Creating a balanced life as a student

17 November 2022

Creating a balanced life as a student: a successful start to a career in tax, passions & hobbies, and why being organised is a must

Interviewer: Mădălina Lazăr, PR & Corporate Communication Executive

Interviewee: Iosif-Andrei Coman, Tax Trainee

As adults and full-time employees, creating a work-life balance is often a challenge, especially when children are involved, and sticking to a schedule becomes more overwhelming than flying. Yes, I know there are people out there who adore flying, just like my Interviewee today, but I am not one of them.

Now, imagine being a student, and having no balance whatsoever. You have to worry about classes, exams, roommates, co-curricular activities, finances, and personal relationships, in a totally new environment, where you need to take care of your needs, and not others. And then the time comes to get a job, so now you have a mentor, a boss, colleagues with different requests, and many, many tasks, that you need to prioritise. How do you do it? How do you find the balance?

Today, 17 November, we are celebrating the International Students' Day, and in Mazars, we wanted to discuss with our colleagues, who are students, and who are now at the start of their careers, as well as in their final years in university, to find out their recipe for balancing classes, work, and personal life. Our first Interviewee is our colleague, Iosif-Andrei Coman, who is a Tax Trainee, and who enjoys flying (I need him to teach me how), cooking, and of course, learning more about Mazars.

Iosif, tell us a little bit about yourself. What are you studying, and what made you want to pursue a career in tax?

Well, there is nothing that can surprise you about me. I am a 20 years old guy who is trying to become a better version of himself every single day. I have been in love with traveling ever since I was young, and this, I must say, is my favourite hobby. I enjoy reading, cycling, and hanging out with my friends, so basically, what every single teen nowadays likes to do. Regarding my studies, I am currently in my final year, graduating in International Business and Economics at The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, so I am a little bit nervous, but I am sure everything will work out just fine. I have to say that, I am a very curious teenager, and that’s what made me want to pursue a career in tax. It is just something that always fascinates me, whenever I hear my teachers talking about how taxes work.

Did you have a role model that influenced your decision to become a tax consultant or to pursue a career in financial services?

No, I didn’t have a role model that influenced me to take this path. However, as I learn more about this industry, I have the need to discover everything there is to know, and what better way to do that, than by being a trainee, and taking my information from the professionals near me? From my point of view, this industry will never get boring, and getting stuck in a routine is highly unlikely.

How do you spend your free time, and what are you passionate about?

Usually, my free time is spent together with my loved ones, friends, and family. I love watching a good movie, going for a bike ride, or just listening to some music. I must say that I am also an aviation enthusiast, but due to the costs, I can not fly as often as I would like to. I am also very passionate about cooking, trying so many new recipes, and creating delicious flavours every time. And lastly, and this might come as a surprise, I love driving, even when I find myself stuck in high-traffic jams, it just makes me feel free, and I also believe that it is a valuable form of therapy.

So, you are studying, working a full-time job, and also have quite a social life. How do you balance everything?

You have to be a very organised person to manage to balance both your professional and private life, especially at the beginning of your career, when you feel that you don’t have any time for yourself. However, you can work it out if you have the right people near you.

In addition, I would also recommend you to:

  • Create a designated study workspace, that you need to keep clean and organised. You could also create a board with important deadlines, inspiring photos, or encouraging quotes, to create a mindful environment;
  • Become a master of your time. I would suggest creating a to-do list, with work tasks, classes, study time, and recreation;
  • Take care of yourself. Don’t wear yourself down. You need to sleep and eat well, exercise and read a few pages a day, or watch your favourite movie;
  • Communicate. Either with your professor or with your boss. Ask for guidance or some more time to complete your tasks and projects;
  • Celebrate small wins. Start celebrating now, and don’t wait for your semester or financial year to end.

What would you want your superpower to be? How would you use it?

I think I would like to be able to read people's minds and see if a person tells the truth or not. I am a very honest person and I do not accept lies that will harm me or others. But I don’t think that I will use it every time. Just when I have that really bad feeling, or to see if my manager tells me I did a good job, when in reality, I probably messed up a few things.

If you decided to write a book, what would it be about?

Well, I think I would write a drama. I believe that it will be a more complex story, that will offer me the opportunity to work on character development and story structure. I will probably go for a sad story, that can be a lesson for all readers. I have so many experiences to share, from which I have learned a lot, and maybe others can learn from them too.

It’s been lovely talking with you. Let’s end this interview the right way. Tell me your best joke.

That will be a little bit hard because you don’t have the funniest person in front of you. Hmm, I think this is a good one: Why did the gym close down? It just didn’t work out. 

Thank you, Iosif, for this very interesting, and easy-going discussion, that I hope everyone will enjoy. To achieve balance, we must first create it. Even though this may be difficult at times, we must understand that starting small is preferable to not starting at all.