Mature student returns to education to follow ambition to be self-employed accountant

A grandmother is pursuing her ambition to work in finance after returning to education following a career in recruitment and bringing up her two daughters.

Tracy Smith, 51, had worked as a Recruitment Consultant for over 16 years before deciding to change her career. She explains, “it’s something I’d been thinking about for a long time. Now felt like the right time now my children have grown up and left home and had their own children.”

Tracy is currently in her second year of the BA (Hons) Accounting and Business course at UCLan Burnley. “I’d been away from work during the covid lockdowns and didn’t want to return to my old career so knew it was time to do something new. I’d done an online course in accounting and really enjoyed it. My husband encouraged me to take the plunge, so I did!”

Tracy Smith BA (Hons) Accounting and Business student
Tracy Smith BA (Hons) Accounting and Business student

“I started looking at options and found the course in Burnley. I applied quite late in the cycle and was over the moon when I was offered a place on the course. I was jumping around and screaming with joy. I had the chance to finally achieve what I’d wanted to do for years!”

The experience on the course has been positive so far. “I love the course. It was a bit daunting at first because it had been so long since I’d been in education, and I had to learn how to use some new software on the computer. The tutors are great and have really helped. They are really supportive.”

“My initial goal was to simply pass all modules and obtain a degree. However, now I have settled into academia and my confidence in my abilities has increased, my goal has changed. I have now challenged myself to getting a first-class honour degree. I’m well on track as my grades have been consistently at that level. I've surpassed my own, initial goals and I really surprised myself.”

"I love the course. The tutors are great and have really helped. They are really supportive"

Tracy Smith BA (Hons) Accounting and Business student

“The classes are quite small, so we do get lots of support from our tutors. We also share some classes with students on the Business and Management course, and I’ve made a few friends on that course. There’s a good mix of ages and everyone is really nice.”

Talking about her plans after the course, Tracy said, “Ideally I’ll get a role in Management Accounting or Financial Accounting to get some industry experience. Eventually, I’d like to set up my own business and be self-employed. I’d like to work with small businesses and support them. That’s the goal but that might change before I finish.”

When asked what advice Tracy would give to anyone considering coming to university, she offered the following, “Don’t be worried. Don’t doubt yourself. You get lots of support. Do it and you won’t regret it!”

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