Jan Van Hooijdonk, Tennants Textile Colours Ltd

Tell us about your academic background?

I studied Design Engineering before completing a Masters in Mechanical Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast.

Why accountancy? 

I decided about 10 years ago that engineering wasn’t for me and that I wanted a career change. I was always interested in business and was good with numbers so I went for accountancy and haven’t looked back since.

Why Chartered Accountants Ireland?

The ACA qualification seems the prime accountancy qualification, it opens the most doors.

Can you explain the Flexible Route to someone who doesn't know what it is?

You can take exams at your own pace and building professional experience as you work.

Describe a typical day for you? 

No such thing as a typical day - I am a Financial Controller and completing the course has enabled me to take on a varied job.

Is it flexible?   

Yes - you can increase or decrease your pace of study as required. 

How was combining work and study?

A big commitment but worth it in the end. A supporting family and a study group help.

Can you see how someone who is not an accountant might benefit from this qualification?

Yes - it helped me progress further in an accountancy career than I ever went in engineering.

Would you recommend the Flexible Route to others? Why?

Yes, it’s a big commitment but worth it to further your career. ACA is the most prestigious accountancy qualification.

What advice would you give someone who is considering the Flexible Route?

Visit an information event/open evening or ring up the Institute and go for it.

What success are you looking for? / What are your future goals?  

To progress in my accountancy career and make it to Finance Director or CFO somewhere.