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Careers at BKL: Bilshan’s story

26 September 2019

 

Bilshan Mensah joined us in 2018 as an AAT Level 3 Apprentice with support from Leadership Through Sport & Business, winning their North London Apprentice of the Year Award in July 2019. As a school leaver, Bilshan is beginning his accountancy career with BKL. For National Inclusion Week, here’s Bilshan’s career story so far.

Finding my way here

When I finished secondary school, I knew I wanted to be an accountant in the future. I chose the apprenticeship route over university so I could gain practical experience in the accounting industry whilst studying.

After completing AAT Level 2, I joined BKL through the Leadership Through Sports & Business (LTSB) programme. LTSB helps young people get apprenticeships in accounting firms.  BKL and LTSB have worked together for several years, so I knew they would understand how to help me to make the most of the opportunity.

Bilshan with fellow LTSB trainees and graduates at BKL:

Learning and support

Everyone at BKL is part of a calm yet productive work environment which makes it a great place to work. The study leave available to apprentices means I can focus on preparing properly for my exams. The managers are also very supportive of my development, giving the trainees a variety of different jobs to challenge us and build up our experience.

Coming from secondary school was a challenge in itself, because it hadn’t really prepared me for working life and how to deal with a nine to five job. However, BKL has made the transition from full-time education to full-time employment very smooth and now the world of work is not as daunting as it was before.

The biggest challenge I faced when I started at BKL was getting used to software I’d never used before.  Thanks to plenty of training and patience from colleagues, I was able to learn from my mistakes and keep improving.

It’s rewarding to be a trainee and employee at the same time. Sometimes I’m putting knowledge from my studies to practical use. Other times I’m learning things which take me ahead of my studies, like dealing with HMRC and client interaction.

It’s also rewarding to know that my hard work is truly appreciated and that I have opportunities to work towards promotions and develop my career.

At the same time, BKL encourages people to look beyond our work and stay healthy. I enjoy organising regular football training.

Growing in confidence

Although I’m at an early stage on my path to becoming a chartered accountant and manager, I already feel like I have matured as a person thanks to BKL. I have become more confident in my role and I know how it positively contributes to BKL as a whole.

To find out more about the career opportunities we offer to trainees, take a look at our graduate/school leaver hire page.