Education Associate Chartered Accountant (Chartered Accountants Ireland) Degree in Finance (UCC)
Job title Internal audit trainee
Choosing my direction
I recently completed a six-month internship at a hedge fund while studying for my finance degree in University College Cork (UCC). I became aware that the majority of the managers in the firm began their careers in accountancy and I realised then that this would also be the best place for me to start my career. I later joined Mazars, where I was given a choice of what qualification to pursue. I chose Chartered Accountants Ireland and the Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) qualification because it’s globally recognised and it is respected and valued. I knew I would also have additional support from both my peers and senior colleagues that have all been through the process as well, which is a great source of support.
Work and study
Juggling the time demands of work and study is one of the most challenging aspects of successfully completing part-time study. The process of recording lectures and making them available online through the student portal is really
beneficial in this regard, and means you can catch up on any missed lectures at a future date. The study leave entitlement is also a benefit, it gives you that extra chance at being successful in exams.
Currently I’m working as an internal audit trainee in the governance, risk
and internal control department in Mazars, where I have already gained
exposure to a wide range of clients and differing assignments. I enjoy my
work, no two days are ever really the same, so it’s exciting to think about
the opportunities I’ll have when I qualify as a chartered accountant.
The company offers an international mobility programme that, as a
chartered accountant, I’d love to take advantage of. It really makes it all
worthwhile, knowing that my qualification will provide opportunities in either industry or practice, both at home and abroad.
This is a rewarding career choice but there are a lot of demands, being able
to deliver successfully for a company while still studying can be difficult. Be
prepared to work hard – gaining a professional qualification is never
going to be easy. If you have a supportive company, and if you also have the support of a professional body like the CAI, it does increase your chances of success.
Kerry Gough was interviewed for the gradireland & postgradireland Directory 2015