I grew up on a tropical palm plantation in a small rural community called Bartle Frere (population is 137!) in Far North Queensland. At 17 I made the move to Brisbane to study commerce at the University of Queensland.
I studied a Commerce degree, majoring in Accounting and Finance. And I knew that I was interested in Mathematics and analytical thinking. However, I had little idea of what career path I wanted to follow. Throughout high school and university, I worked as an optical dispenser and thoroughly enjoyed being able to engage with different people and tailor a solution to each individual. Due to my time as an optical dispenser, I knew that I was interested in a client-facing career.
As such, in my penultimate year, I applied to several firms. All with different client-facing positions in mind so that I could try my hand at several opportunities. I was able to do a four-week internship in Audit and Tax with another firm. And while I enjoyed the challenges of both, I was still interested in using more of my analytical thinking.
I decided to apply to KPMG in the Corporate Finance division, and luckily the recruitment process was very smooth. I took the online test which was in the form of a game and then had a video interview. The video interview was by far the most difficult part of the recruitment process, as you cannot see whether the person on the other side of the camera is understanding the point you are trying to get across. I was so nervous that at one point I called the firm “KGMB”.
Despite my verbal flub, I was invited to an interview with two members from the teams I applied for. I went into the interview prepared to answer difficult mathematical questions and do problem-solving, however to my surprise the interview focused more on cultural fit rather than my understanding and experience, as they understood that as vacationers we have a lot to learn!
I was lucky enough to be able to rotate through three teams within Corporate Finance, allowing me to experience each of the team's work and culture. I was drawn immediately to my Infrastructures and Projects Group, particularly due to the focus on renewable energy and the cultural fit of the team. The number one pro of the job is that as a vacationer, undergraduate and now graduate I was given the freedom to take on as many challenges as I wanted, which in my case was several. While a con is that the learning curve is sometimes steep, I am given the flexibility to drive my progress to my areas of interest. Not only do I work in an extremely supportive, and friendly team I also have made some great memories.
I have been at KPMG for two years now since first walking through the doors as a vacationer. I can honestly say that every day brings a new task and challenge. In my time here, I have undertaken market soundings, prepared and presented strategic advice to clients, and evaluated large emerging energy projects. My latest challenge is learning to a financial model.
Ensure you research the different teams within an organisation to ensure the chosen team aligns with your interests.