#GradStories Maria McAnearney, Risk Consulting Associate at KPMG Ireland.
What are the main tasks you do in a normal week?
A typical day at KPMG varies a lot, it depends on the project you're working on. Essentially what we mostly do is testing controls, writing work papers, identifying issues and advising clients on how to improve processes.
What skills do you need to be successful in your role?
The training programme at KPMG is so good that the skills you learn at university are less important than the qualities you gain as a person such as your willingness to learn. Excel is a very important skill to have but you will learn that through the training programme.
What advice would you give to a new graduate?
Talk to as many people as possible especially because we do the accountancy exams on our grad programme and there are certain things that I didn't know even from my year long placement about what the exam entailed exactly and the exemptions. So it's good to talk to someone who's been in your shoes.
How have you adjusted to working from home?
I was in the office five days a week on my placement which is lovely cause I love being in with everybody. When I started my grad programme we were in the middle of COVID so it was complete lockdown. Now we're hybrid so we're in about 2/3 days a week. I love the balance especially now as I'm getting a bit more comfortable in my role. I've been able to go to the gym un the evening. I used to be too tired from being in the office all day. But being in the office you do learn more, especially from your seniors and from observation.
What do you love about your job?
What I love most about my job is the people. Jobs in finance are fairly similar especially in grad programmes. But at KPMG, the people I work with are fantastic. I'm surrounded by a group of young people at the same stage, it's a great support network for your exams. I have met some of my best friends and the seniors really want you to develop and grow, there's a lot of support there.