A First-Class Experience

Tired but excited we arrived on a cold November morning to board our bus to one of the de facto capitals of the European Union. We arrived in the city of Luxembourg, which only has 6.000 inhabitants more than Maastricht, with significantly fewer students, and more tax law firms, ready to meet the first of our potential future employers. At EY we already learned a lot about the Luxembourg tax law system, its relation to other legal systems, and the work at a Big Four company. Over the first glass of wine of the evening, we were able to have further conversations about working at EY, the ethics of tax consultants, and life in the capital of the country with the highest GDP per capita in the EU.
After a short night, we hurried to meet our next partner for the trip: PWC. Many students from Maastricht have already been employed by the big four companies, so some of us were able to meet some familiar faces. During a healthy lunch, we were able to discuss the similarities and differences between the big four companies in Luxembourg. On our way to KPMG, we had to fight our way through a rainstorm, which evening apparently is not that uncomment for the city. When we arrived at our last stop, we received a very warm welcome from the employees of KPMG. They tested our knowledge with a few very interesting case studies about international and Luxembourg tax law. We gave our last energy reserves for that case study to make a good impression and made it back to the bus in the evening with the last of our strength. Luckily our bus driver was still at the peak of his performance, so we safely arrived in Maastricht. Tired, but excited.

Leon Duvinage

Luxemburg Trip

The yearly FIRST trip to the Luxembourg offices of the different Big Four houses is intended to provide an opportunity for both Maastricht educated students to get an insight into the corporate tax bubble we know Luxembourg to be; and for Luxembourg companies to advocate their practices.

But the bonding effect it has on the international FIRST students is hereby largely underestimated. The trip, historically fuelled by plenty of caffeine, liquid networking courage and an impeccable wardrobe, began with a full day visit to Ernst & Young. The EY Team consisting of many UM Alumi managed to run us through the majority of their tax teams in the span of multiple hours. Here, I would like to extend my best wishes to the EY catering team which provided us with a range of exquisite tiny baked goods. After some of my colleagues managed to get away with a new LinkedIn headshot powered by EY, the day ended eating and sipping away with the EY cohort at a bar in the inner city.

After we spent the night at the Hotel Parc in Luxembourg´s fine Belair quarter, the next day was spent getting to know the PWC and KPMG offices and their particularities. Whilst PWC made a point of us getting to know Partners and their recruiting team, KPMG engaged us in an interactive study session applying previously studied knowledge of ours and Luxembourg specific funds legislation.

All companies showed a great effort in bringing the lifestyle of the city as well as dynamics of the work there closer to us students. Many conversations led to interviews after the trip, with some students scoring a job offer.

On behalf of the entire international student body, I would also like to thank all Board members of FIRST, as well as the Committee for Internationals organising yet another successful trip to Luxembourg.

Liene Thielemann

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