My journey to running my accountancy and tax practice started as a student in Pakistan. I knew from an early age, that I had an affinity for business subjects, and that a career in accounting was one I wanted to pursue. There was an accounting firm next door to my school. I knew becoming an accountant would be no walk in the park, but the owner of the firm told me that if I worked hard and persevered, then one day I could run my own firm.

I knew that I needed global mobility and the flexibility to work in different countries, and that becoming an ACCA member would enable me to move to any major economy in the world and seek work. So I decided to study with ACCA in the UK.

After 13 years of exams, hard work and dedication, I am running my own practice in London

The decision to leave Pakistan and pursue my dream was not easy. I was a young student – not yet 18 – in a foreign country without any family members. However, I kept my focus on my goal and worked hard to pass the exams while working part-time in an accountancy practice. Working while studying gave me a chance to apply new knowledge learned in a real-life context.

I was lucky to have a workplace mentor who helped me on every step of my journey. He placed trust in my abilities and allowed me to develop my technical competencies.

After becoming an ACCA member, I developed a greater interest in tax and realised that to give the best value to my future clients, I needed to be more skilled in tax matters. I studied in the evenings and on weekends to become a tax specialist through the Chartered Tax Adviser qualification.

Once I had completed the qualification, I knew the time had arrived to make my childhood dream of running an accountancy practice a reality. Today, at 30 years of age, after 13 years of exams, hard work and dedication, I am running my own accountancy and tax practice in London.