My trainee journey

As part of our recruitment campaign, we have asked some of our graduates to blog about what it is like to be a graduate trainee at the Wales Audit Office. Here Aneesa talks about the experiences she’s had over the last few years.

To find out more and to apply, please visit our website [opens in new window].

My name is Aneesa Ali and I am currently a fourth-year financial audit trainee based in the West Wales Cluster. I started my training at the Wales Audit Office in 2016, after completing my Accounting & Finance degree at Swansea University.

Over the last few years, I have grown into a role which I would never anticipate in achieving. I have gained invaluable experience in the various public sector audits that I have worked on across Wales. My confidence, self-esteem and self-belief has grown as a result of the experiences I have gained at the Wales Audit Office.

At a very early stage in my career, I have felt empowered by having the opportunity to take responsibility for the audit of numerous account areas both independently as well as part of a team. This has been a great learning curve for me and has helped to aid my development as a young professional.

This year, I had the opportunity of going on a 6-month external secondment to a Local Health Board which I found extremely beneficial. It enabled me to step out of my comfort zone and apply my financial accounting knowledge into practice.

Throughout my training, I have been involved with numerous university student networking events, careers fairs and mentoring schemes. My role as a Professional Mentor was aimed at equipping final year university students with the skills, confidence and resilience that they need to transition from student to working professional.

As graduate trainees, we work towards the prestigious ICAEW Chartered Accountant qualification (ACA).  This is an internationally recognised qualification which is highly respected both in the private and public sector. In the Wales Audit Office, we have personalised careers counselling, to help us decide on our career direction post-qualification. We are also offered the chance to obtain the ILM level 3 training, which is an internationally recognised course in management. I have had considerable support from all my colleagues as I have progressed through the ACA qualification, which makes the Wales Audit Office a desirable place to train to become a Chartered Accountant.

I am currently working on the ‘Counter Fraud National Study’ which sometimes makes me feel like a detective! This work involves reviewing the effectiveness of counter fraud arrangements in the Welsh public sector.

Overall, I feel much more competent in liaising with clients, sharing ideas and adapting to different situations. I am extremely thankful to all my colleagues who have always been helpful, reassuring and inspiring. I am thoroughly enjoying my training with the Wales Audit Office and look forward to what the future holds.

About the author


Aneesa Ali is in her fourth year as a graduate trainee at the Wales Audit Office.

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