Corporate finance trainee Colm Farrell

Colm Farrel corporate finance trainee - Crowe Ireland

In conversation with Colm Farrell, trainee, corporate finance

The latest installment in our interview series that celebrates our employees and the careers they are building with Crowe. We talk to staff about what it is like to work with our firm. They outline the career opportunities that Crowe offers, our unique firm culture and the CSR and social programmes that staff run.

What was your primary degree?
My primary degree was Law and Accounting in the University of Limerick.

Before working at Crowe, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
My previous job whilst I worked in college was working as a lifeguard in a hotel. This job not only entailed watching over the pool, I had other responsibilities such as pool maintenance, teaching swimming lessons as well as covering reception.

What is it about a career in corporate finance that appealed to you?
My initial draw to this industry was for the fact I had always wanted to be in business and still hope to one day run my own. Accountancy gives you an excellent understanding of the basis of business and puts you on the right track to a successful future.

What does your job entail?
My job at the moment entails research into the hotel sector. Crowe has an excellent reputation within the hotel industry and many clients request our expertise when it comes to buying, selling or expanding their business within the industry.

I have also worked in audit for two years where I worked across a diverse spectrum of clients giving me excellent exposure to different businesses.

Describe a typical day.
My typical beings about 7.30am. Being prepared for the week on a Sunday night allows for the work week to run smoothly (i.e. suits and shirts prepped and ready, food shop done, etc.)

I walk to work which takes about 30 minutes. Once in work I have my porridge at the desk whilst catching up on emails and set a target for work load to be completed by lunchtime. I usually bring lunch in with me so I will eat that at 1pm and then go for a stroll to break up the day. Work will normally finish up at 5.30pm so post 6pm I am at home and have the evening to myself. Living and working so centrally affords me time to spend with friends enjoying “the big shmoke”.

What three words would you use to describe your role?
Investigative, structured and productive.

What is the most challenging thing about your job?
The most challenging thing I have found about my job since I began would have to be balancing the exams with work and social life. You must make sacrifices when delegating what proportion of time you give to your studies. This was new to me as I had never worked a full time job whilst studying before.

What do you like most about your job?
My favourite thing about working in Crowe would have to be the fact that I feel I can be myself in the working environment here. You grow as a person here whilst forging new relationships with not only co-workers but clients also.

How did you find working and studying at the same time?
As I mentioned previously, it was new to me but with a bit of structure and self-discipline you get used to the routine once you are organised with your preparation for the week.

What is different about working at Crowe?
The main difference I have found working with Crowe from other reputable accountancy firms is the potential of rotation offered to trainees within each sector we cover.

I have been lucky enough to work my first year in corporate finance and then be rotated down to audit for two years. I now have moved back to corporate finance after gaining exposure to an array of industries through my work in audit.

How has Crowe helped you in your career development?
Through working in Crowe the past three years my career has developed measurably in the sense the wide variety of jobs I have worked on. At the beginning of my contract it took a bit of time to get used to the processes and programs used in the company but within a matter of months I found myself working on projects directly with the partner.

I found this the most crucial part of my career development. Working with your partner you get an overview of projects and what tasks are involved with getting to the end line. Most projects are completed between your own team which boosts your ability to operate with others.

What are 3 words to describe Crowe?
Exposure. Experience. Enjoyable.

Crowe’s values are Agility, Curiosity, Affinity and Clarity.
What personal values define you?
Determination, Learning, Optimism, Adventure

Favourite memory from work?
The day we received our results for our FAEs would have to be my favourite memory from working in Crowe. It was a day filled with relief as well as a massive sense of achievement with the culmination of years of perseverance and hard work paying off.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?
“It’s nice to be important but isn’t it more important to be nice.” – Mr Loughlin, my economics teacher from school.

What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
I like to travel when I can or spend time at home in Galway.

What is your guilty pleasure?
I enjoy watching any sort of sport that may be on. If I can do that in the pub with friends all the better.

What is your hidden talent?
I can I can juggle as well as spin a ball on my finger.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?
I’m an early bird. I enjoy rising early on a Saturday morning and getting my jobs done so I can enjoy the rest of the day.

Colm is a third-year trainee in our corporate finance department.