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KPMG Australia

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  • > 100,000 employees

Unity Patterson

My whole team, regardless of level, is incredibly supportive of professional development in terms of ability to deliver, but also in coaching me on how to be a professional.

My background

My name is Matthew Roberts Clifton and I work as a Consultant in the People and Change team within KPMG’s Management Consulting Division. 

I chose to work within People and Change as I enjoy the variety of work across a range of different clients. I consider myself extremely lucky to be in the role I am in – the experience I have gained and the connections I have made to date are invaluable.

I was born and raised in Melbourne and completed a Bachelor of Business, double majoring in Management and Marketing at Monash University in 2019. 

Before joining KPMG, I completed two industry internships over my summer university breaks; one with a professional services firm within a similar service line and one with an ASX-listed insurance company working in group strategy and corporate development. However, through university and my internships I have maintained my role as the Head of Photography for a boutique creative agency; leading a team of passionate photographers shooting weddings, commercial fashion and various events across Victoria. Whilst COVID-19 has significantly impacted my ability to keep this up as a side project, I intend to continue with it throughout my future career. Working within this field has introduced me to an array of people and it has shaped who I am today.

Unbeknownst to many, I am of Aboriginal descent and within the work I do I seek to give back to the community around me. KPMG’s investment into the Indigenous business sector through Arilla and the newly formed KPMG Indigenous Services was one of the primary reasons I chose to work at the firm. There are so many opportunities you can pursue once you are in the firm – and this is one of the many opportunities I seek to explore.

Recruitment process

I applied for the Graduate Program through KPMG’s Careers webpage and was contacted within a few weeks to perform an online assessment and a video interview. After being successful in these stages, I was invited to attend KPMG’s Career Launchpad Event in Melbourne, consisting of a group assessment and an interview with two people in the Melbourne People and Change Team. 

Whilst full of nerves at the time, I knew KPMG was for me, judging by my experiences throughout the entire recruitment process. The Career Launchpad Event was a great opportunity to immerse myself within the firm and network with a range of applicants from different backgrounds who are now my colleagues today.

Throughout the process, I was fortunate enough to be engaged by one of KPMG’s Indigenous Experience Managers. This provided me with a point of contact to direct any questions I may have had about what was involved in each step. Despite having experience going through similar processes with other professional services firms, KPMG’s alignment with my values solidified my choice to join such an amazing firm.

My work

A large array of the work I do in People and Change is delivering transformational change projects to a range of clients across the public and private sector. Within People and Change, there is no typical workday. Every day is different, and I love it! So far, a large amount of work I have completed is within the strategic communications and leadership development space; extending across both public and private sector clientele.

Starting my role at the height of the COVID pandemic, I never expected that I would have been working from home for most of my time at the firm. Whilst I miss the face to face social connection of working in the office, I have never felt so connected to the team I work with. I am constantly working on different jobs and have access to so many opportunities across the firm which have allowed me to network with colleagues across Australia.

Everyone in the People and Change Team and the wider firm have been very supportive and willing to assist in developing my skillset. Everyone genuinely wants the best for you and are always willing to share their experiences.

Despite the ongoing challenges that 2020 has presented us, it has ultimately shaped the way we work in our new “normal”. Working in a team with many colleagues having young families, flexibility has always been accepted. Therefore, navigating remote working arrangements was natural to many within the team. Personally, I struggled to develop a stable routine when I first started my position with the firm. I didn’t know how to manage my work/life balance, and what working in a full-time capacity would look like working from an office; let alone from home! Taking advice from others assisted me in developing the necessary skills to perform my role effectively.

With the current climate continually changing, I plan to continue to adapt what I am doing, as I am always looking for ways to improve my working methods to be more productive. This year has proven what’s possible – and I have loved every minute of it.

A word to the wise

The three pieces of advice I would give to current university students are:

Network! Don’t just leave this to your last year of university when you begin looking for jobs. Get involved early, as you never know what opportunities may arise! You never know who you may come across later in your career.

Be open to new opportunities – approach all new opportunities with a ‘can do’ attitude. Put yourself out there and challenge yourself to try new things and envision unfamiliar work as an opportunity for growth and development, rather than something you may not be capable of.

Just because you’ve started full-time work, this does not mean you need to give up what you love. Work and/or study are just one part of what we do – take the opportunity to pursue whatever else may motivate you.