Hi! My name’s Vimal and I’m a Graduate Risk Consultant within the Governance, Risk & Controls Advisory team at KPMG in Brisbane. I finished off my Commerce (Accounting) degree at the University of Queensland last year. During my time at university, I worked part-time at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) as a banking specialist, played multiple sports and was heavily involved in university societies/clubs.
Working at CBA during the Banking Royal Commission strongly influenced my decision to go into risk. I watched as the bank went through a complete overhaul and was completely captivated by the whole process. Upon doing further research, I found out that it was firms like KPMG and this industry that helped drive that change and knew instantly I wanted to be part of it.
I have a phenomenal work-life balance and I haven’t had to sacrifice any of my hobbies after starting full time work. During the work week I keep busy by exercising and playing video games. I’m a very social person, so come the weekend you’ll find me catching up with friends and out for a boogie when the sunsets.
I applied directly to KPMG’s graduate program in February 2019. I didn’t intern for the company or participate in a vacationer program. I went through three separate interview stages, the first of which was psychometric testing. KPMG uses a game-like format to make it more engaging. Overall this took about half an hour to complete.
The second stage was a video interview. I was given one week to complete it and used an app to record my answers and send them back. During the interview, they asked me things like “Tell us about a time you worked in a group environment and what the outcome was” and “Why do you think you’d be a good fit for KPMG?”. This part of the process was the most important by far as it gave me the chance to really let my personality shine through and distinguish myself from other applicants.
Finally, a few weeks later I received an invite to an in-person assessment centre during May. I had to complete a group activity and a solo interview with two senior managers from my team. The interview was very relaxed and wasn’t at all like anything I had expected. They just wanted to get to know me, and before I knew it, we were joking around and talking about our hobbies and commonalities. A tip I like to tell people is that if you get this far, they already want to hire you. They just need to make sure they’ll get along with you, as they need to work with you every day!
One day later, I received a very happy phone call to let me know that I’d made a great impression and they’d be very excited to welcome me to the team.
I work as a Risk Consultant within the Governance, Risk Controls & Advisory (GRCA) team. My team works in tandem with large organisations to identify gaps and risks in their processes and internal audit functions and then helps them to address these gaps, somewhat like glue.
Something that makes this job so great is that I get to do something different every day. A typical day involves visiting clients, creating detailed work papers and assisting senior team members to create business proposals and reports.
In the eight months, I’ve been here, it’s been an absolute whirlwind. I was only in the office for five weeks before KPMG asked us to work from home. This didn’t hinder my development whatsoever. All from home, I’ve had the opportunity to work on a new system relating to the government’s response to COVID-19, project manages a national client networking event and works on a wide-scale remediation operation for a large entity. I didn’t return to the office until August and now do a bit of both, working from home three days a week and then coming into the office for the other two days.
A word to the wise
I cannot stress this enough: take leaps and get involved. Play sports, work casually, volunteer for a cause you’re passionate about, join a social club or society. Long gone are the days when you would do a degree and finish with a job waiting for you. The competition in whichever industry you’re in is guaranteed to be vicious and each experience adds a further element of uniqueness that’ll make you stand out, whilst also teaching you skills that can be transferred in some form into a professional setting.
LinkedIn. If you don’t have one, make one. It’s the best way to show potential employers and future colleagues who you are in a professional sense. Nearly every professional has one nowadays and it’s the best way to find or create an opportunity for yourself. Search for an organisation whose values and morals align with yours, filter for people who currently work there and who you have a connection with (same school, university, etc..) and reach out to them! Most people are happy to have a chat and you never know – it could lead to something a lot bigger.