Degree: Management Science 2.1, Warwick University
Year of graduation: 2005
Occupation: Audit assistant in the infrastructure and government division of KPMG’s audit practices
What do you do in your job?
As an auditor, my job involves testing and investigating underlying records that constitute the statutory accounts for a company. I go to different companies, and gather information that is deemed necessary for my audit procedures. Then I assess the systems and controls within the company to make sure they are operating effectively. About 80 per cent of the time, I work at the company’s base, where I’ll stay working for two weeks through to three months, depending on the size of the audit and client. The rest of the time, I am based at KPMG, where I mainly do admin and training. Because our department is made up of about 120 people, there is a different mix of people each time you go to a client, depending on who is available and who has the necessary client experience.
What was your motivation in applying?
I come from an entrepreneurial background, and the experience I am gathering from my current role – learning all about how businesses work – will help me to set up my own business. Ideally, I’d like to do this in about 10 to 15 years’ time.
What did the application process involve?
First, I filled in an online application form. After this was approved, I was asked to do a numerical and verbal reasoning test, again online. Next, I was interviewed by an audit manager, and was then invited to an assessment day. During the assessment day, the first task was to complete an e-tray exercise. This involved being set up in a work scenario where I was bombarded with emails and I had to make the right judgements. Next, I had to give a presentation on a company of my choice. I was also interviewed about my motivation in joining the company. Finally, there was a group task, in which I and three or four other people had to analyse a case study and make a presentation on it to the board. Within about 40 minutes, KPMG told me I had got the job.
What do you enjoy about your job?
The networking that is an inevitable result of being based at different clients’ premises. Making contacts will help me in the future, and I like meeting so many people.
Most challenging part of your job?
At KPMG, you are given responsibility from an early stage, and you’re often left to work by yourself. That means the onus very much falls on you. The second biggest challenge is balancing work time with study time.
Any qualifications involved?
I’m doing the ACA qualifications, and should have finished all the exams by November this year. Because you need to have worked for three full years before you fully qualify, that will take me up to September 2008. The learning aspect of the qualification tends to take place in three-week study blocks, where I go to college from 9am to 4pm and then follow this with homework.
Advice to readers considering a career in your field?
Use the training contract as a scholarship, and make the most of the learning opportunity. The rewards you’ll get in the end are worth the time and effort you invest now.