It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, especially for someone coming into the field with limited financial and economic knowledge based solely on personal research. It was extremely varied and allowed people of all backgrounds to appreciate the opportunities for them not just within an investment bank but crucially within KPMG.
Every consideration was made to ensure we felt valued, acknowledged and included within the firm. The clear focus on inclusiveness and culture throughout the bank was clear to see, with all employees of all ranks engaging and communicating with us openly and honestly. It is clear they see the participants in the program as the future of the firm.
The insight programme was very much designed with training in mind and this was certainly the case; every question was answered and the time taken to ensure that each member of the programme was up to speed. This meant that, despite having different areas of knowledge prior to the program, we all left on a level playing field.
This is slightly ambiguous, as although the skills provided were crucial in pursuing a career in an investment bank, they are not necessary for my degree study. However it provided a good insight into skills and characteristics that are important to succeed and certainly ones that I will endeavour to maintain in my future study.
The strong focus on training was very useful and laid out clearly what we were going to learn and when. In addition to this having an overview of all the different divisions of the bank was very useful in outlining where best we could apply ourselves within the firm in the future.
I think the main take-away for me was the inclusive nature of everyone involved with the programme. It was very relaxed and the pressure was removed from the students, allowing us to enjoy spending time with others learning about the bank and really engage with the speakers. The culture of maintaining moral integrity is clear to see within the firm.
This program is very much designed to develop young students who have an interest in the financial sector into young professionals who can find a role within the firm. Although it is not convertible, they provided clear training on how best to approach future applications with the firm and included interview training.
Although this is a difficult concept to grasp in just one week, networking and listening with current employees allowed for some understanding to be developed. The work shadowing was a great insight into life on the trading floor and speaking to analysts who have been through the same process was useful in gauging how they found the transition personally.
It was clear to see from the outset and throughout the week that the focus on culture within the firm is massive. Although this is something often spoken about, the personable approach adopted by all the staff, speakers and trainers throughout the week was ubiquitous and very welcoming for all on the programme.
The content was very useful in helping to decide on future roles, with each division given a talk to explain not only what they do but the characteristics necessary to excel in each role. This allowed each attendee to visualise where best they could apply themselves within the firm and develop an interest in a certain area.
KPMG dont really pay or reimburse for such minor programmes such as this one, however after researching the internrt, there are other programmes which KPMG pay a very generous salary for and reimburse travel expenses too. Also, the expenses were not that high, which was a plus, trust me it is worth it for the experience you gain.
There were numerous opportunities for networking, not just with employees of the firm but also with the other members of the spring week. This included two evening networking events - one with analysts and other employees of the firm - and a senior networking lunch with lots of high profile employees.
These were very well run and very inclusive, with food and drinks provided and a bar in Canary Wharf hired out for the first one on the opening evening. It allowed for a lot of communication with peers and senior personnel and an opportunity to make contacts and learn firsthand about the firm.
This was not so much a focus of the week as it more looked at the inner workings of the bank and the different roles in the bank. However it was also clear to see the increasing focus on ensuring employees maintain a good work life balance both within the firm and the wider industry.
I would definitely recommend this insight programme to anyone considering a career in an investment bank. It is a brilliant eye-opener of not just what goes on within the bank but also where best you could apply yourself, highlighting roles many hadn't even heard of prior to attending the programme.