Interning with a professional services firm from a non-business background

By Adam Trundle, Corporate Finance & Tax Rotation Intern, Deloitte

When I applied for the summer internship in Deloitte, I wasn’t really sure if it was going to be for me. I am studying Maths and Music in Maynooth University, so my background in business is pretty much zero!

To be honest I only applied at all because Deloitte were placed so highly in the gradireland rankings. Nothing to lose by giving it a go! When I came in for my interview, it was soon obvious that Deloitte wasn’t just some big, boring ‘accounting’ firm. Everyone was kind and welcoming, no matter where they worked. I was lucky enough to be offered a 12 week internship, split between Tax and Corporate Finance. I accepted my place, but I still wasn’t really sure if Deloitte was right for me.

Adam Trundle during his internship with Deloitte

Adam Trundle during his internship with Deloitte

When I arrived on the first day, any worries I had about not fitting in were quickly dispelled. Our first week was spent getting to know all of the other interns and we were given lots of really helpful general training. When we went out to our respective departments, the encouraging atmosphere continued. I soon learned that no one expected us to know everything about tax already, thankfully! What was more important was being willing to learn and having a ‘can-do’ attitude. Everyone that I met was willing to take time out of their day to explain things to me. It didn’t matter that I didn’t know something coming in because I was there to learn, with some of the best teachers in the business.

After a great six weeks in Corporate Tax, it was time for me to move to Restructuring Services in Corporate Finance. This was a daunting prospect, because while I had some idea of what tax is, restructuring and insolvency were entirely alien concepts to me! When I arrived first, I was given a general overview of what the team I was joining did day-to-day. Every question I had was answered in detail, until I felt confident about my individual role. I am writing this blog at the end of my third week in corporate finance and I can safely say that I have learned more about restructuring in these few weeks than I did up to this point.

I’m really glad that I applied for a summer internship here in Deloitte, even though my degree didn’t originally seem relevant. I would recommend that anyone who isn’t sure what they want to do after college does the same. The learning and development team, the online resources and the people-focussed culture mean that anyone can achieve their full potential. That includes the likes of me, studying for a non-business degree.

Find out more from gradireland about what’s involved in areas like audit, tax and accountancy with our unique series of #FYI videos. Perfect for kicking off your career thinking while you’re still in college!

 

 


‘It’s all about the team.’ Hear from a leader both on and off the field.

Working in audit with Deloitte, and captaining the Cork Ladies Football Team, Ciara O’Sullivan talks about balancing your work with your passion.

6 September 2014; Ciara O'Sullivan, Cork. TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Semi-Final, Armagh v Cork. Pearse Park, Longford. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

6 September 2014; Ciara O’Sullivan, Cork. TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Semi-Final, Armagh v Cork. Pearse Park, Longford. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

 

When did you start playing football and how did you end up on the Cork team?

I started playing football with my club Mourneabbey when I was under 8 and when I was 11 I went for Cork under 14 trials. I was lucky enough to make that U14 panel and have been playing with various Cork teams since then. I have been a member of the Cork senior team for the last 9 years and this is my second year as captain of the team.

How does your intensive training schedule for Cork compare to your training to become a Chartered Accountant?

I must admit I enjoy training with Cork a little bit more than I enjoyed studying for the exams! I think both take discipline and organisation and I actually think they complement each other. During study leave for my CAP 2s and FAEs I really looked forward to going training after studying for the day and although sometimes I was tired before training, I always felt better after it. It’s great to give you a focus other than the exams and work. It’s also always something to talk to clients about when you’re on site as a lot of clients in Ireland have some interest in GAA!

Does your work as captain on the field help your work in Deloitte off the field?

It’s not something I’ve ever actually thought about but I suppose it does. I’ve been very lucky to be part of this Cork team who have so many leaders, so in some ways being captain is just a title. I’m just the one who goes up for the toss or gets to collect the cup if we win. Everyone helps each other and it’s all about the team. It’s the same in Deloitte, particularly as I work in audit where in general there are a number of people on the audit team. Again everyone helps each other and it makes the job much more enjoyable and efficient. I’ve made great friends on both the Cork team and in work and having these friends who are in the same boat as you helps a lot.

What has been the best moment of your career as the captain of the Cork Ladies football team?

It would have to be winning the 2015 All-Ireland final. It was against Dublin again and like in previous years we just about won. The closer the game is the more you appreciate the win when it’s over. Lifting the cup was unreal… the speech that followed definitely wasn’t unreal!

What’s your advice for other trainees who juggle the heavy commitment of both their career and passion?

I would say that it’s totally achievable to do both, if you want to do it enough. Obviously I know I’m lucky that work accommodate me where they can so that I never miss training. I think that once you are organised and like doing something enough you will make it happen.

For more advice on getting started in your career and balancing your life, read gradireland’s advice section. 

 


Guest blog: My career in finance with Crowe Horwath

Trainee chartered accountant Jamie Ashworth gives us insight into his choice to pursue a career in finance with Crowe Horwath

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Trainee chartered accountant Jamie Ashworth

Could you provide us with a summary of how you became interested in a career in the financial sector?

The financial sector represents the heartbeat of business and commerce worldwide. I have always had an aptitude for numbers and accountancy in particular so the financial sector has been a natural area of interest for me. Finance in Dublin in particular is thriving at the moment and makes it even more appealing to me.

Accountancy services are required by business of all sizes, from sole traders to listed multinational companies, and this diversity was a key factor in my choosing to pursue a career in accountancy.

How did your degree contribute to you getting a place on the Crowe Horwath programme?

I feel my degree contributed hugely to me getting a place on the Crowe Horwath graduate programme. Although I did not study accounting directly, a background in economics provided me with problem solving skills applicable across the financial sector. In my opinion this was particularly important for the Crowe Horwath graduate programme as it involves working on different projects all the time, with no two days being the same

What’s been one of the biggest challenges of coming through the Crowe Horwath graduate programme and what did it teach you about yourself?

One of the biggest challenges for me was adapting to the professional environment. After an initial training week, I started in the office and I was immediately immersed into projects and assigned projects. Of course attached to these projects were deadlines. While I found this daunting at first, I soon learned that asking questions and gaining experience is what was expected of me and this enabled me to work faster and more efficiently on subsequent jobs and tasks. Each job has a learning curve and I have been given the opportunity to work on many different assignments in the last year which has increased my knowledge immensely. Next year I hope to gain more experience and take a more senior role on assignments.

How difficult was it striking the balance between work and CAI studies?

For me, the switch from college life to working full time and studying with Chartered Accountants Ireland was challenging at first. A day in work from nine to half five followed by a lecture in the evening does require commitment but once you get in to a routine it is not as daunting as it first seems and it is worth the sacrifice. I found going to lectures and taking the information in first hand from the lecturers benefitted me when it came to studying for the exams. All materials for lectures are available through the online portal in advance of the lectures and this does allow for a degree of flexibility in studying.

What advice would you have for students and graduates seeking to pursue a similar career path?

  • To give your full commitment to both work and studying from the beginning and to try and find a routine that suits you while doing that.
  • To enjoy the free time that you do have and to make the most of well earned down time.
  • Not to be afraid to ask questions and to make the most of the experience that senior colleagues share with you.

How do you hope to see your career developing over the next few years?

I am one year into my training contract and I have passed my CAP1 exams. I hope to pass the CAP 2 and FAE exams over the next two years, while gaining more experience and finish my training contract in April 2019. After that I might travel and work abroad for a year or two. Being a chartered accountant is a qualification that is recognised globally and offers people the opportunity to apply their skills worldwide.

Crowe Horwath is one of the leading accountancy firms in Ireland, and is the representative firm in Ireland of Crowe Horwath International, one of the top ten global networks of independent accounting and advisory services firms, a worldwide group of independent accountancy firms with 726 offices in 125 countries with some 31,000 staff worldwide. They offer graduates the opportunity to train to become a Chartered Accountant.

Check out their recruitment brochure (pdf) for more details.

Applications for 2017 are now open. To apply, please fill in their application form and return to hr@crowehorwath.ie. The closing date for applications is 31 October 2016.


Guest blog: My graduate experience with PwC

Following my penultimate year on Erasmus, I decided to undertake an internship in order to help to choose my future career path. From the first contact I had with PwC (heading into a phone interview from Belgium I didn’t know what to expect) the genuine friendliness and approachability of the people is what has always and continues to stand out. For me, the quality of people, from both a work and human perspective, is the defining characteristic of PwC. After gaining first-hand experience of this it was obvious that I would be returning to PwC as a graduate.

Following the internship I decided to undertake the Masters of Accounting in Smurfit Business School. Sponsored by PwC, this afforded me the opportunity to complete a masters with friends from college as well as a network of new friends and colleagues from the summer internship. It also provided me with exemptions from the CAP2 (A.C.A) and Part 1 (A.I.T.I) exams which, subject to impending results and a final set of tax exams, should allow me to qualify as both a chartered accountant and chartered tax advisor within 3 years of commencing work.

Coming back as a graduate in September 2014, I re-joined the Banking and Capital Markets (“BCM”) team, a unit within the Financial Services channel in Tax. Seeing familiar faces on the floor and around the office helped make the transition seamless. As with all jobs there a learning process, however at PwC this doesn’t stop. As an assistant during the first year you prepare work with the support of your coach, appraiser, buddy and quite frankly anyone on the team who you’re willing to ask a question. As the year progresses you are afforded autonomy and responsibility, reporting directly to Managers, Senior Managers and even Partners where appropriate. Once the new year comes around new co-ops will arrive, followed by interns during the summer and before you know it a new intake start in September.

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Ronan Yeates, Tax Specialist with PwC

During my second year I have become increasingly engaged in the aircraft leasing industry. Although challenging, it is fascinating to work and be engaged with some of the most influential people in such a dynamic and unique industry, the global centre of which is located right here in Ireland. Providing day to day advice to the largest aircraft lessors in the world, I have been afforded a unique opportunity to gain international tax experience. The experience I have gained from being exposed the scale, frequency and urgency of transactions exhibited by the industry is invaluable.

As well as providing domestic and international tax support for the aircraft leasing industry, my team is extensively engaged in the securitisation industry. I have gained incredible experience working in an industry of such large scale which is also primed to go through a period of significant change following the recent publication of draft legislation by the Minister for Finance. The opportunity to be involved in the transitional period emanating from these new changes is both challenging and exciting.

Despite the demands of work, when you join the firm it is clear that your primary focus is on successfully completing your professional exams, be they tax, accounting or otherwise. Initially it can be stressful trying to balance both work and study; however, the support that is on offer within PwC will soon enable you to strike the right balance. I genuinely believe PwC’s support network, consisting of both formal and informal structures, is unrivalled, and factors such as the combination of in-house exam support workshops, in-house training, extensive study leave and colleagues who are readily available to lend a hand, make exams that bit more manageable and ultimately, make PwC a great place to work.

Meet PwC at the Graduate Careers Fair www.graduatecareersfair.com to learn more. 


Guest blog: How to use Graduate Fairs to your Advantage

Research, research, research!

One of the common mistakes those on our Graduate Development Programme at HedgeServ have said they made was making assumptions about a company. We’ve seen it time and time again at fairs, where prospective graduates are going to all the accounting firms’ stands, and walking past us, because they see the word Hedge and think trading, the Wolf of Wall Street and 50 people in suits climbing over each other roaring about stock prices.  Hedge Fund Administration is vastly different and simple searches will show you that.

“A role as a Fund Accountant is an ideal platform for any Accounting and Finance student to launch their career.”

As part of our commitment to our graduates’ continuous professional development, we fully support and are accredited with, the major Accounting Professional bodies, facilitating a unique career as an accountant.

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Talk to the people at the stands.

You’ve made the effort to attend a fair, and it’s not just because you were looking for free pens!  Use that time and speak to the companies attending. They can tell you far more than their brochures will. You’ll get a real sense of the enthusiasm and pride those people have for the company. My team and I craft our Graduate Development Programme very carefully, and are very excited to meet the people who are potentially going to be our colleagues in just a few short months. We want to tell you all we’ve done to enhance our programme. We want to tell you why you should work with us, and we want to tell you what makes HedgeServ an award-winning company.

Attend the talks and seminars.

Plan your day by seeing what events are on and what interests you. The gradireland events app even lets you plan your schedule. If you have spare time, pop in and have a seat, even if you don’t think the topic is for you. You’ll be amazed what you can learn from respected Thought Leaders in graduate recruitment. Our own Director of HR, Deirdre O’Donoghue has been invited to speak as part of a panel on how to shape your career with an Arts degree at the gradireland career fair on October 5th.

Don’t delay in applying.

Some companies have a deadline for applications- we don’t! However, you should still get your application in as soon as possible. Exams will be coming upon you quickly and you don’t want to put something as important as your future on the long finger. It’s even more important when you are tailoring your application for the company, as the recruiter may well not remember meeting you that week. I can’t tell you the number of graduates who now work with us, who applied because of the person they met on the day and used that to their advantage in their application- thanking the person and demonstrating to the company they had done their research. It will really help your application stand out.

This is an exciting time for you as graduates, and companies like HedgeServ are excited to learn more about you. We will be attending all of the major colleges and career fairs in the coming months, and you should take advantage of that to find the company that is going to provide potential for you your career.

Applications for HedgeServ’s 2017 Graduate Development Programme are now open. See www.hedgeserv.com/career for more information and meet their team at the Graduate Careers Fair www.graduatecareersfair.com

 


Guest blog: Want to work as a trainee Chartered Accountant? Advice from Deloitte trainee Ronan Fogarty

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For any trainee Chartered Accountant beginning a training contract or working through one, there are some key skills that one should focus on developing. Here Ronan Fogarty, an audit trainee with Deloitte, offers his advice based on his own experience ‘on the ground’…

Make a good first impression

When starting a new contract, you will meet so many new people – fellow trainees, managers, partners and clients. This will continue right throughout your training contract. Given the nature of professional services firms, the dynamic can change very quickly – you will find yourself working with different teams on various clients and projects, new trainees will arrive and new clients will offer new opportunities. A good first impression goes a long way in developing yourself as a person, your career, as well as the firm you are working for.

Communicate

You hear it and read it all the time, but it is true that communication is one of the most important skills that anyone can develop. Be confident and informed about what you are saying and say it in a manner that ensures you are heard. Whether it is a meeting, a phone call or an email, be prepared. Introduce yourself properly, be polite, be aware of the facts and know what you are looking for.

Be adaptable and flexible

Each day, you will be met with a new challenge and you must be ready to face it head on. You will be completing several sets of exams on your journey to becoming a Chartered Accountant while working full time. Therefore it is vital that you are adaptable to situations you may find yourself in, whether it is in front of a client, or in front of a book for that exam next week. It is also important that you are able to manage your time efficiently. Being prepared and organised will stand to you, whatever the situation. Where possible, it is also important that you learn to apply your knowledge from exams in work and vice versa. Doing so shows that you have a drive to succeed.

Be confident in your ability

You would not be at this career path if didn’t have the proven ability. All trainees should strive to be confident (but not cocky!) about what they are doing and become well versed in the areas in which they work. You should take initiative to do more and stand out from the crowd. There are always opportunities to voice your opinion and make a difference. Trainees are encouraged to bring new ideas to the table and innovate. That is the way of the future.

Be organised

As a training contract focuses on both work and education, it is important that both are well organised. It is important to show that you can work efficiently and productively, and manage your time well. Whether you are a trainee in audit, tax or corporate finance, it is important to take responsibility for areas that are assigned to you and understand how your work fits into the overall deliverable for the client. It is also important to learn how to ask questions and prioritise tasks in order to meet deadlines.

Be a team player

Working as a trainee accountant in any firm will undoubtedly require you to be able to work as part of a team. This is where all of the above come together. Any team is only as strong as its weakest member, therefore, if you do your part and are adaptable, flexible, confident, organised and are able to communicate well, the team will benefit.

And just one final piece of advice – embrace it! A training contract offers so many opportunities – working with clients in exciting and fast-paced industries, learning from colleagues with great experience and expertise, and getting involved in firm activities – be it CSR initiatives or the firm’s clubs and societies. Make the most of it and get involved. It’s only going to stand to you.

Want to learn more about a career with Deloitte? Meet the Deloitte team at the Graduate Careers Fair at www.graduatecareersfair.com


4 things you didn’t know about this year’s Graduate Careers Fair

It’s less than two weeks away from the most anticipated event in the gradireland events calendar, the 14th annual Graduate Careers Fair. This event will see 120 of Ireland’s leading graduate employers, start-up companies and further study providers showcasing what they have to offer in a range of different sectors. Ahead of this event we have put together a list of four things that you probably didn’t know about Ireland’s Official Graduate Careers Fair.

Top employers will be there-it’s all about jobs!

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We have over 100 of Ireland’s leading employers attending this year’s Graduate Careers Fair. The exhibitor list to date is made up of 58 of the Irish Times Top 1000 companies as well as 15 international Fortune 500 companies! The best part, all of these organisations are actively recruiting for students and graduates in a range of sectors, there are interviews happening on the day itself, so come prepared!

CV Advice to beat all other

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Have you hit the wall when it comes to getting your CV or application ready to send to employers? Worry not! The Graduate Careers Fair has not only a dedicated CV Clinic with over 50 hours of free careers advice but also a rolling CV Seminar with specialised advice for both international and Irish students. This is the perfect opportunity to perfect your CV and get ahead of the competition.

Opportunities with NGOs

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Ever considered working as part of a non-for-profit organisation? We are excited to announce that this year’s Graduate Careers Fair will welcome some nationally and internationally established NGOs, including Oxfam Ireland and The Peter McVerry Trust . Chat to representatives about any opportunities available with these organisations.

Introducing Start-Up City

Signposts at the gradireland Summer Fair

Not sure if you want to go down the traditional career route or apply for a graduate programme? This year’s gradireland Graduate Careers Fair will host our very first Start-Up Zone, which will see some of Ireland’s emerging tech talent exhibiting. Pop over to Start-Up City at the Graduate Careers Fair and find out what it’s like to be part of a high growth, fast paced start up team! Exhibitors include Gamex, Huggnote, Aromatrix and many more.

So there you have it! Four things that you might not have known about the Graduate Careers Fair, all the more reason to register now and we’ll see you in the RDS on October 5th.

Register for free entry at www.graduatecareersfair.com

We are looking forward to seeing you there!