Where did you study for your undergraduate degree?
I studied Land Economy and Management at New Hall College, Cambridge: the course was a combination of economics, law, finance and environment studies.
What qualifications have you gained whilst at EY?
I have been at EY (previously Ernst & Young) for almost six years. In my first three years I was on the graduate programme where I gained my accountancy qualification, and in the year following that, as I started to become more specialised, I gained my Chartered Tax Adviser qualification.
The large amount of studying involved initially can be quite daunting at times, but it really is worth it in the long run once you have the qualification!
What attracted you to tax?
Tax was a natural progression from my degree studies, as it combines law and other such analytical skills with a commercial knowledge of the economic environment and finance.
I did an internship with EY after my second year of university and really enjoyed the type of work I had been involved in: I found it challenging, and thought that tax played well to my skill set.
There are so many different areas of tax within EY (I worked in three different departments whilst I was training, including spending two months in our New York office!), there are plenty of opportunities for people to gain a broad experience whilst training and then find the area which best suits them.
What does your role involve?
At the end of my fourth year I was promoted to Manager and I am now working in the International Tax team in our Manchester office.
I have a couple of my own clients who I advise on their international tax affairs on a regular basis, and I also assist other client teams on their specific international tax queries. My specific tasks tend to be research around particular areas of tax, the writing of client advisory reports/memos and liaising with EY offices in other jurisdictions.
As a result, I don’t tend to know what I may be working on from week to week, but I find most of the work I am involved in interesting and challenging!
I am also constantly meeting new people from around the firm, which as a sociable person I really enjoy.
What are the key skills required for your job?
Organisation and time management are key skills required to keep on top of the large amount of work, which I could have on at any given moment in time.
Problem solving and an analytical way of thinking are also important skills required when working in a tax advisory position.
As the majority of the work I do is with other people and clients, being friendly, approachable and a team player is also very important.