Karen Lenehan, Risk Consulting Manager, KPMG

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What are your weekly tasks?

Half of my work involves visiting clients’ sites, assessing their procedures and making recommendations for improvements where necessary. The other half sees me helping clients develop financial models to streamline their business and produce financial results.

What’s it like to build a career in Risk Consulting?

I think the greatest misconception is that you’re a consultant from your first day. While you’re visiting sites and advising clients, you have to remember you’re there to grow. You work directly with partners and very senior people with years of experience, and you learn from them. It’s all about getting the most from the experience and learning as much as you possibly can. Only then will you reach the stage where you can work on site with your own clients.

What skills do you employ every day?

It’s all excel based. I’ve used the programme for every job I’ve worked on in KPMG, whether I’m just keeping track of my day or analysing numbers presented by clients. An understanding of Excel is essential as it’s a common language understood by both you and your clients.

What do you like best about your job?

I really like working and interacting with my clients. You come across different characters and learn how to handle them. I also love the variety, one week I might work on a process improvement job, the next a financial modelling job. That variety is a big benefit to me.

What advice would you give students?

I recommend summer internships, which give you a feel of what it’s like to work in an environment like KPMG and set your expectations at a realistic level.

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