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 Natasha Ibanez from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:


Natasha Ibanez

Mechanical Engineer

CRH plc

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  Natasha Ibanez
An education in Mechanical Engineering would be preferable. I would advise them to get as much diverse work experiences as possible, even if these jobs are not engineering related.

Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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Chartered Accountants Ireland Schools Open Day 2016

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Chartered Accountants Ireland Schools Open Day 2016

Thursday, March 03, 2016 

Chartered Accountants Ireland Schools Open Day 2016

Chartered Accountants Ireland was delighted to welcome more than 270 second-level students and teachers from 18 schools across Leinster to our Dublin HQ for a series of talks on what a career as a Chartered Accountant has to offer.

The event was aimed at Transition Year, 5th and 6th year students from all disciplines who have an interest in business. One in three Chartered Accountants decides to pursue a career while still at school, according to research, so early engagement is vital.

The talks also explained how to qualify as a Chartered Accountant. Students and their teachers were very positive and said they really enjoyed the speakers who told their personal stories about how they qualified.

Not just boring number crunchers

All of our speakers highlighted the diversity and opportunities that came with their chosen career. And they corrected the perception that accountants are boring number crunchers! They all emphasised that a Chartered Accountancy career can take you places. You can work in any sector or industry, travel internationally, be recognised and become part of a 24,000-strong network.

Speakers also explained how Chartered Accountants could advance with strong employer recognition and said qualified members were in high demand with healthy salary prospects.

We’re problem solvers

CEO Pat Costello, who gave the opening address, told students that Chartered Accountants were problem solvers and that this was vital to the economy.

Rónán Harper, FCA and CEO of Fincom, told the group that he didn’t study for a college degree but started his career in the construction industry. He then joined Accountant Technicians Ireland before going on to train as a Chartered Accountant, which allowed him to travel the world. He now runs his own company. Karen Russell, FAE Programme leader from Chartered Accountants Ireland, explained the variety of paths into the profession, such as the school-leaver route, the accounting technician’s route and the traditional route via third level.

Famous Chartered Accountants

Karen also mentioned high-profile figures – such as Bernard Brogan, GAA superstar, David Bernstein, chairman of the FA and Joan Burton, Minister for Social Protection and Tánaiste – and said the students may not have been aware that they were all Chartered Accountants. James Delahunt, Corporate Finance trainee at KPMG Ireland, gave some very helpful Leaving Cert study tips, including how to optimise your study time. “Everyone has the same amount of time in a day: 24 hours. It just depends on how you use it.”

Next up, we heard from Sinead Nic Nialligh, senior manager at BDO, who compared the Leaving Cert Accountancy syllabus to what you learn when training as a Chartered Accountant and, later, working in the real world. She also had some great examples drawn from her experience as treasurer of her local GAA club.

Building your brand

Last but not least, Diarmuid Breathnach, Head of Education Delivery, Chartered Accountants Ireland, discussed the importance of differentiating yourself from your peers. He spoke about how you could enhance your career prospects by thinking about your personal brand.

We hope we have planted a seed with these students and that they will consider Chartered Accountancy as a career option down the line. Maybe we’ll see them again in our lecture halls. Due to the success of the event we hope hold similar events in other districts around the island over the course of the year.

We also coordinate school visits around the island and members kindly volunteer to get involved locally. Students really value the opportunity to hear about members’ diverse career paths first hand. The Institute is hugely appreciative of the volunteers who visit schools.

School Visits

If you would like a volunteer member to visit your school to talk about Chartered Accountancy Careers to your students, then complete this form, and we will be in touch with you. More information here

Get involved

As a Chartered Accountant you will know that it can be a fast-moving, secure and rewarding career. Help us communicate this to the next generation. If you are interested in getting involved please contact us at:

We have a number of useful resources and further information available here