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Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.
We asked Elaine MacDonald from St. Michael's House to give some advice for people considering this job:
Make sure you are willing to go the full distance in terms of the time needed to train as a Clinical Psychologist – it’s typically at least six years academic study, and invariably this period is interspersed with work in a relevant field.
Do be as confident as you can that you’re happy being a “listener” and “observer”, as you will spend significant amounts of time in your work life as a Clinical Psychologist being in this role, as well as being in the “do-er” role and being in the limelight.
To have a good ‘fit’ with this career you’ll need to be happy working with people – as individuals on a one to one basis, with groups (e.g. families), and as part of a team in the workplace.
You need to have a good attention to detail as the job needs good observation skills, record keeping, and organisation skills.
Be prepared for learning and self-development to be on-going for the whole of your career because, as a Clinical Psychologist, you’ll be learning and using techniques and intervention approaches that are being constantly developed, and be working in accordance with policies and laws that are also constantly evolving.
The last piece of advice I’d give to someone considering this job is to be as sure as you can that you feel comfortable and even excited at the prospect of your career revolving around people and groups with all the varied, diverse, and unpredictable rewards and challenges that this brings!
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Joseph Conboy, Associate Director
Joseph Conboy is currently employed at KPMG as an Associate Director. He studied a degree in Accounting and Finance and then went on to do a Masters in Accounting, both in DCU. His role involves dealing with a range of tax issues that arise in aviation finance.
I probably started to seriously look at a tax career during my second year at DCU – we had an Income Tax module during the year and I found that quite interesting, particularly when compared with auditing!
After secondary school, I studied for my primary degree in Accounting & Finance (AF) at DCU. I graduated from AF in 2004 and immediately went on to do the Masters in Accounting at DCU in 2005. I am also a Chartered Accountant and an AITI Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA).
I suppose, while in college at least, I found there was a nice balance between the theory and computational side of things. Some of the accounting modules were obviously all computational while our law modules were all theory based - tax seemed to have a bit of both which I suppose made it a nice balance.
I think two of the best things about DCU were the constant focus on making presentations to your class and the opportunity to be a tutor while doing the Masters. Our AF class was quite large (around 140 or so), so making a PowerPoint presentation to such a large group was a very nerve wrecking experience.
However, by the end of college (through presentations and giving tutorials), I was relatively comfortable with speaking in public and I think that has very much stood to me over the years. For example, I had to give a 20 minute speech to around 100 clients on a tax technical point earlier this year - I'm not sure I could have done that type of presentation, had I never spoken in public before!
When I joined KPMG, I was required to pursue the AITI Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualification.