‘Mentorship is a very important tool’ – The Irish Times

Tell us about yourself, where you’re from and what you studied in college?

My name is Esther, I currently work as an associate in the indirect (VAT) tax team in PwC. I am from Nigeria and moved to Ireland in 2011. I studied Accounting and Finance in DCU and went on to complete my master’s in accounting there.

What attracted you to the grad programme?

I completed a summer internship with PwC during my undergraduate, initially working in audit, before becoming interested in tax. We had started learning about tax at college and then a group of employees came out to our class to give an insight into their roles and day-to-day tasks.

There’s a lot more to tax than meets the eye and as a naturally curious person, that excited me. From VAT to customs and corporation tax, each area takes time to understand. By the time I was starting my masters, I was sure tax was the route I wanted to take.

What is the graduate programme like?

I joined the graduate programme when we were just coming out of the Covid-19 lockdown, so it was a different experience to when I first interned with the firm before the pandemic. There’s a lot more hybrid working which is a real bonus, but I’m glad we’ve been able to get back to more social and networking events this past year. The graduate programme provides a space to learn more about yourself, as well as the opportunity to grow your network and portfolio of work.

How important is mentorship to you?

Mentorship is a very important tool. When I started, I was introduced to my two buddies and a career coach. They have helped shape my experience and given me advice on how to seek out new opportunities. Being able to ask loads of questions has helped me to realise that if they can do it, I can do it too. Everyone on my team is very supportive and when asked will give all the help they can.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

I really enjoy my work, and I’m working towards becoming a chartered accountant and qualified tax adviser. I still have much to learn which is exciting and I would like to be more involved in projects focussed on ESS (electronically supplied services), for example. I also look forward to building up my technical knowledge and areas of expertise.

What’s your advice to graduates applying to the programme?

It’s a great steppingstone and I think it’s important to keep in mind that college exams are not the last exams you will do, as to become a qualified accountant or tax adviser further professional qualifications are needed. In the graduate programme you learn to prioritise tasks, improve your time management, and start to put into practice what you’ve learned in college.

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