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University of Notre Dame Australia
Lucy studied Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Finance) at University of Notre Dame
What's your job about?
Grant Thornton is an international professional services firm that provides assurance, tax, consulting and financial services. I work in the Private Advisory team, which provides tax advice and services to small-medium sized enterprises and high net worth individuals.
Personally, I prepare the financial accounts and tax returns for family groups, which consist of various combinations of trusts, companies and individuals. Occasionally I will have to do research and calculations to assist my managers or partners to be able to provide clients with advice regarding their tax affairs or a specific transaction they have undertaken or are planning to, e.g. buying/selling an asset.
What's your background?
I grew up in Perth and graduated from High school in 2005. I completed my degree at University of Notre Dame in 2015. I started my commerce degree in 2008, did a full year of study, then took 4 years off to work full time in retail. I returned to study in 2014, whilst still working casually. I gained 9 years’ experience in retails working at Peter Alexander and Kitchen Warehouse (a homewares store), in various positions ranging from casual to assistant manager. I landed my current position by applying through Grant Thornton’s Graduate Job applications process. I started at the end of February 2016, almost 11 months ago. Taking the time off from my study, and returning as a ‘mature age student’, made me more focused and determined My break from university allowed me to gain valuable work, and life experience, that has helped me with my career.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
I enjoy the opportunity to interact with clients, this may simply include taking notes at a Manager or Partners’ client meeting or emailing/calling a client to discuss queries and issues relating to their tax return preparation. I love getting the opportunity to be involved in determining, and sometimes executing, the best resolutions for our clients; whether it’s to do with structuring their tax affairs effectively or being involved in their life transitions such as retirement or succession planning.
What are the limitations of your job?
There is pressure on me to work efficiently; when I first started out as a grad this was minimal, because I was learning the processes, getting used to the firm and managers. However working effectively and efficiently has become more important as I have gained experience. This can be quite difficult given the diversity of the clients I work on. There are also specific due dates and deadlines that need to be met that can add a lot of pressure to a client job.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
- Time management is really important. Learning good time management skills and utilising them at university will give you a strong foundation for when you start your career. There are deadlines and pressures at work and you may also be undertaking further studies, e.g. Chartered Accounting qualification.
- Ask questions! (at uni a new job or just in life!) Don’t be afraid to speak up if you don’t understand or don’t know how to do something.
- When you first start a new job take the time to get to know your co-workers, and not just other grads, but all members of the team. Take any available opportunities to socialise. You will spend more time with them awake than with your family and friends; among other benefits it’ll help when you need to ask questions!