Opening the doors to new career options

Apr 03, 2018
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Students and alumni from Trinity’s eight-month conversion programme, the Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting, tell us why they recommend it.

BY BARRY McCALL
Intense but rewarding and very enjoyable; that just about sums up the opinion of students and graduates of Trinity’s Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting (PDA). “I was quite surprised at how intensive it was,” says 2017 graduate Thomas Roche, “but I would absolutely recommend the programme. It’s definitely worth the time and effort.”
“It’s been a steep learning curve, but I absolutely love it,” says current student Gena Kenny. “The lecturers are absolutely brilliant and really supportive.”
The full-time eight-month programme is specifically designed for non-accounting graduates and fast tracks them towards a career in accounting by giving them skills in financial accounting, management accounting, corporate finance, audit, taxation and related areas. “The aim of the programme is to give students with non-accounting undergraduate degrees the skills to go on to further studies in professional accounting
or to pursue related careers,” says programme director, Neil Dunne FCA.
Another 2017 graduate, Shane Lennon, had studied agricultural science in UCD. “Following that I did work experience at Grant Thornton for eight months in their tax department and I was offered a contract and the opportunity to do the Trinity PDA,” he says.
When he started, he had a very basic understanding of accounting. “I could do a profit and loss account but that was about it. The lecturers were great. We had Cormac Lucey for Finance and he has become a hero of mine. Several of the lecturers went more advanced than the CAP 1 level, which meant you really hit the ground running when studying for CAP 2.”
He is now back in Grant Thornton working with the tax team. “I would recommend the programme to anyone with an interest in accountancy but who doesn’t have a commerce degree,” he adds. “You will definitely get a job coming out of it.”
Fellow 2017 graduate Niamh Lynch agrees. “I would absolutely recommend it. There were a lot of people on the course from science and arts backgrounds and they are all now employed.”
Lynch completed a business degree in DCU where she specialised in finance. “I had done a placement with PwC and they offered me a contract and to sponsor a further year’s learning with the Trinity PDA,” she says. “The programme was fantastic, we did case studies on real companies and this brought everything to life. I’m now back in PwC as a tax accountant.”
Current student, Colin Fahy, shares her interest. “Accountancy can come across as passive or a little dry, but this programme is not just ‘take out a book, read this chapter and do a synopsis’. We are doing cash-flow projections and learning about the operations of real companies. This will definitely help us in the future.”
The switch to accounting wasn’t a major leap for him as he had already studied finance at Maynooth University. “I did a work placement with Deutsche Bank in their tax department,” he recalls, “and I did an internship with PwC after that. That was where I heard about the conversion programme. I talked to Neil Dunne and went to the open evenings; that really sold the programme to me. Trinity also appealed to me because its business school is highly regarded with very impressive statistics. I already have a training contract lined up with PwC in their tax practice.”
2017 graduate Thomas Roche, on the other hand, studied earth sciences in UCD, before taking up the Trinity programme. “My stepfather is a Chartered Accountant and he suggested accountancy as a good way of getting into business,” he says. “Trinity came up while researching and it looked like a very good option. All the lecturers worked in accountancy and that brought a very practical dimension.”
He is now working as part of the audit team at KPMG. “I am working in the Harbourmaster Place office as part of a team mostly working on aviation finance. It’s very interesting as Dublin is the global centre for the industry. Everything is happening here. I would absolutely recommend this programme. The vast majority of my fellow students are now working in the industry.”
Gena Kenny also came from a different background. “I have a degree in physiotherapy from Trinity,” she says. “I worked for a year but felt that it wasn’t the career I wanted. When I decided to change, I found the Trinity PDA. I now have a contract with KPMG. Most people on the course have contracts already.”
 
For more information about the Post-Graduate Diploma in Accounting at Trinity Business School, contact the admissions team by email at business.masters@tcd.ie or by telephone at +353 1 896 2493.