Country of origin: United Kingdom
Jake worked as a Technology Consultant with KPMG for his placement year.
Doing a placement year gives you the benefit of 12 months of full-time work experience, which makes you more employable than the average graduate when it comes to graduate application season. If you perform well in your placement, you can also be offered a job after graduation, which takes away the stress of applying to multiple graduate roles in your final year.
Since starting at KPMG, I have worked in two distinct roles. The first was an audit project with a multinational banking client. The technology consulting team at KPMG are brought in to test that software used by the client produces the correct figures. My second role was an IT transformation project with a leading national insurance client. KPMG were bought in to first find all of the IT issues that were being experienced at the firm and then assist in solving them. A large part of this was to support their creation of a risk universe, where all of their IT risks were documented in an organised way. My placement experience has been exciting, fast-paced and informative.
At the beginning of my placement, I felt a little out of place however, you soon realise that everyone has a lot to learn, and most of your learning comes from absorbing the knowledge of other’s whilst on the job. Working on client sites and interacting with clients on a regular basis definitely has its challenges, but making genuine changes to a company is exciting and motivating work.
Upon talking to the partners, it became very clear to me that KPMG are trying to create a culture of openness and knowledge sharing that drips down from the top. From my fellow graduate trainees to the partners at the very top of the firm, everyone is open, reliable and happy to share their experiences with you. It is the kind of culture that is exciting to be a part of, and makes you want to get involved in everything that KPMG has to offer, from client work to extra-curricular activities. My experience has been extremely positive and has definitely helped me to decide what I want to do after I finish my degree.
KPMG has supplied me with over three weeks of training sessions since I started, covering multiple topics. I have improved technical skills in programmes such as SQL and Excel, but have also had a lot of training in soft skills such as interviewing clients and data collection. Over the summer, I also began my CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accounting) qualification, which upon completion will give me a certificate-level management accounting qualification. This will help me in any role that I pursue beyond university.
The LUMS Placement Team were also highly available to talk to me during the application process, providing me with advice throughout my time in Boston College, USA. The MNGT150 course in particular is fantastic at preparing people for the workplace .