Learning in stages was key to AAT success

Vithiya Mahenthiranathan

Vithiya Mahenthiranathan graduated from Cambridge Regional College in 2021 with a Level 4 Accounting Professional Diploma in AAT Accounting. The journey that Vithiya took to achieving her goal of becoming a fully qualified Accounts Technician was not easy, with life getting in the way of her studies for many years. 

Originally from Sri Lanka, Vithiya moved to Germany at the age of 7 where she remained until after her formal education. Having gained her GCSEs in Germany, Vithiya spent some time in the UK studying for further GCSEs to support her chances of progressing to university. In a change of plan, Vithiya opted to return to Germany, where she started an apprenticeship as an Industrial Businesswoman – moving around the various business functions including administration, engineering, and finance. Part way through her apprenticeship, Vithiya’s personal circumstances changed, and she moved back to the UK to support her family.  

For a time, Vithiya was unable to pursue further studies, but as her situation began to change her mind drifted back to learning. A leaflet arriving through her door promoting AAT courses at Cambridge Regional College, Huntingdon Campus piqued her interest, and recalling advice from her former Finance tutor, she felt inspired to attend the Open Day.

Vithiya said, “At the Huntingdon Open Day, I met the AAT Tutor, Betty, and after speaking with her I was excited at the thought of learning something new. I was scared to go back to learning after 10 years, but I found there were students of all ages; some older, some younger, all with different backgrounds. I found this encouraging and I felt motivated to learn.”

Vithiya enrolled on the AAT Level 2 Certificate in Accounting with a determination to work her way up the levels to become a qualified Account Technician. Over the following five years, Vithiya progressed up to AAT Level 4. 

After completing her Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting, Vithiya took a break from education and returned to work in a Finance department, something that later proved to be a support as she embarked on the journey to completing AAT Level 4. 

Commenting on her Level 4 studies, Vithiya shared, “Returning to college the second time around was less challenging as I was able to use my learning in practice in my financial role at work. On the course, there were units that I particularly enjoyed such as Financial Statements of Limited Companies, Management Accounting – Budgeting and Decision and Control. There were also elements of the course that were more difficult, such as the Synoptic unit. I found this unit a challenge as there were a lot of written elements that tested me personally, as English is my third language. There are a lot of online tutorials that can help, and I was able to overcome the language and writing barriers. 

The course really did stretch me, but I was determined. I studied hard to ensure I passed the units. The encouragement from my tutors and peers was invaluable, and it was motivating to see others achieving. It made me want to achieve too.

Vithiya Mahenthiranathan

Vithiya concluded, “Studying with Cambridge Regional College has not only resulted in me achieving my overall goal of qualifying to Level 4, it has also improved my English skills. In addition to learning accounting techniques, I learned how accounting can inform business planning, analysis and strategy, knowledge that I will take with me as I progress in my career. 

When asked what advice she would give to anyone considering AAT studies, Vithiya added, “You have time to achieve your goals. Breaking your learning down into stages will make the journey seem less overwhelming. Each stage of the AAT prepared me for the next, and not passing some units the first time has helped me to deepen my knowledge in that unit. My advice to anyone taking Level 4 is to re-visit each topic to embed your learning, and complete as many of the practice tasks as you can, as this is the key to being successful at Level 4.”

Find out more about studying AAT & Accounting at CRC.

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