Country of origin: United Kingdom
Jack spent his placement year as a Cyber Security Analyst with KPMG in London.
I chose to do a placement as I believed it would be a great career choice to go into industry for a year whilst still an undergraduate student. It would allow me to see if the job role suits me and if the company I would work for is a company I would like to work for in the future. It also has the great benefit of getting a years’ worth of work experience which should be beneficial when searching for a graduate job. I would also have the opportunity to expand my professional network through the people I work with and meet in my role.
My role as a Cyber Security Analyst was primarily to support team members with client work. At the start I was assisting in a project overseas where I was Project Manager Officer (PMO). My role was to manage finances of the project (invoicing, expenses, WIP, tracking budget, reporting to the client), stakeholder management, time management, change management, plus all the general administration activities such as taking meeting minutes. I was also able to get involved in the cyber security aspect of the project by assessing some of the entities cyber maturity levels. Since completing this, I have mostly been involved with Cyber Maturity Assessments for clients. This has seen me conduct interviews with clients, review security documents and create client reports. Outside of the client work, there are activities such as Business Development i.e. helping with bids, Service Development i.e. assisting with the development of a new service to sell to clients, volunteering i.e. I have taught schools on how to be safe online and general computer security and a lot of training.
I have had an incredible experience at KPMG. I have had the pleasure to work for a brilliant team who have helped me develop during my placement year and have made work something I want to do rather than need to do. It was drilled at me while applying at KPMG that their people is one of the things that make them stand out from the rest of the big four and I thought that was just them selling themselves. But in fact they are right. I have done things that I never expected to do on my placement year like work overseas, get involved with technical deliverables, attend conferences, help with graduate recruitment and be shortlisted for an industry award. I never expected to have enjoyed my placement year this much. I am now used to ‘getting things done’. There is no time to procrastinate on the job and this will hopefully transfer when I go back to university. In terms of helping with getting a job, I have one years’ experience working for one of the big four, this should hopefully put me at an advantage compared to other graduates who lack this experience. I have picked up many skills such as stakeholder management, interview skills, project management which will put me in a good position if I don’t get offered a job at the end of my placement.
Some of the talks during the preparation for placement module such as the placement of the year awards, helped with what I should and should not do during my placement year.