Hello, my name is Emma Costigan and I am currently on co-op placement in the tax department in Deloitte Limerick. I am a third year Law & Accounting student in the University of Limerick.
There are a number of reasons why I chose Law & Accounting in UL. I hadn’t actually studied accounting for my Leaving Cert, but was always interested in business, and from researching the course I learned that it wasn’t essential to have accounting experience. The potential career prospects offered from the course were more varied than those from a typical business degree. Also the chance to partake in 8 months of placement was very attractive to me.
My first exposure to tax was in 2nd year of college when we studied capital taxation. This mostly involved CAT and CGT. I really liked the variety of computations mixed with theory as it complemented my course extremely well. I had always liked maths and found the legislation easier to read due to my law experience. In third year, I studied income tax. I found this particularly interesting as income tax is probably one of the most common taxes people deal with in their day to day lives. After studying these two modules I was determined to gain experience in the tax world.
In September of third year I was fortunate enough to be chosen by Deloitte for an interview for co-op placement. Of all the big 4 companies, Deloitte was definitely the company which I was most eager to gain experience in. Not only is Deloitte one of the leading accountancy firms in the world, it is also Ireland’s number one graduate recruiter. Combined with an impressive list of award titles and the emphasis that is placed on workplace initiatives, I knew Deloitte was the firm I wanted to work for.
The first thing that struck me when I started my placement in January, was the friendliness of everyone in the office and their willingness to teach others. I had assumed that when working in such a big firm that new starters would be treated as a number and have little personal interaction with senior colleagues. Thankfully this is not the case in Deloitte. No matter how big or small your query is, people always take the time to take you through the work you’re doing – whether they are a trainee or a partner.
My workload as a co-op varies from day to day. While I mostly concentrate on income tax and corporation tax, there is a lot of variety from case to case. One day I could be working on a small local firm and the next a huge multinational company. This variation means that the work is always interesting and also allows me to get an insight into all different types of businesses.
I’ve also been involved in some small consultancy cases. I found these particularly interesting. Although difficult at first, it is very satisfying when the issue is worked through and can be presented to the client. These cases allowed me to get an in-depth analysis of particular areas of tax which I may otherwise not encounter in my day to day work.
Aside from day to day work, Deloitte offers loads of extra initiatives to support employees. In January the whole tax team took part in a get fit step challenge. This was a great way to get to know people as we were divided into teams and also encouraged us to get active at lunch time and after work. More recently the co-ops took part in a Design Thinking workshop in Dublin. Hosted by the UCD innovation academy, the day was designed to encourage us to think outside of the box and approach situations in ways that we would not normally think of. Another initiative is that of the compressed working week during summer months. This is particularly attractive to me as I am not from Limerick so it means I can travel home early at the weekend.
Overall, I would highly recommend a co-op placement with Deloitte as it provides excellent exposure to a career in tax. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience here and will definitely pursue a career in tax in the future.