One of the biggest challenges for me was adapting to the professional environment
Degree subject BA Economics, UCD
Job title Trainee Chartered Accountant
Employer Crowe Horwath
How did you become interested in a career in the financial sector?
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. The financial sector 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.
Personally I feel my degree contributed hugely to me getting a place on the 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 programme?
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.
What advice would you have for others 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.