Louanne O'Brien

Trainee Accountant, RSM Farrell Grant Sparks

Degree subject BSc Business and Management, Dublin Institute of Technology (2009)
Job title Trainee Accountant
Employer RSM Farrell Grant Sparks

When I was at school I always had an interest in both business and accountancy; it felt natural to pursue a career with these subjects.

In my final year I applied for a trainee position at RSM Farrell Grant Sparks during the accountancy milkround and was called for an interview. I chose the Longford office because of its excellent reputation, and because it's closer to home. I had one interview with the Auditory and Advisory Director and a few weeks later they offered me a training contract in the audit and advisory department.

Each day I’ll be working on an existing job or I’ll be assigned a new task. A project could last from a few hours to a whole month if I’m working in a team on a large audit. There's a huge diversity of work at Longford: I can see an audit through from start to finish, and we also get to compile corporation tax and income tax for clients. This variety is fantastic experience and incredibly helpful for exams.

I've worked on audits with a whole range of companies in sectors such as pharmaceuticals and the motor industry. I love the variation of industries and meeting new people from different professional fields.

Getting the balance between work, study and normal life can be tricky, but my company is very supportive – partners and managers are open and accessible. I'm sitting my Chartered Accountants Ireland Final Admitting Exams (FAEs) this year and I'm due to finish my traineeship in April 2013.

Advice for graduates

Make the most of your careers service at college. Apply via the milkround if you're interested in large accountancy firms.

Louanne O'Brien was interviewed for the gradireland directory 2012.