School Leaver Profile

Melissa Reid joined Consilium on our school leaver programme and is about to complete her technical accountancy qualifications. Here she talks about why becoming an apprentice was the right choice for her and what it’s like to work at Consilium Chartered Accountants. 

Melissa Reid


Apprenticeship or college after school?

Maths was my best subject at high school, and I was interested in doing something with that, but I wasn’t sure what. College and university didn’t really appeal to me. Instead I was keen to start working. 

As part of the Career Ready programme at school, I had a mentor who suggested an apprenticeship with an accountancy firm might be a good fit for me. That’s how I found out about Consilium. 

Working and studying towards accountancy exams

Starting as an office junior was a great experience working in a busy environment. After a year, the partners offered me the chance to move into the accounts team to start studying towards my AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) qualification. 

I’ve had so many opportunities to work across all the teams at Consilium like Audit, Personal Tax, VAT and Accounts. It has been great to get a taste of everything and work out what was right for me as a specialism. 

After I complete my AAT exams, I plan to then continue on to study for my professional exams with either ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland) or ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants). 

Learning from other students at Consilium

It’s difficult to work full-time and study but it is rewarding, and you know that you are moving towards a good qualification. Everyone at Consilium is so supportive and always asks how studying is going. Within the team I have a mentor who supports me in my studies and is available for advice about my studies and exams.

My experience so far gives me confidence for moving on to the next stage of my exams. There are students at all stages of that process within the company and they are really encouraging and helpful. 

Earning and learning was the right choice for me

Coming into Consilium as an apprentice was definitely the right option for me. I’ve really enjoyed the practical side compared to what I would’ve been doing at college or university. Getting hands-on experience and doing exams at the same time has been right for me. 

I felt really welcomed when I started at Consilium. Everyone takes a real interest in how you are getting on and if you are settling. Both on the work-side and the studying-side of what you do. I’m really excited to see what the future holds. 

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