• Role: Tax Associate
  • Location: London
  • University: Birmingham City
  • Degree: Business Psychology & Human Resources Management
  • Organisation: PwC

Justyna

Tax is only taxing if you want it to be – from my perspective it’s a set of rules and regulations that we use to save individuals and companies money. I work in the Global Mobility Tax practice within PwC based in the Hays Galleria office in London.

How did you get your job at PwC?

One of my friends was applying to PwC and asked me to proof read his application. This got my attention and I decided to research the opportunities PwC were offering, and picked something that caught my eye – Global Mobility Tax.

What was the application process like?

Both interviews felt like a friendly chat, rather than process-driven conversations where I felt I needed to be ‘ticking boxes’. My advice is to be very clear with the points you’re making during the case study section of the interview, and also make sure you’re up-to-date with current business affairs as you’ll be expected to talk about them and discuss your opinions during your interviews.

What are your main duties?

My focus area is Global Mobility Tax services to my clients and their cross-border employees, with a concentration on tax planning and compliance for inbound and outbound employees from EMEA and the US. In addition, I assist clients in managing the tax administrative activities associated with large expatriate programmes and help to provide the best service.

I tend to work from the office Monday to Thursday where client teams vary between two and fifty people. We tend to work on a few clients at the same time, rather than one project at a time. On Fridays, I usually have face-to-face client meetings where I take employees who have moved to international offices through their tax arrangements.

What skills are useful in this sector/profession?

Strong people skills are the most useful, as the majority of my work is client facing. A key part of the job – and this is true of a lot of the roles at PwC – is interacting with different people on a daily basis, both internally and externally. It’s helpful if you’re enjoying this aspect of the role as you can build good working relationships with clients and the wider PwC network.

The other skill would be analytical thinking. A lot of what we do requires analysing various pieces of information before making a conclusion as to what the tax residency position of an assignee is and therefore how their income will be treated. You might then be asked to do further calculations, so not being afraid of number crunching is crucial.

Is it a 9-5 job?

Most of the time but there are months (like January, the UK tax return filing deadline) when you would need to stay a little longer, but other than that it’s a 9-5 job. This could be partly due to the fact that we don’t work on projects with tight deadlines, so with good time management you shouldn’t be leaving the office late.

Tips

Interview

During the interview, don’t try to pretend to be someone you’re not – always be truthful, keep good eye contact and make sure you ask questions. Interviews are a two-way process, so be prepared.

Exams

A big part of your first three years are the professional qualification exams. Make sure you’re committed from the start and understand the work required to pass. Having previous accounting or business knowledge might be helpful, but a lot of students join from backgrounds unrelated to accounting and do just as well in the exams.

Cycles of experience

Research the role that you’re applying for as well as the department. There are opportunities to move around as part of your cycle of experience with PwC, as well as the shared schemes (where you split your time between two departments), so there’s plenty to choose from.

More than just work

There are plenty of social, sport and volunteering groups that you can get involved with after work. If you’ve been part of one during university, make sure you mention that on your application form and during your interview.

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