Grad Profile: ‘Let your personality shine through in the application’
Aisling Byrne (23) is a second-year trainee on the Risk Consulting graduate programme with KPMG
Aisling Byrne: ‘One of the biggest advantages of the grad programme is that when I qualify I will have excellent work experience and a professional qualification.’
Tell us about yourself, where you’re from, what you studied in college?
“I’m from Dublin and I went to school at Loreto College St Stephen’s Green. I studied commerce for three years at UCD, and I also spent a semester studying at Singapore Management University. I really enjoyed living in a new city, and I probably developed my love for travel during this time, visiting many places around south-east Asia and Australia. I also studied drama from a young age and performed in many plays with UCD Dramsoc throughout my time at university.”
How did you find out about your graduate programme?
“I heard about the grad programme during my final year when I took part in the KPMG tax case study competition, which my team was lucky enough to win. It was a great way to meet people working at KPMG prior to the interviews and I really liked the culture they presented.”
What is the KPMG graduate programme like and what are the advantages of doing one?
“The mix of work and study is something that was a little daunting at the beginning. However, KPMG are very supportive with study leave and I believe one of the biggest advantages of the grad programme is that when I qualify I will have excellent work experience and a professional qualification. While the grad programme enables a strong social outlook among trainees, another advantage of the programme is the opportunity to work with senior management and get exposure to clients from first year.”
Explain the kind of work experience you did and what the course entails.
“After my exchange to Singapore in second year, I did a summer internship with the UK mergers and acquisitions team at an investment bank in London.”
What do you plan to work as after the programme and why?
“I loved living in London and would most likely consider moving back over for work when I am qualified. I have yet to decide in what area I would like to work after the grad programme, however, the range of industries and clients we get to work with in Risk Consulting is extensive and this will greatly help me to make my decision. So far, I have worked with clients on really interesting projects across multiple industries, including aircraft leasing, banking and retail.”
What is your advice to graduates applying for your programme this year?
“My advice to graduates applying for the KPMG grad programme this year would be – relax and be yourself! Most people applying for the grad programme will have a similar level of qualification, so I believe it’s really important to let your personality shine through in the application and the interviews.”