Emma

Summer Vacation Scheme

  • Mathematics
  • Durham University
  • Internship (1-4 Months)
  • KPMG

What initially drew you to KPMG's Summer Vacation Programme?

It was KPMG’s reputation within the accounting profession. As one of the Big 4 accountancy firms, I knew that any sort of work experience here would give me a valuable insight into the life of an auditor. The fact the internship spanned a good proportion (but not all!) of the summer in between university years was definitely a plus, along with being paid on a par with a graduate trainee, which definitely helped fund London living expenses.

“The key is to do any practice tests and keep up to speed with any current news, particularly anything that interests you”

What was the application process like?

Pretty straight forward really. There were a sequence of online forms and tests, followed by an e-assessment day at one of the KPMG London offices, which included an interview with a manager. It was slightly daunting, but definitely good experience. The key is to do any practice tests and keep up to speed with any current news, particularly anything that interests you. And no, it doesn’t mean you have to know the FT inside out.

Highlights of the internship?

For me, it was gaining such great exposure to the world of accounting, which included working for several notable clients, alongside obtaining first-hand experience of day to day working life in the country’s capital city. The people at KPMG are definitely its main asset as they are all very bright, enthusiastic individuals who are approachable, easy to work with and always open to any questions you may have. The firm is definitely a great starting platform for any accounting career.

“The most important thing to remember is to ask questions, however stupid you may feel they are!”

What did you learn and what your greatest challenge on the internship?

I was given responsibility from day one, which was scary as the work you’re doing actually matters, but you have to take charge and manage your time effectively to complete the tasks at hand. I always found trying to act confidently, even when I felt overwhelmed when talking to the client on unknown accounting matters, definitely helped me to become more self-assured. The most important thing to remember is to ask questions, however stupid you may feel they are!

Any top tips for a student interested in a placement with KPMG?

Although I did a Maths degree, people from any subject can enter the accounting profession. A key thing to note if you’re interested in joining, or at least experiencing, KPMG is to have a well rounded CV, so do get involved with active roles at university, such as sports teams or newspapers, as it’s always good to stand out within the interview process with interesting and unusual experiences. A positive, open minded attitude and a smile is also a must.

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