Switching from an apprenticeship to higher education has added up for Teesside University accountancy student Abbie McDonald.

Final year BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance student Abbie was completing an apprenticeship in business administration, but decided to return to study and work towards a degree to expand her academic knowledge.

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Abbie, 21, from Middlesbrough, said: “I started the apprenticeship having previously not considered university as an option, but I soon realised that having a degree could help me to make a bigger career impact in the future.

“I applied through Clearing, as I made the decision to return to education during the summer months. Leaving the apprenticeship to come to Teesside University was the best decision I have ever made.

“I still work for the same company on the days I’m not at Teesside University and they have been really good about tailoring my shifts around my studies.”

During the degree, Abbie has completed a placement at Middlesbrough Football Club, working in the catering cash office. She said: “My degree helped in understanding the internal risk controls which need to be in place when there is cash on site.

“The placement has also helped to show me real-world application of theories I’ve been learning in my studies. All of my lecturers have industry experience too and are able to offer real applications of everything as they teach it, which is really helpful.

“I have loved the placement and it has made a huge difference to my CV in applying for graduate level jobs.”

Abbie, who is due to graduate this summer, said: “I chose to study at Teesside as apart from it being local, it carries exemptions for the chartership exams and there’s a big focus on experience and placements. When I graduate I hope to become chartered and pursue a career in finance.”