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KPMG Australia

  • > 100,000 employees

Sarah McCague

We have all failed at some point, so if you don’t get accepted on the first try, brush it off and try again.

My name is Sarah. I completed a Bachelor of Law (LLB) at Murdoch University in 2016 with a focus on Criminal Law, Politics & International Studies and Security, Terrorism, and Counter-Terrorism. I studied European Union Law in Macerata, Italy for a month and I was the Murdoch University Law Ambassador. I have always had an interest in criminal law and the impact criminal events have on communities. I wanted to be a criminal prosecutor from the age of 12 and had every intention of practising until my final semester at university when I realised I enjoyed the theory and criminal psychology but not the court system.

I had worked for a telecommunications provider throughout university and assisted in developing and actioning store compliance audit plans. I was interested in compliance and the alignment to legislation but didn’t know where to go from there. I decided to go traveling for two months after university and met someone who worked for KPMG Internal Audit in Melbourne. He explained what he did on a day to day basis and it aligned with what I was looking for in a career.

I was accepted as a graduate in the Perth Internal Audit team in 2018 after applying three times to different service lines in Melbourne and Perth. Since my first day, I have been lucky enough to work across many clients and a wide range of jobs. The jobs range from straightforward compliance reviews though to risk advisory pieces for major mining companies. I have worked on jobs that require legal interpretation and an understanding of Native Title Law, both of which I studied at university.

I applied three times to KPMG and made it to the face to face interview on my third application. I had to complete a game and video interview each time. The video interview is probably one of the most awkward things you will have to do when applying for jobs. There is one minute to read and prepare your answer and two minutes to provide an answer. I found this part challenging on the first two attempts because I couldn’t gauge how I went or if I answered correctly. The face to face interview was with two Associate Directors in my team and they made me comfortable and at ease from the moment I walked in. I was asked about prior experience and my ability to problem solve, both of which are pretty standard interview questions. There were a few questions asked which made me stop and think, but I took a moment to collect my thoughts and was able to proceed. 

I work within the Internal Audit, which is a part of the broader Risk Consulting team in Audit, Assurance & Risk Consulting (AARC). As a consultant, I am responsible for assisting in the delivery of fieldwork and depending on the type of job, engaging with the client and preparing the deliverable. I am the Assistant Manager of a major infrastructure client and a small government client.

On a typical workday, I am at a client site discussing the controls they have in place to mitigate risks within a particular process, and assessing their design and operating effectiveness. I recently completed an engagement for a mining company that was considering closing its operations earlier than expected. We were engaged to complete a review of the controls they have in place to mitigate the impact this would have on other operations, their financial commitments and their employees.

Throughout my career, I have been exposed to a wide range of training from internal audit Methodology to Mining Foundations. I want to specialise in Risk and Governance services for mining clients, and the firm has been supportive in allowing me to explore external training services and Graduate Diplomas.

The best part apart of my team is the people. We are one big family and if I ever need support, advice or a chat, there is someone there to support me and provide guidance. I have gained exposure to clients and industries that I didn’t know I would have an interest in, and without the support of my team and the wider firm, I would not be where I am today.