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Bola LawalBola Lawal was among the winners in the Leadership Through Sport and Business Apprentice of the Year awards. 

An aspiring accountant with “talent and drive” has won a trip to New York for her outstanding work during her Apprenticeship.

Bola Lawal, 22, was part of the Accounting Academy at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL), run in partnership with Leadership Through Sport and Business (LTSB).

She was presented with the prize after being named among the winners in LTSB’s Apprentice of the Year awards.

LTSB helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds across the UK to secure jobs with blue chip companies in the financial sector.

Bola said: “I tried various ways to get work experience, I was willing to work for free and applied to various accounting practices locally but it was chucked back in my face because they didn’t want to give me a chance. Luckily, LTSB did.”

Bola gained her AAT Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications at the College where she received an Excellence Award in 2016.

At the time, she said: “The Apprenticeship has been very good in relating what I have been learning at the College to what I am doing at work every day. The tutors cover every aspect of the subject and have always been very helpful and supportive.”

Bola undertook her Apprenticeship with Berg Kaprow Lewis LLP, now BKL, in Finchley, before landing a job as a Group Reporting Accountant at Santander UK’s head office in Euston after networking at the LTSB Women in Finance Conference.

Her boss at BKL, Director of Client Services Stuart Batkins said: “Her work was of the highest level I’ve ever seen from a junior accountant, just starting their career – we could do with more Bolas!”

Bola is very keen to encourage other young people to join the programme and show the talent that big business often overlooks.

She said: “All the events, training and preparation that LTSB provided was so helpful, particularly in terms of public speaking – and controlling how quickly I speak when I’m nervous! It meant I felt I could make a difference straightaway when I got my placement.”

Call 020 8442 3442 or click here to find out more about Accountancy Apprenticeships.

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