Natalie graduated with a Bcom and BA at the end of 2017 from one of the top Universities in Australia and New Zealand. At university, Natalie has maintained good academic achievement and often volunteered at community events. After graduation she was enthusiastic about starting her job hunting journey, however, it was a lot harder than she expected!
After receiving a number of rejections, Natalie decided to a full time job at an art studio teaching children how to paint. Natalie quickly became one of the core members of the team, attracting new students and positively impacting the studios financial performance.The experience gave Natalie fresh determination in her dream to become an accounting professional.
In the summer of 2018, Natalie decided to join AccountingPod’s School of Real Biz program to gain some solid practical experience to kickstart her accounting career.
Natalie’s AccountingPod Journey
We recently sat down with Natalie to chat about her experience with AccountingPod.
Q:Natalie, before AccountingPod, had you had any accounting or finance work experience?
A:No, I had just recently graduated, I had no practical work experience during my 4 years of academic studies and after graduation.
Q:What kind of challenges did you face when you were looking for a relevant job in Accounting?
A:After graduation, before I started working at the art studio I had tried for about 7 months to look for a relevant job in Accounting but to no avail. I remember clearly, even the simplest entry level jobs would require at least 2 years of experience. I just did not have the experience at all.
I felt very lost for a period of time, I wondered after 4 years of learning, what can I even do? I had no idea how I would go about starting my professional career.
Q:How did you come to know about AccountingPod and why did you choose to learn with AccountingPod?
A:I had read about an online AccountingPod event (CA, CPA ACCA information session) on an online forum. I attended the online event and really liked the people at AccountingPod and thought they are very professional. I checked out their website and saw the School of Real Biz program and realised that was what I needed. So I registered after chatting to their customer support.
Q:What do you think about the price of the course?
A:I think the price is very reasonable and acceptable given the value I got out of the program.
I think AccountingPod’s practical experience bootcamp program(School of Real Biz) saved me a lot of time. For example, If I spend 2-3 months learning, and I can get on and start working after that, I’m able to save the time value of money in this case.
I’m alot more confident now about my approach to job hunting and with all the practical experience i have gained from the Real Biz program.
Q: How do you feel about the online learning experience at AccountingPod?
A:I really liked AccountingPod’s online learning approach. I had the flexibility to be able to schedule and allocate my time as required. Although the program itself is challenging, AccountingPod’s online learning support team are very helpful. During the week, you could almost get instant responses for your questions. Their experienced Chartered Accountant support means they are able to think about what I’m struggling with and provide hints and guidance. I would then get on and solve problems myself making my learning more effective. AccountingPod’s learning support are very reliable.
The online learning system is smart in the way that when learning support is not available, you are able to send a support ticket and they will come back to me as soon as possible. It’s very convenient and simple to use.
Q:What have you learnt from the 6 week School of Real Biz program?
A:I’ve gained hands on practical skills by working on multiple real businesses, their financials and accounting problems. As part of that process, I have gained in-depth experience in Xero and Add-on products. By talking to, presenting to and emailing clients, I’ve practised and gained valuable real life business communication experience. Invaluable guidance and mentorship from experienced mentors. I’m just so much more confident now about my career and job opportunity.
Q:Do you think the program has been worth your while?
A:Very much yes. I really lacked practical and real life experience after graduation. The School of Real Biz program simulates all of the tasks and processes that an entry level accountant would need to be able to do and follow including communicating with real clients and working in a virtual team. I think it’s been a fantastic opportunity and experience for me.
Q:How much time did you spend working on AccountingPod tasks a week?
A: I spent on average between 1-2 hours everyday on the AccountingPod program. The client emails and hands on Xero tasks usually take about 1-2 hours per task. I also spend time communicating with learning support, my team leader and mentor. This usually takes about 1-2 hours as well. Also, it requires time to really think to solve problems, complete tasks, communicate with the team, team leader and client.
Q:Do you think you are now a lot more confident in tackling tasks and problems delegated to you by AccountingPod?
A:Yes, I now have a very good understanding of how to effectively approach tasks and client problems allocated to me. I’m also a lot more familiar with the communication that’s required with the team, external parties and clients to help solve problems and get things done.
Q:After you have completed the School of Real Biz program, do you think you are now a confident Xero user?
A: Yes, before the program, I had no experience with Xero at all, now I’m reasonably confident with the day to day use of the software to help businesses with their accounting and bookkeeping needs.
Q:Do you feel more confident now about your career and job opportunity after the School of Real Biz program?
A: That’s right, I do feel a lot more confident and skilled in all of these areas: practical experience, accounting skills and business communication. Also with the guidance and mentorship, I now have a very clear career goal and plan for myself. I clearly understand what kind of role I want. I really appreciate the support and encouragement from the team at AccountingPod.