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KPMG Australia

  • > 100,000 employees

Lauren Gale

Every day is different, and I have become quite comfortable with not knowing what the next day is going to hold.

My background

I started university wanting to pursue clinical psychology. After a year, I wanted to branch out and decided to combine my Bachelor of Science with a Bachelor of Commerce. Whilst I enjoyed studying and enjoyed (most of) my subjects, my time at university was mainly defined by a variety of extra-curricular activities. I hosted a student radio show, performed in drama productions, competed in lawn bowls at UniGames, volunteered for a social enterprise in rural India, worked casually as a seminar presenter at high schools, and spent twelve-months studying abroad at Copenhagen Business School in Denmark.

After my year on exchange, I had a change of heart and decided I wanted to find a graduate job rather than undertake post-graduate study. After a lot of existential dread and fretting over what I “wanted to do with my life”, I started attending career fairs at university. I eventually attended a seminar on management consulting, and it piqued my interest – I loved the idea of working across a variety of industries to help solve a range of problems.

I took time to research different graduate roles at numerous companies and came across KPMG’s Health, Ageing and Human Services (HAHS) team. I liked that their consulting kept Australians’ wellbeing at the centre, and I saw an opportunity to work for a company that had a diverse and talented workforce.

Recruitment process

In regards to the recruitment process, the initial application involved answering short response questions about why I was interested in the HAHS team and KPMG. I submitted these answers along with my CV and university grades. I was then invited to complete an online assessment which, from memory, was quite challenging. It involved arithmetic, puzzles and a personality assessment.

The final huddle was a day of interviews at the KPMG offices in Barangaroo. Firstly, 8 of us were grouped together and given a case study to prepare. In the end, we had to present our findings as a team. This was followed by a two-on-one interview with a Director and Senior Consultant from the HAHS team. I was asked several behavioural questions and I managed to get creative with my examples – drawing from experiences in drama productions, volunteering, sport… It was a great day and I got to meet lots of university students in the same position as me.

My work

I started my role as a graduate consultant over seven months ago, but I still hesitate when someone asks me “What do you do?” Every day is different, and I have become quite comfortable with not knowing what the next day is going to hold. I have worked across a variety of projects in the private and public sectors, including projects in aged care, healthcare services, disability services and mental health. My team’s work mainly focuses on service system re-design projects, evaluations and program reviews.

KPMG has allowed me to rapidly build skills and expertise across these different industries and projects. The learning curve has been steep as a graduate, but it has also been incredibly rewarding. KPMG has allowed me to build important professional skills but has also fostered a positive personal experience. Whilst the work itself is rewarding, I have also had the opportunity to mentor high school students, attend wellbeing seminars and make some fantastic friends.

The best part about working at KPMG is the intelligent and hard-working people you work alongside. Everyone has a thirst for knowledge and an appreciation for what someone else can bring to the table. Even the most senior members of my team emphasise the importance of having a constant drive to collaborate and learn, and this sets a wonderful tone for the work we do.

A word to the wise

  • Focus on doing things you enjoy. Pursuing a range of hobbies, work experience and interests is what makes your time at university so unique and exciting. This will also help you gain a better idea of what you want to do after university, and how you want to spend your time.
  • Appreciate your own potential. As a university graduate, you are incredibly valuable to any employer. Seize that power and walk into an interview thinking “What can this job offer me?” instead of “How can I make sure I get this job?” Be active in researching what you are interested in and have genuine curiosity and enthusiasm for the roles you apply for.
  • Run your own race. Leaving university and starting your career is a period of uncertainty and change, and everyone around you will go at a different pace. Throughout your career (and life) there will be opportunities to compare yourself to others, and it is never helpful. I swear by the phrase “comparison is the thief of joy” – enjoy your own experience instead of focusing on those around you.