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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 McGarrigle from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:
The most important skill that a person in my position can have is communication.
One needs to be able to communicate effectively with people of all levels in order to do a days work. I think that this is the most important quality, to be able to fit in well with people, everyone from the operators to the senior management, one needs to be able to read them and how best to communicate with them.
An interest in basic engineering and in the heavy machine industry.
It is important to realise that working as a mechanical engineer in Irish Cement does not generally involve sitting at your desk all day. It involves alot of hands on, on-site work so a person needs to be prepared to get their hands dirty.
Another quality that is important is to be willing to learn. Even after a number of years in college, one needs to be eager to learn the ins and outs of a new environment; how cement is made, what equipment is involved, what generally goes wrong and how it is fixed.
Everyone will help and teach you but you need to open your mind and be prepared to take it all in.
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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.