I very much enjoyed my 4 weeks with KPMG. My colleagues were exceptionally welcoming and went out of their way to ensure I felt part of not only the team but also part of the wider firm - putting me in contact with other departments to maximise my time with KPMG. As well as organising a number of social events to get to know one another outside the workplace setting also.
My colleagues made an exceptional effort to integrate myself into the team, always asking on what I was working on, giving feedback advice and thanks for the work completed for them. To add, it was always ensured I knew the wider context of the work I completed, to know how it benefited them and firm. When out in client meetings I was made to feel as an equal to my colleagues despite only being an intern.
My supervisor could not have been more welcoming. He ensured I felt comfortable in the business environment and kept in frequent contact to offer advice for ensuring I was making the most out of my vacation programme. He would often join the team and I for socials and lunch which was an excellent was of dissolving any feel of a formally structured hierarchy.
Yes I was always busy either completing work or meeting clients or colleagues of other departments. Weekly team meetings were held to check people’s availability to be offered new work during the week. A culture was instilled where my team made it very comfortable for me to ask for more work should I need.
As said, the team made me feel exceptionally comfortable. I was given a very reasonable amount of autonomy over the work I was asked to complete but was put at ease to know if would be reviewed by a more senior staff member before being used formally by the firm formally.
The level of training at KPMG is exceptional. The first week was almost entirely dedicated to training and was not only programme specific but some will be exceptionally useful in my day to day life; such as the more than meets the eye training which promotes equality in a professional environment but also improved my awareness of an unconscious bias. The programme also helped me improve my commercial awareness by further considering the relevance of recent news events to different areas of the business. Furthermore, getting hands on with work helped illuminate the transferable skills I have learnt from my degree - such as analytical and writing skills - and how the maximise them in the work place.
As mentioned everyone I met at the firm was exceptionally welcoming. Not only the cyber security team but also the wider tech department, HR and Norman (who was part of the lovely catering staff). People were constantly upbeat and chatty. Colleagues, despite how busy they were would always make time for you.
The tech vacation programme was very well organised. The first day was an induction out of the London office before I then travelled back to Manchester to work out of my home office. I was assigned a buddy Alex who was always happy to answer our questions and offer advice he felt helped him having also fairly recently joined the firm. The assigning of both a people leader and supervisor also helped structure the programme. Being given passport objectives was also a great way of the firm offering advice on the best way to maximise time on the vacation programme. Lastly, HR organising a vacation programme was an excellent way of socialising with the other tech, tax and audit interns.
The firm could not have done more to invest in me. The assigning of the buddy, supervisor and passport objectives instilled a great structure which provided clarity on who to contact and what to aim for during my time at the firm. Furthermore, the compulsory training modules also went a long way to help awareness of unconscious bias and how to beat conduct oneself in the workplace. But beyond this the culture and environment instilled by KPMG and my colleagues are went above and beyond to ensure I felt comfortable so I felt I could perform my best.
After completion of the vacation programme there is the potential for a conversion into a graduate programme. The position of this is currently under review and the firm advised us they are aiming to notify us of an outcome by September. Future employment with KPMG has been made to look exceptionally appealing by the vacation programme my time on the vacation programme.
The social scene among colleagues was perfect. There were first Friday drinks held once a month in the canteen with the entire firm. Furthermore the team also attempted a monthly social as well as a monthly conference call with the tech teams in the Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool office which included a quiz! Additionally, the vacation programme social organised by HR was an excellent way of integrating the interns; we were arranged into mixed teams and went to the escape rooms and then for drinks and nibbles after.
KPMG very kindly covered the cost of travel during the programme which helped encourage socialising during the vacation programme. The cost of living in manchester was also a lot more reasonable with London as there were multiple options of venues and activities for socialising which could either be expensive and fancy or more reasonable and low key.
Manchester has exceptional nightlife. Any night of the week there will always be something going on whether it be in the northern quarter, spinningfields, Deansgate, green quarter or even further out in Didsbury. There are a multitude of bars and restaurants as well as other activities which do not have to include drinking: such a baseball, darts, the theatre and much much more.
Yes there were multiple activities outside of work. As stated, HR organised a vacation programme social of escape rooms and then drinks and nibbles. The cyber security team also arranged a team social to baseball batting cages - they usually tried to arrange one social a month. During my time their the team were making plans for their team Christmas social also.