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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 Brian Howard from Department of Education and Skills to give some advice for people considering this job:
This career involves working with people in a caring capacity. If you have no interest in helping people personally or educationally then this may be the wrong profession for you.
Empathy, patience and respect are important qualities for this job, in addition to be able to relate well to the person you are dealing with. As there is also a large amount of information to be handled in the job, good organisational, IT and time management skills are also quite important.
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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.