James joined the Huntingdon office in January 2022, as a Trainee Accountant and is currently studying towards his ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business.

Currently, he supports the wider team with VAT returns and accounts preparation.

1. What three words would you use to describe yourself? 

Focused, funny, and relaxed

2. Having obtained a Masters in mathematics and Statistics, what appealed to you about the opportunity to commence your career at George Hay and what advice would you give to other graduates looking for their first role in accountancy?

What appealed to me about George Hay was the commitment to developing employees here, which was key for me when going into my first job and beginning my studies in a new field. My advice to other graduates would be that good time management is key, both at and outside of work, in respect of achieving a work/study/social balance.

3. What one word would you use to describe George Hay?

Friendly – everyone here is really welcoming.

4. Your profile tells us you enjoy cooking – so what is your favourite dish to cook, and what is your food heaven/hell?

That is a tough one, but I would say my Lasagne – it’s very good. My food heaven is probably pizza, and I do not actually think I have a food hell.

5. How does working alongside other trainees, as well as qualified chartered accountants, senior managers and partners aid you with your studies/day-to-day tasks?

This has been really important, since I am able to observe how other more experienced colleagues work and apply that as I develop in my own role. It is also really helpful to be able to discuss what I have been learning at college with other trainees, and to support one another as we progress through our studies and exams.

6. What three destinations would we find at the top of your list of places you’d love to travel to? 

Hawaii, South Korea and Australia

7. Having been with George Hay for over a year now, how has your role evolved in that time, how are you progressing through your studies, and what are you enjoying most?

In the year I’ve been at George Hay, I have gone from completing relatively straight forward accounts jobs to taking on more and varied responsibilities such as VAT/CIS work. I have completed five of my ICAEW exams so far, with one more to go at Certificate level. The work is really varied, and no two days are the same; you know you’re going to be challenged and learn something new every time you come to work.

8. Have you made any resolutions for 2023?

I made a late resolution to start going on runs – once the weather gets above 0 degrees!

9. How do you feel your learnings from university have helped you in your role so far?

Having come from university has definitely helped me with my studies, in that I was confident about my approach to studying and knew the most effective way for me to learn, meaning the adjustment to studying and working was fairly comfortable.

10. What would your specialist subject on Mastermind be?

Probably football – I do not claim to be a specialist in the subject though!

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