The stories of our IBFD/UvA Advanced LLM alumni

November 09, 2021 5 minute read

As a graduate of the Advanced LLM in International Tax Law, there are unlimited possibilities for career development. Dorothy Kangoro and Mehul Saboo describe their experience starting off as students of our IBFD/UvA Advanced LLM and then going on to land jobs afterwards. Click here for more information on our Advanced LLM and applications procedure.




Dorothy Kangoro

Why did you choose our Advanced LLM?
As a tax practitioner who was working mainly in Africa, I was keen to gain a more global perspective and I was looking for a world-renowned Master’s in international tax. Though I had several years of practical international tax experience, I wanted and needed to develop my theoretical understanding of the developing international tax issues, which were significantly challenging my practice. The international tax landscape was changing rapidly, and I constantly felt the need to understand these changes at a much deeper level.

I chose the Advanced LLM primarily for these two reasons. The LLM is ranked very highly, 7th in the world rankings of LLMs and recognized globally in International Tax. IBFD’s contacts, the advertised course content and teaching faculty only cements its reputation as an LLM with a global perspective. 

The fact that it drew students from countries across the world was especially attractive. The international nature of students gave me insight on how other regions of the world were dealing with contemporary issues and deepened my knowledge of other tax jurisdictions. On top of that, it allowed me to grow my international professional network. The fact that the courses were geared towards addressing both practical and policy issues, is another reason why I chose the Advanced LLM.

On a personal level, the LLM being offered in Amsterdam was the icing on the cake. Having visited Amsterdam years before, I knew it to be a fun, dynamic, and vibrant city, perfect for student life, with the added benefit of being home to several international businesses.

What subject during your LLM did you find most applicable to practice? Which principles that you learned during your LLM do you encounter more often in practice?
I found the Taxation of Business Profits and Companies and International Tax Law and Business - Problem Areas, Business Financing, Business Structures courses very applicable to my practice. These courses allowed me to dive deep into the current business environment and contemporary international tax business issues.

The International Tax Policy of States - BRICS and Developing Countries and the International Tax Policy of States – Developed Countries courses have especially served me well when working with tax administrators across the African continent. The perspectives and theoretical knowledge gained on policy issues are especially helpful when developing policies or guidelines for contemporary issues.

As an advisor to clients with cross-border transactions and intra-group transactions, the Transfer Pricing course was beneficial and, of course, very applicable. It provided insight into current OECD and policy initiatives and built expert knowledge of the OECD Transfer Pricing guidelines.
 
How did the Advanced LLM prepare you for your current career?
Before the Advanced LLM, I was an in-house tax practitioner, getting ready to make a career change. I intended to work with tax administrators/policymakers and develop my international tax practice. Thus, my career was shifting, becoming more oriented towards policy and tax strategy at a higher level. The Advanced LLM helped me prepare for this career change and continues to serve me well as I build my practice. 

The policy and tax administrative perspectives of the Advanced LLM provided solid grounding on the international tax issues that policymakers, drafters, and tax administrators face. The principles taught enhanced my practical knowledge, allowing me to develop into an international tax specialist.

 

Mehul Saboo

Why did you choose our Advanced LLM?
After comparing the Advanced LLM curriculum (including the various modules) offered by UvA/IBFD to other universities globally, I found the curriculum offered by UvA/IBFD to be better organized, detailed, and exhaustive. The Advanced LLM curriculum covers not only the various concepts of international tax law and recent developments within the same, but also European tax laws and Indirect tax. Additionally, the collaboration with IBFD and the access to IBFD resources as well as professors, made pursuing the Advanced LLM easier.

What subject during your LLM did you find most applicable to practice? Which principles that you learned during your LLM do you encounter more often in practice?
All the modules taught during the Advanced LLM were quite beneficial in further developing my knowledge and understanding of international tax law. However, I was glad that I could choose the Transfer Pricing (TP) module as it gave me the requisite insight into various TP concepts (both theoretical and practical) that I find quite beneficial since I currently work in the domain of TP.

Additionally, the principles of tax treaty application (permanent establishments, associated enterprises etc.) and its interplay with the TP concepts is something that I often encounter in practice.

How did the Advanced LLM prepare you for your current career?
The Advanced LLM is quite intensive and follows a practice-oriented approach. The lectures are always interactive, and professors discuss many practical cases. Further, the approach for examination is also heavily based on evaluating and assessing (hypothetical) case studies. All these factors encouraged me to apply critical thinking and thoroughly comprehend the issue or case at hand. These are essential qualities that I can successfully apply in my career currently.