The payoff is worth it

Jul 02, 2018
Sinead Aherne, Associate Director of Tax at KPMG and Captain of the Dublin Ladies Gaelic Football team talks about the importance of pushing yourself in and outside of the office.

1. What advice would you give to your student-self as she’s about to take her first exams? 

Luckily, I obtained exemptions from CAP 1 and CAP 2 exams from my degree and masters courses. But having also sat tax exams through my training contract, it can feel never ending! Finishing your exams gives you a qualification that will stand to you no matter what you choose to do next. Organisation, discipline and drive will get you there, and having friends for support and as a source of relief helps, too!

2.  What was your biggest worry as a trainee and how did you overcome it?

I think most people can feel a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of knowledge, both in exam content and the work environment, that there is to learn! I don’t think you ever stop learning, particularly with the pace of change in the accounting and tax worlds and the variety of clients you may work with. Accepting that this is the case for everybody (regardless of how confident some may seem), doing as much as you can to absorb information and being in a learning environment with your fellow trainees and mentors to support you helps. 

3. You captain the Dublin Ladies Gaelic Football team – what is your secret to good work/life balance?

No secret really – I think everybody has interests outside of work and it’s important to have time away from work to switch off. I like the routine of training and having that push to get out for it. No matter what mood I’m in when I get there, I always feel better afterwards. It does take organisation and understanding from work and team management, but the payoff is worth it.

4. What has been the key to your success?

Be prepared to work hard, learn and develop good relationships.