We recently caught up with Subhodeep about how he secured a tax graduate role with KPMG, how Bright Network helped him with the application process and his top tips for members looking to follow in his footsteps.
What stood out to you about KPMG?
For me personally, KPMG stood out for three key reasons: the people, training and innovation. Having researched the company through their website, it became clear that the community at KPMG is incredibly tight-knit and supportive. The culture of the firm really made me feel like I could make a meaningful difference! In addition, as a Tax Graduate, I'll be completing various qualifications throughout the programme. Through these, I'm eager to build my technical knowledge and gradually apply what I'm learning to my workplace experience. I was also fascinated by the disruptive technologies being implemented at KPMG, including KPMG Ignition. Overall, it came across as a great place to kickstart my career as a graduate!
How did you build your commercial awareness before the interview?
I would say the most important place to begin would be to know as much as possible about the firm you've applied to - ensure you have a solid understanding of the work they do, not only in the division you've applied to but as a whole. I found that a great place to start was the company's website. In particular, it gives you a great insight into the different sectors and any recent news related to the firm. In addition, I would say the BBC Business and Tech pages are a great place to start building your commercial awareness, with insights into a variety of different industries.
What would be your top tip to members going through the application process?
My top tip would be to research! Doing as much research as I could meant that I was as confident and relaxed as possible throughout the process. Before my interview, I knew I had a good understanding of what the firm does, the work involved in the particular division I applied to and any relevant knowledge that may be useful during the interviews. In addition, it's also a good idea to understand what qualifications you may be working towards too. Coming from a non-finance background, doing my research gave me confidence that the soft skills that I've picked up during my time at university gave me a strong foundation in a career in Tax at KPMG.
How did Bright Network help you secure this role?
Bright Network has been a huge help throughout my time at university! In my first couple of years, Bright Network hosted a range of networking events that really helped me get an understanding of a variety of industries and what I felt passionately about. These also helped me build my network and speak directly to employees of some of the largest firms in the world. Also, without Bright Network's fantastic website I wouldn't have even come across the role that I managed to secure! It gives a clear breakdown of each role, giving potential applicants a better understanding of whether or not they'd be a good fit. The application process for graduate roles can be quite overwhelming at times - however, the Bright Network website has some great resources to make the process easier.
What’s been the toughest interview question you've faced and how did you tackle it?
I would say the toughest interview question I've faced was actually for this role at KPMG: "Where do you see your career in 10 years’ time?". This question threw me off somewhat, as I knew that I hardly had any clue! I tackled this question as honestly as I could - I knew that I wasn't sure exactly where I would be in 10 years, but I did know that the role I applied to would give me a great insight into a range of different career paths. As well as this, I knew that I'd be a great fit at KPMG in terms of culture too. Hence, I would look to work my way up the ladder and could see myself staying there for the long term.
Did you use Bright Network Academy in your career search and if so, how did it help you?
Bright Network Academy was such a useful tool, in particular with practising video interviews and building a strong CV. As I was sending off applications, I really struggled to get to grips with the video interview stage in particular. However, through completing the 'Acing an interview' and 'Tackling Virtual Interviews' modules, I became more aware of what to expect in these stages and how to prepare effectively. There is a huge range of resources available that are completely free, which gives some great advice and makes my application stand out!
What top three tips would you give Bright Network members looking to follow in your footsteps?
- Research, research, research!
- Always stay motivated and never doubt yourself - practice really does make perfect!
- Be proactive - start as early as possible!