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Jezz White, of the Richard Huish College Class of 2017, now works as a Trainee Chartered Accountant at PKF Francis Clark having discovered the route to success does not look the same for everyone. He shares his experience about striving forward in education with an unknown career plan and how your passion can be unveiled along the way.

The former Heathfield Community School pupil, initially selected an A Level programme of Business, Psychology and Economics to study at Huish under the belief this would improve his chances of earning a place at university.

“When I left school I decided I wanted to go to College instead of doing an Apprenticeship as I was adamant that I wanted to go to university. I was under the impression that in order to get into university, I had to study 3 A Level subjects to gain enough UCAS points to be accepted, however, this isn’t the case”.

“I subsequently joined the BTEC Business Extended Diploma late, where I was tasked with catching up with my peers. I would like to thank Huish for accepting me into the BTEC Business course and for all the support that was given to me throughout my time at Richard Huish. If I hadn’t been accepted onto the BTEC course, I don’t think I would be where I am today!”

“I personally found it very difficult to decide on what I wanted to do when I left school. Therefore, my recommendation to students who feel a similar way would be to choose a course that could open doors to multiple career paths. The BTEC Business course gives you a flavour of many different aspects of business which will in turn give you the opportunity to decide on what topics interest you the most. Once you complete the course, you will be armed with a breadth of knowledge that you can take with you to university, where you can decide to specialise in your favourite topic”.

It is a myth that vocational courses are not as valued by universities as A Levels. Whilst for some degrees specific qualification requirements will exist, for many the spectrum of qualifications accepted will be broad and, in many cases, vocational qualifications can be more advantageous. The teaching style of vocational courses will suit some learners better. Jezz was able to excel on the BTEC Business Extended Diploma, whilst also enjoying being part of the Performance Basketball programme at Huish. He achieved a top grade of triple Distinction* to gain his desired place at University.

“Once I left Richard Huish, I decided to go traveling around South East Asia where I explored Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia. For me, this trip represented a milestone in my life, as I had finished compulsory education and was about to embark on the next stage of my education”.

“I was still undecided as to what job I wanted when I was older. I therefore decided to enrol in Cardiff University’s Business Management degree. This course was similar to the BTEC business Extended Diploma in that it covered a range of topics, where I hoped to find the module that interested me most. For me, I found that I warmed to the modules that I was better at”.

“Starting university and moving into halls of residence to live with complete strangers was daunting but exciting, this was completely new to me, but it felt right. I found that the university workload was a step up from what I had experienced at College (there was no one making you go to lectures or prompting you to get work done), however, this was a learning curve that I needed, which made me more independent and self-motivated. Upon finishing university, I felt very independent and ready to start work in a corporate job where I could put all the things that I had learned throughout my education to use”.

“The highlight of my career so far would definitely be securing my current job during the pandemic as a trainee Chartered Accountant, which was such a huge moment for me”.