City mother, full time finance assistant and part time student Ria-Jaine Sarrington has won one of the country’s top awards in the accountancy profession.
Sponsored by PQ magazine, the PQ (partly qualified) ‘Student of the Year’ award went to Ria after she made it to the short list of six partly qualified accountancy students, chosen from more than ten thousand students across the UK.
The panel, which included a University Professor of Accounting, Head of Media for one of the accountancy bodies, and the MD of a top recruitment consultancy, awarded Ria the top prize based on her consistently excellent academic performance and the tenacity she has shown in the face of whatever obstacle was put in her way.
Ria is the single parent of two boys, aged three and six, and works full time during the week at Deloitte. She finds time to study for her Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification after the boys are in bed, and at weekends. She has only the final submission of her project left before qualifying and then hopes to go on to become a Chartered Certified accountant.
Ria said: “I felt very inspired by some of the stories in PQ of previous award winners, and started to think that I too could be worthy of such an award. I mentioned it to my mum who turned around and sent in a letter nominating me.”
“Winning this award is more than something to put on my CV. For me, it is such a personal achievement. This award is something I can show to my children and confirms that all the yawns, tears and late nights are slowly but surely paying off. Even though I feel that I am missing so much of my boys’ childhood, I need to set the foundations so I can give them the life they deserve.”
After having had to move to Milton Keynes from another part of the country because of an assault that left her in the hospital, Ria says that landing a job at Deloitte was a turning point in her life. She has since received Deloitte’s Recognition Award, and has passed every exam first time. She studies with local accountancy training provider Kaplan Financial.
Richard Poole, her accountancy tutor, and Centre Manager, at Kaplan Financial in Milton Keynes, said: “Ria’s commitment and passion towards her AAT studies, and her future, is inspiring. Ria always has a smile on her face, and nothing seems to phase her. When I consider that she is running the family home, whilst showing such fantastic commitment to her studies, all I can do is admire Ria’s single minded desire to succeed for both herself and for her children.”
Dawn Howard, Ria’s manager at Deloitte, said: “This award is an incredible achievement for Ria and is testament to her dedication to succeed in all that she does. Her drive and ambition shine through in all aspects of her life be that work, study or her family.”
Not content to be a star accountant and super Mum, Ria has just completed Walk In Her Shoes for Care International to raise money for charity.