Nick Gilmour, who left Bolton School in 1994, returned virtually to talk to Year 10 boys about his career in professional services. Nick recapped his studies at Bolton and, as a Winton lad, gave a ‘big shout out’ to anyone who catches the Eccles bus as he did back in the Nineties. He told how he initially wanted to study French at university but the course was full so he read for a degree in Business Studies and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Hull - which included a year in Sweden. While abroad, he had a great time, learning the language and some useful life experience but, he said, he only occasionally uses it in his work these days.
Fresh out of university and Nick started work with the Computer Audit department of Coopers & Lybrand in Manchester, later to become PricewaterhouseCoopers (nowadays PwC), as he said he knew ‘a bit about IT’. He talked about gaining a lot of valuable experience working in towns and cities across the North West - travelling to a variety of companies across all industries. After nine years of this, he moved to London with PwC, changing roles to work in financial services, a sector which he said he has now been in for over 15 years.
In 2017, he had the opportunity to move to KPMG in Canary Wharf and became Audit Director there, working with financial services companies – banks, insurance companies and investment management firms - to assess their IT systems, processes and controls.
He explained that essentially his firm’s work is all about generating trust – making sure other companies’ financial statements are trustworthy. It is their aim to enforce the highest standards. His job, which he said he loves, allows him to work with people from countries such as France, Germany, Italy, the US and Japan. He told of how KPMG takes on a wide range of people, including graduates and apprentices. Nick also related how he randomly and regularly bumps into people who studied at Bolton School!
Nick finished his presentation by answering a wide range of questions including: what are the soft skills that you have developed for your job, what are your average hours per week, what made you move from PwC to KPMG, what work experience did you do whilst you were at school, have you had much opportunity to travel, do you take many people on as apprentices, do you use your languages with your work (yes - French, German and Swedish are all really useful) and what, if anything, do you draw on from the degree that you studied?