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The University of Southampton
PhilosophyPart of Humanities

James Hobley BA Philosophy, 2012

Expatriate Tax Consultant

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Hi, I'm James Hobley and I studied BA Philosophy within Philosophy at the University of Southampton.

I was amazed by not only the wide-variety of modules and topics that were taught, but also the genuinely world-class lecturers that taught them and their real passion for what they do.

I originally chose to go to Southampton based upon the fact that they were the only Russell Group institution I applied for that took the time to interview me before offering a place. This was important to me as it showed that they really cared about the students they were attracting and wanted to make sure that it was ‘the right fit’ for both me and for them. After being offered an interview, I remember travelling to Southampton and being extremely confident, but in the moments that followed, everything I thought I knew before was challenged and to such an extent that I knew if I really wanted to learn, Southampton was the place to go. Although this was my impression beforehand, I was still amazed by not only the wide-variety of modules and topics that were taught, but also the genuinely world-class lecturers that taught them and their real passion for what they do. After my 3 years it seemed like we had covered topics that influenced every part of life and some of my favourite memories range from probing what leads people to hold a belief that they will win the lottery to debating why people find ruined buildings aesthetically pleasing. Southampton also gave me fantastic opportunities to grow outside of my academic studies and I was fortunate to be elected Academic President in my final year. In this position, I was able to be a voice for my fellow student and talk directly with the university staff and academics about what we enjoyed about the course and any changes that we feel should be made – at all times, they were receptive and respectful of what we said as course representatives.

After University, my first role was as an Academic Research intern for Alkoomi Ltd – a leadership consultancy based out of Eastleigh, Hampshire who work with some of the most prestigious clients in the construction, energy and manufacturing sectors. Whilst with them, I was tasked with delivering a research project that investigated the links between leadership and cultural change in addition to supporting Alkoomi with some of their broader consulting projects and workshops. On completion of my internship, I took a gap year in which I balanced a number of jobs (including copywriting, online marketing and business development work) with backpacking and I managed to secure myself a place on the Deloitte LLP graduate scheme. I started in August 2013 within the Global Employer Services department and, having now passed my professional exams, I am charged with advising and assisting on areas related to expatriate tax. My work ranges from delivering personal tax briefings, technical research and consultations for senior individuals of FTSE100 companies to advising multi-national companies on the implications of sending their employees on international assignments. Essentially, my work assists Deloitte’s clients with their need to adhere to complex tax legislation and help them manage their risk exposure by ensuring compliance in multiple jurisdictions.

On paper, the work I do now looks a million miles away from studying Philosophy but I find I use the skills I learned whilst at Southampton every day. The ability to reason, argue, analyse complex information and communicate in a coherent and lucid manner is utterly invaluable to what I do.

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