Meet our People - Sybil Smyth
Graduate in Tax
Why did you choose the Deloitte Graduate Programme?
Like many Commerce students, I was attracted to a career in professional services and having taken some tax modules I was very interested in working in tax. I applied to Deloitte for a number reasons but the biggest influence in my decision to choose Deloitte was my older brother, who had just come through the Deloitte graduate programme and had very positive things to say about the firm, the experience he had gained while working there and the friends he had made along the way.
He was also able to provide some valuable insight into a career in tax in Deloitte, the challenging work and the opportunity to work on your own client portfolio whilst also offering a great social side.
From my own research, I learned that Deloitte offered many benefits such as compressed working weeks throughout the summer months. In addition, Deloitte offered to sponsor the masters of accounting which not only gave me an extra year in college (which I think a lot of students would be happy with!) but also allowed me to obtain all of the CAP 2 exemptions, meaning I would have less professional exams to sit while working.
Finally, I had the opportunity to meet some Deloitte tax associates at a graduate recruitment event in advance of my interview and having spoken to them I was sure Deloitte would be a good fit for me.
What did you study in college?
I studied Commerce in UCD, graduating in 2014. I then went on to complete the Masters of Accounting in the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and graduated in 2015.
What did you find most challenging about the working world?
One of the most challenging things about the working world is understanding that different people will have different styles or approaches and adapting my own approach to work best with them. While working in Deloitte, I have worked with a number of different people across all levels and areas of the firm both in Ireland and in our global firm network and each time; I have had to think about how that person operates and how they might want to approach things.
Although this can be challenging, it also offers a great opportunity to learn from others and further develop your own professional skills and I have found that with good communication, an open mind and a positive attitude you can overcome the initial challenge and with time and experience you learn to adapt to each persons style while at the same time forming your own.
Do you have any mentors and if so what is their value to you?
I have been lucky enough throughout my time in Deloitte to have a number of mentors/role models and they have been invaluable to me. Particularly as I progress in my career, it has been amazing to have a group of more experienced people who have been in the same position as me to talk to about my career aspirations and get their guidance on how I can achieve them.
Deloitte promotes an open door policy and with that as an associate I have been able to develop great working relationships with people at all levels, meaning I can comfortably discuss my career goals with very senior members of the team who can provide valuable guidance based on their past experiences.
What is the most valuable thing you have learned since you joined the workforce?
One of the most valuable things I have learned since I joined the workforce is that you have to take responsibility for your own career and development. Working in Deloitte has given me the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects, allowing me to get great experience. However, it is important to remember that if you are interested in working in a particular industry or on a particular project, you should let people know.
Do not be afraid to take charge of your career and ask for experience in a particular area if it’s something that interests you. The opportunities are endless.
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you finished college?
One thing I wish I knew when I finished college was that no one knows everything when they start in a new job. You have to remember that everyone starting with you is in the same boat and there will be a lot of “on the job learning”.
Starting in an intake group means you start with a large group of people at the same stage as you and the graduate programme provides some of the best memories of your life! Following on from that, my one piece of advice to graduates would be to always ask questions. Never be afraid to admit that you don’t understand something because it will stand to you in the long run!
Find out more about a career in Tax.
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