‘Continue to work on projects and hobbies outside of work’

My Career Path: Kim Au studied Business and Law at UCD before joining KPMG where she is an associate, risk consulting

Kim Au: ‘I wanted to work in a client-facing role and be able to constantly acquire new skills across different industries.’

Kim Au: ‘I wanted to work in a client-facing role and be able to constantly acquire new skills across different industries.’

 

What did you study?
I studied Business and Law in University College Dublin and graduated in 2018. I joined the KPMG Risk Consulting Graduate Programme in 2019.

What attracted you to your current role?
I wanted to work in a client-facing role and be able to constantly acquire new skills across different industries. I took part in a Consulting Competition during a summer internship, which sparked my interest in consulting.

It was also important to me to pursue a professional qualification to broaden my long-term career opportunities. The Risk Consulting Graduate Programme in KPMG offered the dynamic work environment I was looking for as well as the Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) qualification.

The most challenging thing about the transition to the working world?
At first, I found it challenging to establish a new routine. I was studying for the ACA qualification during the start of my graduate career. It was difficult balancing work, lectures, study, and socialising but eventually I found a schedule that worked.

Do you have any mentors in your workplace?
There is a strong culture of mentorship in KPMG. As soon as I joined KPMG, I was assigned a Performance Manager who helped me set out my professional and academic goals. We also have regular catch ups to establish my progress in achieving them as well as any other issues I might have.

There is also a buddy system. During my first week I was assigned a buddy, usually another graduate who has been with the firm for a year. I was able to direct any informal or general queries to them.

What is the most valuable thing you have learned since you joined?
The most valuable thing I’ve learned is the importance of being eager and having a positive attitude towards any task you are given - no matter how small they seem. Showing your colleagues that you are flexible, open to learn and willing to apply yourself to any situation will really stand to you and improve your overall experience in the workforce.

How has Covid-19 affected your start in the workplace?
I joined the graduate programme in 2019 and was lucky that my onboarding and training was done in person. Since Covid-19 restrictions have been in place, meetings and events have moved online. I much prefer in-person communication and I am looking forward to being able to interact with colleagues face-to-face again.

One piece of advice for new graduates?
Continue to work on projects and hobbies outside of work that are important to you, whether it is volunteering, sports, or something creative. I find it can really help add balance to your life, build a more rounded CV and provide an opportunity to socialise.
– Jenna Clarke-Molloy