Sebastian Sarmiento Orozco, Central Finance and Accounts Assistant, Amnesty International, Colombia (studied in UK)

Sebastian Sarmiento OrozcoI am a young business and finance enthusiast who has a strong determination to succeed in my career, I am from Colombia but I have been living in London for the past 4 years.Amnesty

I work for Amnesty International.  It is a non-governmental organisation focused on human rights with over 7-million members and supporters around the world. The objective of the organisation is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated”. Amnesty International was founded in London in 1961, and has presence in 158 countries, with 8 regional offices and more than 800 employees.

I am the Central Finance and Accounts Assistant.  I am responsible for ensuring that all the payments to suppliers and employees are done correctly. I input accounting data into with speed and accuracy, I assist in the production of financial statements and applications, preparations of spreadsheets and reports.  I also assist with the end of year preparation and procedures, as well as financial reporting to external bodies, annual accounts preparations, debt management and income management. I work closely with the Finance Manager to ensure the smooth operation of all finance matters.

I enjoy working for a Non-Profitable Organisation that delivers human rights impact and being part of a good cause improving people’s life and rights. I also feel satisfied that I am able to put in practice all the academic knowledge learned during my studies.  I am able to see how a business works in real life.

I studied the ABE Higher Diploma Level 5 in Business Management in 2012, after I successfully completed this qualification I decided to continue my academic path by studying a BA (hons) in Business Studies at the University of Gloucester, for which I achieved 2:1 in 2014. I then started my professional career at a fashion company as a finance intern.  It was a great opportunity to gain business and finance skills. I then joined Amnesty International, an organisation that has supported and accelerated my professional career. I am currently studying towards relevant accounting qualifications.

ABE qualifications have been a crucial part of my professional and academic career. As soon as I completed the ABE Diploma I found a quicker and more cost effective path to enrich my academic portfolio, by entering in the second year to the degree of Business Studies, having been exempted for the first year. This qualification also helped me to consolidate my skills and abilities that enabled me to find my first job in finance. And when I thought it would be the end. I found out that thanks to my ABE qualification I got 5 exceptions out of 14 examinations in my accounting qualification.

Instead of advice for new ABE learners, I would prefer to motivate everyone who is thinking about whether to start ABE studies. I personally believe that with hard work, consistency and discipline everything can be achieved in life. My ABE qualification has changed my professional career in a positive way. It is a very flexible and affordable way to accelerate you career in any industry you would like to work in. Even after more than three years since completing this qualification, and after my university degree, and a couple of years of work experience, my ABE qualification is still very useful and keeps contributing my professional career.