Grad profile: ‘You must be committed to putting in hard work’

UCC graduate Karen Nyhan is a first-year associate in transaction services at KPMG

Karen Nyhan, KPMG

Karen Nyhan, KPMG


Tell us about yourself, where you’re from and what you studied in college

My name is Karen Nyhan and I’m a first-year associate in transaction services, in the deal advisory function. I studied finance in UCC.

I’m from Kinsale in Co Cork, but Dublin has become my “home away from home” because of all the friends and memories I have made from my time working here.

How did you find out about the grad programme?

In my third year of college I completed a six-month work placement in KPMG transaction services, where I got practical insights into the graduate programme offered by KPMG from talking with other associates and through talks held by the business school.

I also had first-hand insight from my brother and sister who were completing the graduate programme with KPMG at the time.

What is the graduate programme like?

My experience since joining last November has been great. Although we all started remotely, we were provided with the support needed to transition into the firm as smoothly as possible.

We had two weeks of induction training, ranging from Excel and IT security to an interesting communication workshop and lectures on the fundamentals of audit and accounting.

In transaction services, we also had two days of specific departmental training led by directors, which was very useful and gave me a good in-depth view of the type of work I’d be doing.

Explain what the work experience was like

What I really like about working in transaction services is that no two jobs are the same, so you’re constantly learning and progressing in your career. I’ve worked with clients in industries such as food, waste and pharmaceutical, to name but a few. You would be working on jobs with clients that you would be familiar with, making the work even more interesting.

What do you plan to work on after the programme and why?

I’d love to travel and work abroad for a few years. After visiting Boston previously, I just fell in love with the city and who knows – maybe some day I’ll be working in the advisory department of KPMG’s Boston office!

What’s your advice to graduates applying to the programme?

You must be committed to putting in hard work, but also make the time to join the various social clubs within KPMG such as hockey, rugby, tennis, as some downtime is equally important and it’s a great opportunity to make new friends.

Make sure to always ask questions and for advice when needed. And finally, don’t be afraid to ask if you can get involved in an opportunity that is of interest to you because you may never get the chance again, so grab everything that comes your way.

- Shauna Bowers