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Aine Sheehan

Audit Senior, Deloitte

Degree subject BSc Accounting, UCC
Job title Audit Senior
Employer Deloitte

I chose to do the UCC accounting degree because of the broad range of business subjects that it incorporated, including economics, organisational behaviour, marketing and law. Then, through attending different recruitment events, and speaking to professionals who shared their experiences, I decided on a career in accounting. As my degree was directly related to the work I would be involved in, this proved beneficial in my application for positions and during the interview process.

I think that my colleagues would describe my ability to work in teams as a skill that makes me effective in my role. For as long as I can remember I have been involved in sports teams and throughout my education I have taken part in various clubs and societies. These experiences have helped me develop my teamwork and leadership skills, which I put into practice each day in my current role. When I was a junior I learned a lot from my senior colleagues and can now use this experience in my current role. I enjoy helping and assisting the junior team members of assignments as I feel that I have experienced many of the same issues that they frequently encounter.

I was selected by my firm as a nominee for gradireland’s ‘Graduate Employee of the Year’ award in 2012. It was a great privilege to be nominated and I appreciated the recognition for my contribution to date within the firm.

Additionally, I successfully sat my Final Admitting Exams (FAE) in September 2011: the culmination of five years’ hard work and study for my degree and then for my CAP 2 professional examinations. It felt like a real achievement as I’d had to balance work and study with my commitment to play ladies football at senior inter-county level. Passing my exams shortly after winning an All-Ireland Medal with Cork has to be one of the highlights!

There have been a number of challenges that I have faced since starting work, but I would rate studying for the Professional Accountancy Exams as the biggest so far as they were highly competitive. It’s good to now be finished.

Communication, willingness to learn, flexibility and initiative are all key skills that graduates should possess in order to be successful in their careers. Additionally, you should be mindful of your work/life balance, as this will be central to your happiness and success in your career. Graduates should set goals and be self-aware – know your key strengths and skills and have the confidence to use these to achieve their goals. Finally, it’s important to stay ahead of the crowd. Do things that will differentiate you and help you stand out from others with prospective employers.

Advice for graduates

I would encourage graduates to put their hand up for new opportunities to learn and develop. Always remain positive and learn from any mistakes. Don’t hesitate to ask for help and learn from the experiences of those with whom you work.

Aine was interviewed for Ireland's 100 leading graduate employers 2012/13