I graduated with a degree in International Languages from UCD where I majored in French and German and minored in Spanish. I'm now one year into my grad career with the Forensics and Investigations team at Grant Thornton.
It was a big leap coming from languages and arts to a Professional Services firm but I’m delighted to say I really enjoy the work that I'm doing. I'd heard that Grant Thornton was a great and exciting firm to work for, and I've seen first hand that everyone is so friendly and relaxed. Even though we're busy, the atmosphere isn't stressful at all. Everyone is willing to help, whether they're a trainee, Senior or even Partner!
It was a huge change going from studying languages to working in Forensics and training to become a Chartered Accountant but actually, once I got into it, it's like learning grammar rules. There's a set of things you follow and learn, then apply to the work in front of you. Once I got my head around that, it made it easier!
My background in languages has actually really benefited my career, especially because my work as part of the Forensics team involves a lot of report writing. We often work on fraud investigations or loss of dependency claims and that means we've to do a lot of research and go through paperwork. Then we've to write up reports about what we found and have them ready to present to court. Perfect grammar and spelling is a must and my essay writing in college has come in so handy!
My background means I have a different way of thinking about things compared to others on my team. I approach things differently and offer a take on something from a slightly more creative angle. My team is made up of people with all different backgrounds, too and it's great to part of a team that has so many perspectives and skills.
At the moment, I'm the only trainee who came from a language background but I know this won’t impact my progression in the firm as many of my senior team members come from backgrounds that aren't accountancy.
Even though I didn't think I'd work as an accountant while doing my international languages degree, I’m very happy with my decision!