“GETTING TO KNOW KPMG” OFFICE TOUR
Mishaal Mufti, BBA, 2020
During the evening of Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017, KPMG held an intimate session for selected Schulich students at their new Vaughan office. The session entailed a warm welcome by their personable staff which was followed by a tour of the breathtaking interior of the office. The night was then concluded with an intimate speed networking session. While the session was found endlessly rewarding for many, here were my three primary takeaways that made a two-hour session seem like a two days’ worth of learning:
- Make the most out of every aspect that is encountered.
Although the session was approximately two hours, being in the presence of what could potentially be your future, is an opportunity that certainly is not easy to come by. Therefore, use the cards that you have been dealt with and ask the questions you seek answers to most. It may come across as surprising, but gaining valuable insight from those with experience is a part of one’s learning experience that is often overlooked. Especially for an event of this nature, where one may become relaxed over receiving a valuable invite.
- Use an unexpected situation to your advantage.
During the tour of the KPMG office, my group was fortunate enough to cross paths with a KPMG partner. The partner, who coincidentally was a Schulich alumnus, was kind enough to sacrifice some of his time to answer some of our questions pertaining to the profession and provided thoughtful advice that truly resonated with us. Despite being unable to finish our office tour, the experience was extremely worthwhile nonetheless. Meeting a partner who goes out of their way to interact and answer the burning questions of young undergraduate students is not exactly an everyday occurrence. Thus, it was important that we made the most out of the experience.
- Don’t place too much pressure on yourself.
It is very normal to attend an event of this nature with a preconceived notion of having to stand out. We often forget that it is also important to embrace such situations in a way that enables us to genuinely enjoy the event. The pressure of having to “network”, becomes quite apparent due to noticeable behaviour patterns, such as continuously bombarding industry professionals with questions related to the profession or placing ourselves in uncomfortable situations. While it is important to do research on the firm and ask questions, it is vital to always stay aware of the fact that these industry professionals are unique individuals as well. Therefore, approach your conversation in a similar manner as you would if you were attempting to learn more about a person that you have met for the first time. The opportunity to display your research will occur as the conversation progresses and the other party begins to warm up to you.