Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance

Wesley Sinfield's story

Can you tell us about your current position?Wesley Sinfield

I’m an internal audit & corporate anti-fraud apprentice, working between both the internal audit function as well as the anti-fraud team at the London Borough of Barnet. Alongside this, I’m currently completing my professional CIPFA qualification to become a qualified accountant.

What made you choose a career in public finance?

I’ve always wanted to get into the accounting and financial world due to my interest in numbers. I also wanted my work to have a positive impact on people’s lives. Public finance seemed like the perfect way to achieve both of these objectives.

How have you found the CIPFA/AAT apprenticeship? Do you feel it’s set you up for your future career?

The apprenticeship has been brilliant. It has not only given me the foundation to progress within my current role and in the financial world, but it’s also enabled me to develop practical skills that employers find valuable. I’ve been able to progress in my career because of the experience.

What part of the programme did you enjoy the most?

I enjoyed being able to gain an understanding of the different aspects of local government through on-the-job experience and training. Also, being able to gain a qualification which has helped me apply what I’ve learned and become more skilled in my field.

So, what skills did you gain from the apprenticeship?

Above all, I gained leadership and communication skills to collaborate more effectively with my team. I’ve also improved my time management, problem solving and ability to analyse and interpret complex topics. Now, I consider myself an adaptable person who has a strong work ethic and can add value to my company.

Now that you’ve completed the programme, what are your career aspirations for the future?

In the future, I will continue working towards my professional chartered accounting qualification to become a fully-qualified accountant.

Would you recommend a CIPFA apprenticeship to others just beginning their careers? Why?

This apprenticeship has enabled me to gain valuable practical experience, while gaining a qualification that takes me closer to my goal of becoming a fully-qualified accountant. I have learned a lot about workplace culture and the importance of working as part of a team to achieve goals. It has also enabled me to develop many soft skills as previously mentioned - strong work ethic, positive attitude, good communication skills, time management abilities and problem solving skills, to name a few. This has helped me not only grow as a professional but also as an individual. When I look back in five years, post-chartered qualification, I will know that the fundamentals taught to me via the apprenticeship have been key to my success.

What advice would you give others that are considering a career in public services?

I’d advise anyone considering a career in public services to take the opportunity. You’ll gain valuable work experience and exposure to multiple practice areas while furthering the public good. You’ll also receive mentoring and networking opportunities in addition to a good work-life balance.

To find out more about what CIPFA has to offer for AAT apprenticeships at Level 3 and Level 4, and CIPFA’s professional accountancy apprenticeship at Level 7 visit our apprenticeships pages.