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Thursday, 01 October 2015
Over the summer holidays, Sixth Form pupils Kate Ball and Abigail Harrison completed a month-long internship with KPMG in Manchester. The girls applied for the positions last year, competing against Year 12 students across the Boys’ and Girls’ Divisions for just two places.
Kate and Abigail reflected on their experiences upon their return to School in an assembly.
Abigail said, “After a challenging application process, an hour long interview and a written test, I was informed that I had been selected for the paid internship that would take place over four weeks. The internship consisted of two weeks within Audit and two weeks within Corporate Finance. I began the internship in Audit, and during the two weeks I was based out of office with a number of high-profile clients, which allowed me to see how KPMG interacts with different businesses. Audit also gave me a good knowledge of accounts and finance, allowing me to independently analyse financial data for clients.
“For the final two weeks, I was based back at the KPMG office, within Corporate Finance. I then specialised Merges and Acquisitions. A large proportion of my role within the department consisted of researching new client business, which was the aspect of the internship that I found most interesting.
“Overall, I feel that the experience has been really worthwhile. I have learnt a range of new skills and insight into what it is like to work for a world-renowned company. I would definitely consider a career with KPMG in the future, perhaps through the graduate scheme after university. “
Kate said, “An article in The Telegraph is where I initially heard about KPMG. The article spoke of the top higher apprentice schemes to apply for in the UK. Five key companies were mentioned, KPMG being one of them. Not long after reading the article, I discovered School’s close connection to the firm and was immediately interested when I found out about the internship they offer to Bolton School pupils.
“The application form was tough, asking not only for examples of when I have been innovative and have made an impact in a particular environment, but asking for my knowledge about the company, what I expected the internship would involve, and why I deserve this experience. After that hurdle came another: the interview, which was incredibly challenging. I was interviewed by two men, both very critical of my application, asking me to back up most of the statements I had made with more evidence and examples. A particular question I remember was being asked to ‘summarise current affairs in three minutes’.
“After the long course of the application, I found myself on the internship. The prospect of giving up four weeks of my summer to work 9 to 5 quickly sunk in. The idea was daunting. However, I can happily say that the experience I had with KPMG was one of the best things I’ve done.
“The invaluable experience gave me a chance to learn and develop so many skills. I had underestimated how important people skills would be throughout the experience, the ability to socialise with all age groups and finding confidence to voice my own thoughts or queries. Towards the end of my internship there, I found myself independently taking meetings.
“I feel privileged to have taken part in such an experience, and I would advice anyone who is eager to develop their personality and is game for a challenge to most definitely apply!”
For the past five years, KPMG has provided two internships to Bolton School Sixth Form pupils. The internship experience has the potential to provide a differentiating factor on pupils’ CVs and applications, and as well as providing a valuable insight into the world of business and finance.
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