Hello, my name is Alma Tarfa. I’m going into the final year of my undergrad in Mechanical Engineering in UCD. I’m currently placed in the Domestic International & Outbound (DIO) section of Tax at PwC Ireland.
The reason I applied for a summer internship at PwC was to get a different perspective on careers outside the Engineering Profession and to observe first-hand if I found it interesting. The fact that I got accepted into the internship program is pretty amazing.
Straight off the bat, engineering is an entirely different ball game to Tax. If there is one thing I have learnt in the past 3 weeks is that Tax involves a lot more understanding and reading and a lot less complicated calculation than my engineering mind has become accustomed to. There’s a running joke that engineers use calculus to relax. I don’t know how true that statement is but the lack of engineering based analysis is giving off a “you’re not in Kansas anymore” vibe.
My initial worry about starting the internship was that I was going in blind. I didn’t know what to expect and how far my abilities would stretch in a field where I had little to no prior knowledge. Speaking to a fellow engineering student that did the internship last year, I was told “They’ll tell you everything you need to know so don’t worry- Just show up looking formal and it’ll be grand”. And it certainly was, even now, when you are assigned to any work, the task is explained in such great detail.
I did not know anyone coming into the internship but there wasn’t anything to fear as all the interns are really easy going, hilarious and we are all generally in the same boat in terms of the internship. Every so often you get those “me too” moments about what university you go to, which county you are from or what you are doing during the weekend (which is generally going home for those of us that aren’t Dubliners).
The atmosphere here is really bright, friendly and welcoming. I feel like that’s a sum up of what working at PwC feels like. People work really hard but are so warm and optimistic whenever you approach them. Everyone I have meet has been pleasant and curious as to who you are and your thoughts on the internship, be it co-ops, assistants, specialists, managers, directors and even partners.
On the first day I meet with my buddy who is an assistant in the firm. A buddy is essentially the go-to person for any queries big or small (like locking yourself out of your voicemail….oh yes there is a phone).
All in all, I feel like my work demands now have a standard. If I don’t have 2 monitors, a swanky ID card around my neck , a landline and a free tea and coffee area, I’ll be pulling out Ms Twain’s hit song, “That don’t impress me much”.
There is so much to look forward to in the coming weeks and I’m so excited.