What did you study? When did you graduate?
I am currently in my final year, studying Bachelor of Business, Information Systems (Applied) and I will be graduating at the end of 2019.
Where did you grow up? Can you tell us about your education and any previous work experience that led you to where you are today?
I was born in the Philippines and we moved to Australia when I was 11 years old. I’ve been living in Melbourne ever since and I’m very grateful for the experiences and opportunities I have received so far.
In Year 12, I knew I wanted to do business or law, however, I was not sure where my passion lay. Fortunately, I received an offer to study information systems at RMIT University. I found my passion for STEM, met a lot of awesome people, experienced different campus and networking events and also had the opportunity to participate in a study tour at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. Through this study tour, I learnt a lot about globalisation within the North American context, Canadian history and culture and also got to explore Ontario, Canada.
I was also a part of a cadetship program by Doxa Youth Foundation where they gave me an opportunity to start my career in the industry early. I started as a cadet for Doxa in 2016, where I mainly supported their customer-related management (CRM) system. A year later, I had an opportunity to write a proposal to Doxa’s CEO at the time, where I analysed their current systems infrastructure and devised a digital transformation plan. This secured me a part-time job in my second year as a CRM and IT coordinator. Fast forward to 2018: I had to complete industry-based learning (IBL), where I had to work for a year as part of my degree. Fortunately, KPMG’s Technology and Innovation team offered me a role as an IBL consultant.
How did you get to your current job position? For how long have you had it?
My information systems degree required me to complete a full year placement as a part of my industry-based learning (IBL). I applied for different organisations that were offering IBL roles for students and after two interviews with the Technology and Innovation team, I successfully secured the role with them. I was an IBL consultant at KPMG for a year. After my IBL contract, my team offered me a consultant role while I finish my degree.
How did you choose your specialisation? Were you weighing up any other alternatives before choosing this specialisation?
Ever since I was in high school, I always knew I wanted to get into business or commerce. I believe that businesses, whether small or multinational, are an integral part in the way our world works. When I was in the process of listing what degree I wanted to do, I knew that it would be a business degree, but I wasn’t sure which stream would be important for the future of work. From aviation to international business to commercial law, I had so many options to choose from. I then received an offer for the Bachelor of Business Information Systems at RMIT University.
From a basic business student, my degree has expanded my academic interests to exploring technology. I believe that technology is the future of our world as well as the future of work. I believe that through understanding both the business and technology sectors, it will allow me to take the first step and bridge the gap to connect the two worlds. I chose technology because I wanted to be a part of creating and ideating our future.
What was your interview process like? What kind of questions were you asked?
I had two interviews with the Technology & Innovation team. The first one was with a senior manager and he asked me questions regarding what I was studying, my current work experiences, why I wanted to work for the team, what I knew about the team and why I chose KPMG. My first interview was about getting to know who I was and my thoughts on the team.
The second interview was with two senior managers and they asked me behavioural questions concerning a time where I had a conflict with someone I was working with, what I think teamwork looks like, an experience where I was a leader and a time where I had too many priorities. They also asked me questions in regards to my achievements so far, as well as what I’d like to do as a hobby.
What does your employer do?
KPMG’s Deals, Tax & Legal division, Technology and Innovation team (DTL T&I) works with key stakeholders across deal advisory, tax and legal practice areas as well as the firm to build, deliver and incubate market-leading products, tech-enabled solutions and new services and capabilities, to help our clients and the firm transform their businesses. The team is a key focal point in the transformation of KPMG’s deals, tax and legal practices.
What are your areas of responsibility?
I assist the Technology & Innovation team with the development of new digital solutions and analytics offerings, through testing and recommending on ways to improve user experience and the user interface; the go-to-market strategy of new digital solutions; developing proof of concepts through business cases, and researching products in the market that can be leveraged by the business. I also coordinate and manage the delivery of KPMG’s technology initiatives and events such as Catalyst, AI and Ethics Forums as well as the Women in Tech Connect.
Can you describe a typical workday? What was the last thing you worked on?
I don’t necessarily have a typical workday; I work in a range of different projects and I tend to switch gears quite often, so it is never the same every week. I could be analysing a process optimisation opportunity, which involves investigating the process with the teams, researching and applying solutions to draft a mock-up interface, preparing a proof of concept presentation and connecting with leaders in the firm for validation. Another day could be spent in meetings managing the delivery of an event or initiative, where I have to make sure that the right communications are going out and each member of the project is getting the brief or updates. My role involves a lot of communication, critical thinking, business acumen and management skills.
I recently assisted on the KPMG’s Future AI Forum Australia, a platform designed to bring together leaders across business, technology, government and academia to explore the opportunity and challenges AI presents our society.
What are the career prospects with your job? Where could you or others in your position go from here?
What is great about KPMG is that there are so many career opportunities to take the next step. As a consultant, the more I excel and contribute to projects the more I could proceed to become a senior consultant leading engagements or deliverables for clients. There are also opportunities to be seconded to another team, division and even internationally.
What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?
I think something creative, like a pastry chef or a graphic designer. I love visualising ideas through colours, textures and art. I love designing and adding a creative flare to anything that I’m working on.
What do you love the most about your job? Which kind of task do you enjoy the most?
I love that my team allows me to not only work on challenging and diverse projects but also on what I’m passionate about. I’m working with some of the women in my team to launch KPMG’s Women in Tech Connect, an initiative to bring together STEM students from across different universities in Melbourne and Sydney, giving them an opportunity to learn about the work KPMG does in the Technology industry, explore the career opportunities the firm offers and meet representatives across KPMG’s STEM teams.
What’s the biggest limitation of your job? Do you bear a lot of responsibility? Do you have to work on weekends? Are stress levels high?
What’s different in my current job is that I am working on a variety of projects at the same time, unlike my first job in the industry where I was working on one specific project. With my role at KPMG, I am always switching gears. I could be working on testing a new product, assisting in preparing a go-to-market strategy, launching an event, analysing how we can improve a current internal process and so much more. It’s challenging but rewarding and working on numerous projects has taught me a lot about the different areas of the business, time management, responsibility and integrity.
Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current university student?