Wellingborough man’s career change leads to award win

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A Wellingborough man who took his career in a different direction later on in life has won an award.

Rob Thornton was named Student of the Year by the Association of Accounting Technicians, after using its accounting qualifications to help change his career and his life.

Rob was 45 when he started studying AAT in October 2014.

He was working nights at a warehouse and looking after his children during the day.

Rob was determined to take his working life in a different direction and decided to try accountancy.

After being unable to access any funding for the qualification, Rob paid privately for his course; a big financial commitment for him with a young family to support.

In order to get some work experience Rob went to an agency and volunteered to do office experience.

He did a few hours each week while still working night shifts, then managed to get an administration role at an office supply company with the hope of the role developing into an accounts position.

Rob started at the office supply company in April 2015 while still doing his first AAT qualification.

He has just started his third AAT qualification, has been promoted and will shortly be taking on the role of credit controller at the company.

After picking up his award, Rob said: “I’m over the moon! Listening to the story behind my qualification was an interesting experience, as I had never really thought about it that way – I just did what needed to be done.

“I am extremely grateful to my employer, ABL UK Ltd, both for the opportunity they have given me and their continuing support, and also to Starting Off, who have provided the very best training and been very accommodating with their financial terms.

“It is possible to make big changes to your career, even at a relatively advanced age, and I hope that anyone who feels that they need to make a change will be able take some inspiration from this.”

AAT chief executive Mark Farrar said: “It’s always a pleasure to present these awards to individuals who have used our qualification to change and improve their lives, and to the organisations who have helped them in doing so.

“Hearing the stories of winners and nominees is something I always look forward to.”