Graduate profile: ‘Take time to learn about the firm’

As part of Irish Times Grad Week we spoke to Gráinne Ryan, from Co Meath, who studied PE and Irish at UCC. She currently works with PwC in Cork.

Tell us about yourself, where you’re from and what you studied in college

I’m 27 and from Co Meath and I’ve been in Cork for eight years. I studied sports studies and physical education with Irish in UCC. I’m an associate in the risk assurance services practice in the PwC Cork office.

What attracted you to the grad programme?

I was initially attracted to the PwC grad programme because I was looking to get a business background and I thought a Chartered Accountant qualification would give me a good basis.

I knew that PwC had a great reputation for grad programmes that would help me succeed in my exams and where I would get great experience and training to build a career to reach my full potential.

What is the graduate programme like?

The PwC graduate programme is really interesting and supportive from day one and offers graduates great opportunities across all the spectrums of business including advisory, auditing and tax.


With a huge variety of clients from multinationals to Irish indigenous companies, the work is really interesting and challenging. You get responsibility from day one with a team of people.

The work environment is also really inclusive, engaging and flexible where you bring your best to work each day and really feel like you own your career journey.

How important is mentorship to you?

From day one you are allocated a ‘buddy’ who ‘minds’ you through the programme and continues by your side as you progress in the firm. Your coach is there to support you and look out for you, giving you guidance on your exams, career goals and progress as well as how to build your network and any other areas you need advice on.

It’s also a great way to carve out time to think about areas you’d like to get more experience and what skills you’d like to develop.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

I’d like to have passed my exams and have got some really great experience with a variety of clients. I’d like to continue helping companies make a difference to their businesses.

What’s your advice to graduates applying to the programme?

The programme is competitive, so don’t forget to include experiences or achievements outside the world of business that set you apart from the crowd. Take time to learn about the firm - their website is excellent - and through word of mouth and ensure you have all important information on your application form. - Shauna Bowers