My name is Daniel and I am a current KPMG360° apprentice. I have been at KPMG for just under 2 years. Throughout my time at the firm I have found myself exposed to many departments including corporate Audit and Financial Services transfer pricing. Below is a brief outline of my journey to KPMG, with some personal tips I found useful when entering the world of full-time employment.
Decision making process
Throughout my time in 16-18 education, I was always interested in what it would be like to experience the world of work in a professional services company. I was lucky enough to be provided with the opportunity to complete a 2-week placement at the Financial Conduct Authority where I was given tasks of collating information together whilst learning about the different roles which were available within the business.
Once this 2-week placement had finished, I was sure an apprenticeship was for me and this is where my hunt began to find the right apprenticeship for me. I began with researching the firms which performed activities relating to accounting. I really wish when completing this process that I had been exposed to the findapprenticeships.co.uk website as there is all the information you require in one place, rather than spending hours trawling through businesses websites to identify suitable options.
From the research I had been conducting, I produced a shortlist of 6 business who I could see myself completing an apprenticeship with. I then began to work upon the various activities and tasks which were required to go through the application process. I feel a very key area when completing these applications is preparation. You really need to make sure you have all the information you require in one place so that you can be ready to complete the application, due to some applications having limited numbers and places and so are given on a first come first serve basis.
Then came the interviews, I attended KPMG’s interview first and was very nervous. I walked into the interview with a bank of scenarios in my mind which I could draw upon when asked to tell the interviewer about a time I had completed a certain task. I feel the preparation I completed, with the wonderful support of the staff at my sixth form college, meant I was prepared for the questions I was asked. I would say this is your time to shine and so make yourself stand out; you need to think of scenarios which will make you unique when compared to the other candidates who are applying for the same apprenticeship. I’m lucky enough to have participated in fly fishing at an international level and therefore this was an experience which I feel helped me to stand out from the crowd and I was able to draw upon experiences I had been through during my time in the team.
The phone call
I still remember the time I received the phone call informing me I had got an offer from KPMG. I was travelling on the district line back from college and remember my phone ringing. I was over the moon to receive my first confirmed offer from KPMG. After this I decided this was the firm for me and I withdrew from the other application processes. I honestly can say that still to this day I am glad I took the opportunity to accept an apprenticeship at KPMG and hope that the experience and enjoyment I have had in my first years continues into the future.
For me, the toughest challenge working for a large firm such as KPMG is the sudden responsibility for your own time and work. When you are going through education there is always a set pathway which you follow, and which drives you towards your end goal of sitting the exams. Within the world of work you could have several tasks in which you need to complete for different individuals and you need to design a strategy to ensure that all of the deadlines can be accomplished in order to provide the client with the information they require.
I find at KPMG that there is a very good support network, which results in a well-balanced work environment. There are times which I feel my personal life has had to go on hold due to exams and work, however I feel this is a minor payoff when you are getting the experience of working for a big 4 firm. The experiences of a big 4 firm are unique, whether it is being involved in hosting conversation’s with senior members of FTSE 100 companies, to collaborating with a team on an innovative new product which will be unique to the market.
Throughout my time at KPMG I have found myself moving in various locations around the United Kingdom including Southampton, Cobham, Liverpool street, Paddington and Hammersmith. The opportunity to travel to different parts of the country is a part of the job I really enjoy because you get to experience different parts of the country which you may not have seen if not working for a big 4 firm.
My top tips for people looking at entering an apprenticeship are:
- Take every opportunity which arises - Whilst at KPMG I have been given the opportunity to lead conversation’s with clients. The ability to host conversations with senior individuals at such a young age gives you confidence to host formal conversations around topics which you may not have thought you had the confidence to talk about yet.
- Always prepare yourself – I have found being prepared and organised the key for being able to work effectively. I feel you need to be able to produce a flexible plan. This flexibility in the plan enables you to be able to adjust to client needs whilst being able to identify the order in which tasks need to be completed.
- Always build your network – Your network of contacts is a tool which you will never know when it will come in handy. I have found myself in many scenarios where I am needing to ask my contacts for support and if you have developed your network effectively the individuals will be more than happy to help you. This help can prove vital at times, and if completed effectively your network will also reach out to you for advice.
If you are interested in learning more about KPMG and the apprenticeship programmes we offer, as well as our application process then please take a look at our website which will provide you with full details: https://www.kpmgcareers.co.uk/apprentice/applying-to-kpmg/application-process/
Our 2021 Apprenticeship programmes will be opening up later on in the year, and so to be the first to hear when our applications open then please sign up to our Talent Community found here.
Thank you for taking the to read my article and please feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn with any questions regarding my journey through KPMG.
If you have questions in relation of the application process please contact KPMG’s student recruitment at firstname.lastname@example.org