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Hi everyone,

I'm facing something of a dilemma about which of two graduate scheme offers to accept.

One is a 3-year scheme with the National Audit Office, during which I'll study for the ACA. The second is a 2-year scheme with Lloyds Banking Group, in Commercial Banking- Business Management, which offers a range of possible qualification options including the CFA, ACT, and I think a project management one.

I don't have a background in economics or finance (I studied IR at Master's level). I also am not sure what I want to do permanently, as neither of these were top choices as such, though I'm happy with the offers. So what I'm trying to do is is choose one that'll be enjoyable and interesting, and will open doors for future possible jobs.

What I understand so far about this choice:

1) The NAO option offers the ACA. Though I have never dreamed about being an accountant or an auditor, I have been told repeatedly that this qualification opens doors up into plenty of non-accounting/audit jobs on a global scale. That once qualifying, jobs in investment banking or consulting become available to you. The downside, of course, is that the grad scheme may involve 3 years of doing audit. Which I have never done before, but has a reputation for being a bit repetitive and boring at times.

2) The Lloyds option is business management. Which from what I gather is a back office support role. Sounds quite interesting, and is probably a bit more vibrant and diverse than auditing. But I'm not sure whether it will be as beneficial in terms of future job options as an ACA qualification. Sure, I can potentially do the CFA whilst there, but given my non-finance background, the huge amounts of time required, and the high failure rate, it may not be the smartest option to attempt to undertake. Though experience in the job itself may prove enough to move into other roles in finance, for example.

So it's a bit of a fork in the road for me. Am interested in what you guys think. All opinions are welcome, but would especially appreciate advise from people who've worked for these companies or in similar roles, and can speak from experience. Thanks!

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