Placement Students at Anderson Anderson Brown LLP (AAB)

jessica middleton

Jessica Middleton (Human Resources Advisor)

We were delighted to be asked to feature as a ‘guest blogger’ on the RGU student blog and talk about the great experiences we have had working with placement students from the University.  So, where do we begin?!

To give you a little bit of background into our firm, we are an independent Chartered Accountancy firm based within one office in Aberdeen. We may be within one office, but there is a lot of us under one roof and we have around 250 staff at present. We were founded in Aberdeen 26 years ago and have grown considerably over time. This is probably best reflected by our recent office move to larger premises, the fourth in the firm’s history, and our current offering of 37 different services to our clients. We have been lucky enough to win many awards over the years for our professional work and client service.  However, the award we are undoubtedly proudest of was received at the beginning of this year; we have made it on to the ‘Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to Work for’ list at number 52! This is an amazing achievement for the firm and testament to all our happypeople@aab.

So, how did we do it, you may be thinking? Our success is down to one thing, our people and this is what makes us different. We are committed to developing young people and as a result have a large intake of placement students, graduates, school leavers and interns every year. Our aim is to recruit our partners of the future. The placement student programme at the University is a great way for us to welcome young people into the firm and allows us to offer a real insight into life as a Trainee Accountant. Our involvement with the placement scheme started when the firm was formed 26 years ago, and we are proud to say that two of our current partners started out as placement students from RGU!  This includes James Pirrie who is a Partner in our Audit department, who started out as a placement student with us in 1991!  Five of our current partners, out of a total of 13, joined the firm as Graduate Trainees or Placement Students.

We have been lucky to have welcomed some fantastic RGU students into our firm over the years, many of whom are now working here and have built successful careers, including completing their professional accountancy and tax qualifications with us. So many of our placement students along the way have confirmed to us how much they have enjoyed their placements and how much they have learnt from the experience overall. The unique opportunity RGU students get to complete this is invaluable. From a graduate recruitment perspective, we are very attracted to RGU students who have had the opportunity to complete a placement as we know they will have gained professional experience as well as obtaining a world-class degree.

So, what does a placement with the firm entail? Placements give students the chance to experience life as a graduate trainee and they will be rotated between at least two departments during their time with us. They will gain exposure to chargeable client work and contribute to the work of the department as a whole. We develop all of our trainees into all-round business advisors and therefore a focus during the placement will also be on soft-skills development. Here is a clip from one of our previous students Lewis Dunbar (Accounting and Finance student) who can tell you more about his experience working with our firm –

Hopefully this post has given you a flavour of how valuable the placement opportunity offered by RGU is, and given you an insight into what we gain as a firm and how this really contributes to the future of our business! I’m sure it is clear as well how much we enjoy inviting new students into our firm every year, and of course we will continue to do so for many years to come.

Let me know if you have any questions, feel free to email me at


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