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Suzanne Hayes

Senior Associate, PwC

Degree subject BA Business Administration, Master of Accounting (MAcc), ACA qualified
Job title Senior Associate
Employer PwC

I began my career working in Risk Advisory Services with an accounting firm in Chicago. After two years, I decided to return to Ireland get a Masters in Accounting and to obtain the ACA qualifications, as I knew they would provide a great stepping stone to any career in finance.

I am now in my third year working in the Asset Management department at PwC, where I audit investment funds and hedge funds. My role as a third year focuses on the higher risk areas and I am responsible for the junior members of the team. It is a very collaborative role; I work closely with my colleagues in teams of four to six and we liaise with our clients on a daily basis. I get to work with a range of people including junior and senior managers. It gets very busy between February and April when we audit investment funds, with long hours in the office. But it is quieter in the summer while we do audit planning.

Working in finance is a good place for developing business and personal skills. My job has provided me with opportunities to challenge myself and take on extra responsibility early on. In my second year at PwC, I was given the chance to be an audit senior, assisting the manager on my own. There is also a strong social side to my job: there are a lot of young people working here and I have made some friends for life.

Top tips

My advice to graduates is to find the company that suits you best, instead of focusing on the specific role that you want. After getting my masters, I applied to the Big 4 during the ‘accountancy milkround’ period in October. It was during the interview process that I got a sense of what each of the companies were like. I asked the interviewers lots of questions and I looked around the office afterwards. Each company has its own personality and it is important to find the best one for you.

Suzanne was interviewed for gradireland Finance 2013