My first ten weeks at the NAO have flown by. It only feels like yesterday when I stumbled in to the office on my first day all in a fluster due to a transport mishap!

To give you a snapshot of my fledgling NAO career to date, here is a list of things I’ve done since starting with the Newcastle office back in September, in no particular order. I’ve studied, sat and passed four computer-based exams contributing to the Certificate Level of the ACA, (namely Accounting, Assurance, Tax and Law) with two more (Management Information and Business and Finance) to come before Christmas. I’ve taken two week-long trips to London as part of my trainee induction, where I’ve had ample opportunity to meet colleagues from across the organisation. I’ve also been on a two-night audit-planning visit to the sunny seaside resort of Blackpool, home to one of the many Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) offices, where I’ve assisted in interviewing clients.

When not in college, London or Blackpool I’ve been settling in to life in the NAO’s Newcastle office. As a newbie to the North East, this has meant learning my way around Toon talk; including learning to refer to my lunch as dinner, embracing the regional culinary delicacy known as a “Parmo” and debating whether to pronounce Primark “Preemark”. I’ve also attended the Newcastle office’s 10th birthday party, experienced the office’s much-hyped Pop Quiz and signed up for both the annual Christmas Cup (football competition) and the Christmas lunch. Fun galore.

All in all, it has been a very enjoyable and exciting start to life with the NAO. I wonder what the next ten weeks will bring!

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