I'm a senior manager in Transaction Services in the Chinese firm's Guangzhou office. I work predominantly helping multinational companies and private equity firms evaluate their investment targets in the Greater China region. As the department head, I am also responsible for the overall management of the practice. Generally speaking, a typical day involves a lot of client communication and reviewing the work of my staff. I also travel a lot within the region, to meet clients and different people in the business world here. Perhaps less than 20 percent of my time is spent in my Guangzhou office.
I joined as a graduate. Among what were the 'Big Six' organisations at that time, I chose KPMG because of the friendly environment, well-structured and practical training and development programs, and the member firms' strong client base.
The training I received has helped me to get the required professional qualifications quickly and to acquire both the 'hard' and 'soft' skills needed for my daily work. The mentoring and coaching I received has given me practical guidance on work matters. Thus, I always encourage my team and myself to spend more time on training, mentoring and coaching junior staff, so that each member within the team and the team as a whole can grow faster.
I have found the training provided at KPMG in China is varied and very high quality. For graduates this includes the exam assistance program, followed by technical Audit training (what we called ‘hard’ skills), but also management and communication skills (what we call ‘soft’ skills).
I also gained invaluable experience in the audit of large enterprises of the People's Republic of China for Initial Public Offerings on the New York Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, prior to joining the Transaction Services Group.
In my view it is important to understand the business rationale behind what our firms' clients have done, what they are doing and what they are going to do, before thinking about how we can help them. Also, I believe we need to understand what is happening in the world and how it affects their business. Many of the assignments I have worked on have been for multinational companies investing in the Greater China region, so I have learnt how to prepare for discussion and how to structure a series of questions that help to dig out their concerns. I also learned the importance of networking and making strong contacts.
Given that I am usually busy and am frequently on business trips, I am a regular blood donor, as it does not take too much time. I also make cash donations to charitable organisations. While those in need gain from my donations, I gain more happiness from giving — it is a fair exchange to me!
'Work hard' is one of the keys to success, but don't forget your family and the community.