From Apprentice to Young Professional of the Year

"From Apprentice to Young Professional of the Year" table of contents

  1. From Apprentice to Young Professional of the Year
  2. Page 2

Apprentices don’t only make tea and coffee, Matt Smith from Hurst is a prime example of this. He shared his inspiring success story which began as an Apprentice, like most of our success stories at The Apprentice Academy do.

We love it when the Apprentice route leads to so much success!


You’ve been extremely successful in your career so far, what achievements are you most proud of and why?

• Qualifying as a Chartered Accountant at 21 – making my gamble (as it felt at the time) justified in entering into employment and an Apprenticeship over University
• Being promoted to the Youngest Manager at PwC – at the time the world leader in professional services recognising my ability and achievements at such an young age was a massive accomplishment
• Making Partner by the time I was 30 – this was always a target of mine to keep momentum up on my career development and is something I am incredibly proud of.
• Winning Manchester Young Professional of the Year in association with JCI in 2013 – being recognised as the best by your fellow Manchester professionals was a real highlight of recent years
• Having client accounts stick and move with you when changing firms – when changing firms there is no greater affirmation that you are doing a good job than clients moving with you to retain your services
• Winning my first piece of new business – again proving that age is just a number and with the right planning and proposition new business can be generated in the most challenging & competitive of markets

Could you tell us a little about yourself both professionally and personally?

• Outside of work I am married to Suzanne who I met at PwC. We are the same age and Suz had pursued the more traditional University route to a PwC graduate scheme.
• By the time she joined in 2004 I was a Manager and trained her intake on their induction course – something I still like to remind her of to this day
• I’m a Manchester United fan, keen golfer and am a regular gym goer to counteract the generous amounts of alcohol and rich foods enjoyed at networking events and client dinners in the City.

Have you always known what you wanted to do, how you decide?

• As odd as it may sound I knew I wanted to be an Accountant, or at least an advisor to businesses
• A couple of my Uncles had been extremely successful in roles with Reuters and WH Smiths but had started as Chartered Accountants
• I had seen first-hand the lifestyle, luxurious holidays, homes and boys toys they had amassed and aspired to achieve what they had
• The AAT route enabled me to start the ball rolling on this quicker gaining valuable on the job experience whilst rattling through the qualification

What do you feel are the benefits of starting your career in this way?

• You learn the basics from the ground up regardless of sector or profession – this is something so underestimated in the world we now live in
• It gave me a respect for all individuals contributing to the success of an organisation from the cleaner to Managing Director.
• You ultimately get a head start on others who will pursue the more traditional University route and providing you don’t take your foot off the gas this advantage can be carried forward through your career

Please see second page to read more…

"From Apprentice to Young Professional of the Year" table of contents

  1. From Apprentice to Young Professional of the Year
  2. Page 2