It’s Never Too Late

It's Never Too Late

After working tirelessly to try and achieve her degree, Management Accountant, Sarah Williams, had been telling people around the office she was pretty sure she’d failed. In actual fact, not only had she passed with first class honours, but she even won the Simon Williams Prize! Read how she managed it below.

19th September was a momentous day for me, I received an email confirming I had passed my degree with first class honours. It is an achievement most would be proud of but completing it as a ‘mature student’ whilst working full time and bringing up a family makes it extra special for me.

Almost 6 years ago I returned to work after maternity leave to a book-keeping job that I enjoyed but knew would never change. The work would never challenge me and the minimal pay rises would never provide my family with the lifestyle I wanted for them. So I made a decision, I would study to become a Chartered Certified Accountant. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, especially considering the impact it would have on my family, but the unwavering support and encouragement from my husband helped make my mind up. I planned to sit 4 exams per year, providing I passed them all on the first attempt I would be qualified in 3 years. Failure was not an option, I couldn’t afford the extra fees nor the time, this really helped keep me focused. At times it was very tough, particularly when I was finding a module really difficult and I could see my son playing in the garden over the top of my text book. I reminded myself of why I had committed to this and, thankfully, I did become qualified in the 3 years.

Then for my next challenge – a new job – this is where my IFP journey began. Having the qualification behind me really gave me the confidence to believe I had what IFP needed and it proved to them I had the skills and knowledge they were looking for.

So I had done it, qualified and got my dream job, but why stop there. Our M.D. Kevin Ferriby is a big believer in setting yourself goals and challenges (he recently cycled over 300 miles for charity after all!) and this ethos is echoed throughout the company. When I mentioned a possibility that I could further my qualification to gain a degree he couldn’t wait to see me get started. The encouragement and support from all my colleagues, family and friends really spurred me on. I committed to this in the same way I had my chartered exams and this time I took it as an opportunity to show my eldest son (currently applying for university) that you can achieve anything you put your mind to if you have the right attitude. Not only did gaining this degree get me a bottle of champagne and a huge round of applause at our latest staff meeting, it has given me the self-belief and confidence to tackle anything now.

If you’re 20 and reading this don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to do with your life yet – it will all become clear. If you’re 40 and reading this remember – it’s never too late.