Name: Chetan Sharma
Age: 23 years old
Degree and university: Economics, University of Leicester
Work Title: Audit Department, KPMG
What do you actually do? My role involves going to a client’s site and helping the audit team to validate the information provided in the financial statements, and ensure the information is reliable. This is done by liaising with various departments within a firm, such as the sales team or finance team, and performing certain audit tests so that I can be comfortable that the information stated in the company’s financial statements is accurate.
Why did you decide to go into the Financial Sector? I chose to begin my career in Finance as I believe that it can lead to many career opportunities, and it is an industry which has so many facets. Working in Finance doesn’t necessarily involve being an accountant; there are so many other roles one can take up and this is extremely appealing to me.
How did you find out about your particular career? I looked at online graduate resources, and used the careers service at my university. I also attended several graduate careers fair to get an idea of what other options were available to me. In the end, I decided to apply for roles where I thought I would be enhancing myself and my career.
Would you undertake further education to enhance your career? Yes, I would undertake further training. In the future I would like to complete an MBA from a highly regarded institute. I feel this will help me if and when I reach a position of management.
What do you like most about what you do and are there any downsides? I enjoy meeting lots of different people at the clients I visit. The good thing with my role is that I get to meet the client every six to 12 months which means I can develop a good relationship with them. Working with so many clients also means that I am able to expand on my business knowledge and awareness.
The major downside to my job is the long hours that are required to be worked on some occasions. This usually occurs during the busy periods of the year which, in the first few years, will be three to six months of the year. You are rewarded for working hard though – there are many occasions to socialise with colleagues and clients during the year all at the company’s expense.
What skills do you need to succeed at what you do? You need to be naturally curious and inquisitive as the role demands that you ask questions and learn about the auditing process, and develop your knowledge of your clients’ business. You should also be confident and friendly so that you are able to speak to new people, and develop relationships quickly. A key attribute is integrity – the role demands this skill as a lot of trust is put on the work that you do as it can be seen potentially millions of people.
What advice would you give graduates wishing to come into this area? The best thing graduates can do is to research the sector thoroughly so they are aware of the different aspects and areas of the sector. The industry is competitive so you must be able to stand out from the crowd. Prior to an interview be sure you know how you will answer questions – above all do not lie during an interview as the interviewer will be able to spot this from a mile away.
Would you like to add anything? Apply early because you do not want to lose the option of applying to certain firms as they have filled all their spaces.