Top 75 trainee interview: KPMG

To kick off National Apprenticeship Week, Zak Jakubowski talks to KPMG apprentice, Abdul Hassan who is currently on a six-year 360 apprenticeship at the Big Four firm

Hassan, 21, from London, joined the firm two and a half years ago straight from school and is almost half way through the 360 apprentice programme which runs for six years. For the first three years he rotates around service lines for six to nine months.

‘What attracted me to KPMG and accounting was the rotational programme which shows the entire business,’ explained Hassan.

'I did not know what I wanted to be when I was younger, but I knew I wanted to work in finance, and accounting.

‘It is one of the biggest accounting firms in the world and they have hundreds of different service lines. This programme allowed me to see different parts of the business to make up my mind.

‘I also like that the partners come from very humble backgrounds and it shows that anyone can make it right to the top at this company.

‘There is an initial application which is quite lengthy and then I had a telephone interview, followed by an assessment day at KPMG and a final interview.’

‘My normal working day is very varied depending on what kind of service line I am in, there is a lot of travelling involved for example in audit. You come into the office, catch up on your emails, have your meetings for the day and track your progress.

‘The different service lines are audit, tax, advisory and consulting. After the first three years you specialise in your given field and you work towards becoming a chartered accountant in the latter three years, then once you finish you qualify as an assistant manager.

‘I am currently still in my rotations and will be specialising come this October where I will hopefully be specialising in strategy consulting.

‘I have been in quite a few service lines, I have been in immigration, audit business and tax valuations.

‘At the moment I am working in strategy consulting which is boardroom and CEO advisory work. So at my level it is very research based. This means you might have expert interview calls with experts in the field.

‘There is usually a lot of travelling involved as well, my team always travels to Europe but I have not gone yet myself.   

‘There is a lot of pressure at times, it is not for everyone. Balancing work, exams and your social life is quite difficult and it is not for everyone. It can get quite tough sometimes – especially during exam season.

‘I am quite undecided if I want to be partner because it is a very demanding job and takes a very long time, I will know what I want to do when I am in a more senior role.

‘The end goal is to do charity work hopefully, before that I would like to start my own business and when that becomes successful do philanthropy work towards the end of my career. I was adopted when I was younger so I would like to work with orphans.’

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