Tutor profile: Eleanor Poole CA

By Eleanor Poole CA, Tutor

10 July 2017

Eleanor Poole CA tells us how her mind turned toward numbers and tax instead of stitches and prescriptions. Here's why she values the CA and quickly made it her goal to become an ICAS lecturer.

From medicine to maths

I had always planned to work in medicine and become a doctor but I ultimately decided that wasn’t my calling. I spent weeks flicking through the multitude of university prospectuses and eventually I went back to basics and thought 'What do I actually enjoy doing?'. It was always my maths homework that I did first as a 'treat', so I thought, how bad could four years of that be?

Discovering the CA

In my third year of university, I decided to get some real world experience and, if possible, get an internship. I’d seen EY, KPMG, PwC and Deloitte around university, and the more I read about tax, the more I realised it appealed to my numerically-minded brain.

TPS was where I really started to enjoy my time at ICAS.

After graduating, I got a job at EY in Edinburgh in their Financial Services tax department. It gave me a great confidence boost when I passed the very first progress test, and when I got used to the pace of the work and volume, I became much more confident in my abilities. 

TPS was where I really started to enjoy my time at ICAS. When I tell my students how much I enjoyed TPS they just can’t believe me! However, I’ve always loved learning and every day at ICAS I would learn something brand new, something relevant to my daily life!

What I learned

I’ve certainly realised that I can handle more than life throws at me. With all the progress tests, mocks and so on that I undertook, other stress in my life sometimes seems not so bad in comparison. 

The CA also gave me a really well-rounded view of the world of finance and business, and I feel very informed when I read or listen to business and tax developments in the news.

Being part of a like-minded community is a really great leveller. CAs young and old can reminisce about courses they enjoyed, even if they are from totally different backgrounds or work environments.

Coming back to ICAS

After my internship at EY, I was offered a full-time job and worked there for four years after graduation, mainly with companies in the financial sector, as well as investment trusts and so on. It was a brilliant job and I absolutely loved the team I worked with. 

I didn’t want my whole tax career to be decided when I was only in my early 20s.

However, I didn’t want my whole tax career to be decided when I was only in my early 20s. Having a much more well-rounded view of the tax world was always something I had aspired to; I remember mentioning that I had always wanted to be an ICAS lecturer to my partner, and the next day, I checked the website and found a vacancy for a tax and finance lecturer. 

At the time, I was on a 3-month secondment to India and preparing and conducting my first interview over the phone with a five hour time difference was stressful, to say the least.

My second interview at ICAS was 15 hours after I had returned home to Edinburgh, but I was absolutely over the moon to hear I had been offered the job!

Advice to students

In class, if you don’t understand something, always ask! If it’s something that’s confusing to you, it’s probably confusing to someone else as well. Asking questions helps you and the other people in the class as well. No question is 'silly'; these are tough exams!

Doing as many questions as possible will be the best way to pass your exams. Reading the notes will help you understand the course content, doing the questions will help you pass.

Beyond the numbers

I am a big fan of theatre, as well as the opera - which is much more fun and less posh than it sounds! My husband-to-be is an actor and many of my evenings and weekends are spent running lines with him and watching him in shows. Also, my Netflix subscription is the most-used in Edinburgh!


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