Senior Associate Consultant, Tax
Back when I was in university, I did my internship with PwC, and I enjoyed the work culture and environment. However, as an accounting major, I knew that audit was not where I wanted to build my career. In my final semester of university, I took the taxation law paper and to my surprise, I enjoyed the subject very much. The fact that I did really well in the subject also inspired me to consider a career in tax. That’s how I ended up being a tax consultant at PwC.
Into the company
Although I was PwC’s former intern, I went through the entire application process as I was looking to get into a different line of service (previously I was in Assurance). After I submitted an online application for tax, I went through the group assessment and I passed. I was then called for an interview with the managers from the tax department and they are now my senior manager and partner. I talked about why I wanted to join the tax department and shared my strengths and weaknesses. The interview was also my chance to find out about the type of work involved in tax. I received a call from the HR team about a week after my interview and was told that I got the job! There are many buffer periods between each stage of the job application, so remember to be patient and wait.
When I first joined tax, I did more tax compliance tasks which mainly involved the preparation of tax computations and tax returns. Now I have moved on to more advisory jobs which include incentive applications, tax audits and dispute resolutions as well as general advisory work. While advisory seems like a pretty glamorous job, my formative years in tax compliance was necessary to build the foundation in tax and to familiarise myself with compliance matters. Without the basics, how could I be a reliable consultant?
One of the PwC values that we uphold is “Work Together”, which encourages collaboration and sharing ideas with one another. To work together, communication skills and teamwork are definitely important. In tax, however, there are also elements of independence that is required when carrying out tasks or researches and being able to convey the outcomes to the team. Hard skills, which is the technical knowledge required in tax, and the ability to retain them is also important.
Then and now
There is definitely a big change between the freedom as a university student compared to being a working adult. It did not help that I started working and doing my professional exams at the same time. It definitely took some getting used to. However, with my peers being on the same boat, we were able to motivate each other and learn from each other’s experience, which was definitely helpful. I was also very fortunate to be staying at home even as a working adult, so at least I had one less thing to worry about; cooking dinner!
Work-life balance: ★★★★
Travel opportunities: ★★
Professional development: ★★★★
Personal growth: ★★★★