One Step Further


David Rainey has taken the next step en route to the world of business by undertaking a Masters in the Smurfit School of Business, writes Zelda Cunningham.

What is your Masters degree?
I am completing a Masters of Accounting in Smurfit in Blackrock.

What does your course involve?
The course involves basically studying for two sets of accounting exams, which are covered during the course. I am in college from 8.30 am and I have lectures until 2.30 pm. They are just lectures for the exams such as lectures in tax, management accounting, company law, special accounting, a lot of auditing and a lot of training on computers to train you up for when you go into the offices one day.

We also do a lot of group projects. In fact, we had to do a project on our own recently and it felt strange without a group to bounce ideas off.

What will you have accomplished by the end of your Masters?
I will have covered the first two sets of accounting exams but I will still have to sit my final accounting exams (FAEs). Usually you do a Masters and then you do three years training and then you are a qualified accountant. During these years you sit the rest of the exams.

How does the financing of the degree work?
The Masters in Smurfit obviously aren’t cheap, but last year, the economic situation was completely different and the major accountancy and business firms were handing out sponsorship for masters courses. This year, there aren’t as many sponsorships going around, so it looks likely that the numbers for the course will be down next year. I got a sponsorship with KPMG, but the degree costs somewhere in the region of five figures.

What was your undergraduate degree?
I did a Bachelor of Commerce in UCD where I specialised in accounting.

Was your undergraduate degree helpful for your Masters?
My undergraduate degree was very helpful. The Masters is changing next year to only cover set two of the accountancy exams. In Commerce, we covered set one and in Masters we covered one and two of the exams, so it will be essential to have completed a Commerce degree before doing this.

Also, a Commerce degree well prepares you for the kind of group work you will be doing in a Masters like this.

How do you compare your undergraduate and postgraduate experiences?
I prefer Blackrock to Belfield. The business school in Belfield is less academic, Smurfit just feels more business orientated. Also there is a nice atmosphere here, there is a bigger community and it feels like you know more people.

Who would you recommend this degree to?
Any one who is interested in business or who might be interested in business, not just people who want to do accountancy. I don’t really intend on being an accountant in the long term, it’s just a really good business qualification to have. You can really go places with it. It is a very stable career path.

What’s next?
Well I have a three-year contract with the Accountancy firm, KPMG.

Will this prepare you for the world of business?
It will definitely help anyway. Nothing can prepare you for the world of business apart form practical experience in the field.