How to Balance Work, Life and Postgraduate Study, According to a PwC Manager

​Anna Trikoulis is a manager at PwC for the Private Clients business tax team. She was promoted to the role after completing a UNSW Business School Master of Taxation – and giving birth to her first daughter.

Postgraduate study requires a clear personal purpose and a strong commitment to improving your life. Anna found the motivation to succeed with her studies by bearing in mind several important personal goals.

“I wanted to get postgraduate study done before I started a family,” she said. She did - just. Anna gave birth to her first daughter after finishing her exams.

Anna was also motivated by furthering her career. Her work was supportive of her ambition – they provided study leave and covered some of the cost of her education. Her manager also organised her workload so that she wouldn’t be overwhelmed.

“I found the more I progressed in my career, the more difficult it would be to go back to study,” she said.

“After completing my postgrad degree, I was promoted, and I found that having that Master’s of Taxation really differentiated myself from my peers.”

​​

Anna said she was lucky to have support from her family and friends.

“I had my parents and my in-laws helping with the cooking, cleaning, washing. I just had to focus on work and study. If you’ve got kids, having that one day set aside where they can be with family so you can focus on studying makes it so much easier on yourself,” she said.

Anna set aside one day a week just for study. Other days, she would read notes while commuting to work. Postgraduate students have different time management strategies, but all use regular blocks of time that fit in with their priorities. This is easier to do with UNSW Business School’s online learning platform, which Anna found really useful.

“Because I was working, I could log in on my own time to listen to the lectures,” she said.

“The lecturers were very welcoming and approachable whenever I had queries about the course, and they kept me up to date with what I needed to do.”

The Master of Taxation online program includes regular audio conferences or webinars that usually take place during lunch breaks and after hours. The flexible self-study e-learning materials are supplemented with real-time conversations from leading tax academics and industry professionals. Students are also encouraged to connect with each other to build study groups and personal networks.

After completing my postgrad degree, I was promoted. I found that having that Master’s of Taxation really differentiated myself from my peers

Anna Trikoulis
Manager, PwC Private Clients

“The most memorable part of my postgrad experience at UNSW was the networking and the friends that I made,” Anna said.

“I found it really helpful with my studies to have a good network with other students. We supported each other with the assignments and study as well. We shared notes and ideas, so you don’t feel like you’re alone.

“At UNSW everyone’s really friendly and supportive and I just felt really comfortable studying here. I’ve stayed friends with some of the people I’ve met, and made close friendships with them, which has been really rewarding in terms of broadening my network outside the PwC firm. I’ve got friends in the industry that I can reach out to.

“I am a manager at PwC in the Private Clients’ business tax team. So I help private businesses and high net worth individuals with taxation affairs and I enjoy it. It’s why I get up every day and I’m really passionate about it.

“I was really appreciative that I’d started studying sooner rather than later.”