Lewis Stracey

MA (Hons)

Trainee CA

  • Degree
  • Accountancy and Finance at the University of Aberdeen
  • Location
  • Dundee

It only took four weeks of placement for me to decide that I wanted to train towards my CA qualification and make a successful career out of it!

Where and what did you study at University?
I studied Accountancy and Finance at the University of Aberdeen.

Why did you choose to apply to EQ Accountants to undertake an internship?

Having lived in Dundee my entire life, I was aware of EQ’s reputation as one of the leading firms in the area, as well as the pathways that they offered into the profession from both school and university.

When I researched EQ further before applying, I learned that they work across several different sectors, as well as not being departmentalised. This was ideal for me as a student as I knew I would work in various areas such as accounts, tax and audit, ultimately giving me the ideal experience for deciding what I wanted to do after university.

What is a normal day like as an intern?
No two days were the same, as I was given the opportunity to diversify my workload and truly appreciate the various tasks that a chartered accountant faces on a daily basis. However, every day still consisted of tackling problems of all-different shapes and sizes as I worked towards achieving my goals.

What did you enjoy most about being an intern at EQ?

The opportunity to work on live files rather than training jobs, as well as getting to see them through to completion, was excellent and  it felt extremely rewarding to observe the final product.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity that I had to develop both professional and personal relationships with so many people in the office, whether these were made through collaborating on work tasks or simply heading into town to grab lunch. It blew me away just how much of a friendly and sociable the office really is.

What did you find the most surprising during your time as an intern with EQ?
I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of initial responsibility placed upon you as an intern. Being assigned entire final accounts to complete from my very first week certainly helped me quickly build upon my technical and social skills within the office environment, and prepared me for moving into the profession after university.

What 3 qualities do you think a student looking for an internship needs to have if they are to be successful?

  1. Strong communication skills – Coming from university, most things are new to you so it is important that you can communicate with your colleagues when you are stuck for example, and I can say first hand that everyone in the office will be willing to help.
  2. Adaptability – Every single job is different and each day you will be facing new challenges, therefore it is definitely beneficial to have the ability to keep an open mind and adapt to each situation as it comes.
  3. Enthusiasm –always be enthusiastic about the work you are assigned and demonstrate a willingness to learn from things that go well and things that don’t.

Do you have any advice for those interested in applying for our student internship vacancies this year?
If you have taken an interest in moving into the profession after your studies and feel as though you would like to gain the most practical experience possible while working amongst a friendly and sociable team, then this is definitely the opportunity for you.

The experience you pick up, both how those in an office interact with one another, as well as the technical accounting knowledge gained are second to none and will most definitely help in deciding upon your future in accountancy.

It only took four weeks of placement for me to decide that I wanted to train towards my CA qualification and make a successful career out of it!