Shay arrived at TORI in April this year as our first-ever apprentice, joining our Finance team to help him gain professional experience while working towards his AAT Level 3 Accounting qualification. As Finance apprentice, Shay has been shadowing the team and helping across a range of subjects, including revenue forecasting and planning; cost reconciliation; and month-end accounts.
We caught up with Shay to see how he has found his first couple of months at TORI...
So, Shay, you’ve been at TORI for a couple of months now: how is it all going?
It has been great! I’m genuinely enjoying myself here and I haven’t been too stressed out or sat here bored, because I've been given a good, but not unreasonable, amount of work. I'm being challenged in a constructive way and it's been great sitting next to Jo [Shay's Line Manager] because if I ever need some help or need to ask a quick question, then she’s always there with the right answer!
What are your immediate impressions of the TORI team?
Everyone at TORI has been really welcoming - I can't believe I've been here for almost two months now. In my first week, I was given responsibility for arranging the office-wide Grand National sweepstake, which was a great way to meet people and for them to know who I was. There are still a few new faces now and then, as some of the consultants have been out on client site since I started, but everyone has made a point of coming up and saying hello to me, so I haven’t been left there feeling like the odd one out.
What have you been doing day-to-day?
For the first month I was shadowing Jo, but I caught on to a lot of the things she was showing me pretty quickly, so I have moved on to setting up payments that have to go out for employees' expenses etc. I have also been doing the daily cashflow snapshot, so seeing what we have available in our accounts, as well as doing the bank reconciliations, making sure that we have the same amount in Xero (our accounting software platform) as we do in our NatWest business account.
Have there been any particular highlights of your time so far?
The business plan launch event we had at the start of May was very good. The presentations gave me a good chance to learn a bit more about the other parts of the business that I'm not exposed to on a day-to-day basis. We also did a fun 'escape rooms' style team event at the start of the day, which was a good laugh and meant that I got to talk to people from the office that I don’t regularly speak to. Quite a few people stuck around for a few drinks at the end of the day as well, so I've enjoyed the socialising aspect of the job too!
You’ve just started back at college to commence your AAT Level 3 Qualification: did you feel that being at TORI helped in your preparations for the course?
Definitely. Starting work at TORI helped me prepare for college in a big way, because before I joined I had been out of college for about four months and just working part time. In that time, it's so easy to forget some of the things you've learned previously, but being here and working really helped refresh my memory on the content from my AAT Level 2 course. This gave me a huge confidence boost ahead of starting back at college and I didn't feel lost after the first day of lessons, which was great.
Finally, is there one piece of advice that you’ve picked up since being at TORI that has stuck with you?
In terms of professional advice, there have been a few little tips and tricks (mainly on Microsoft Excel) that Jo has shown me. Previously, I had only really used Excel for very basic things, so learning some of the tricks of the trade - like how to fill all the blanks in the column in a few clicks, instead of copying and pasting into each empty cell, or highlighting a column and finding a person's name instead of scrolling through the whole document - have been invaluable.
As for more general advice, which is the sort of 'life advice' type information you don't really get from just going to college, I've been guided through various work socials and learnt about what constitutes the appropriate level of 'letting loose' around colleagues haha!
Shay came to TORI Global through our partnership with Leadership Through Sport & Business: a national social mobility charity that gives bright, ambitious young people who face disadvantage, access to careers in accounting and finance. This is part of our Young Talent Programme (YTP), which encompasses our Graduate and Apprenticeship training initiatives and forms part of our mission to drive diversity, opportunity and growth at TORI Global. Through the YTP, we aim to offer real opportunities for talented individuals from a range of backgrounds to explore and pursue careers in professional services.