that made it harder to pick back up again.

I was also starting a new job at the time, so there was a lot on my plate.

Counting blessings

Despite all of the disruption, the pandemic gave me more time to take a step back and focus.

I was lucky that it was my last exam. That made it easier to stay motivated as there was light at the end of the tunnel. I couldn’t let myself get all this way and then stop.

Luckily I have some really good peers too. We motivate each other, ask questions and keep each other on track. This has been vital during the pandemic. And I’ve had really supportive managers at work, which has given me one less thing to stress about.