Global

Makgotso 

  • Service: Advisory
  • Level: Partner
  • Joined: 1998
  • Location: South Africa

Makgotso:

My work involves setting up and running program management offices to advise our firms' clients embarking on large scale business transformation initiatives, aiming to increase their chances of project success. Typically I spend my days discussing progress with clients and following up on key decisions, then communicating details to my team and providing guidance. Teams range from between 3 to 12 people. At the outset I'm about 90 percent at the client premises, reducing to about 40 percent as the assignment progresses and the team is firmly settled.

 

What attracted you to KPMG?
I joined KPMG in January of 1998 and that was after doing three years of vacation work with KPMG. During my first year of vacation work, that's when I decided that I wanted to join KPMG and the main attraction to me was really the culture, the relaxed culture, the nature of the people and also the genuine interest that people seem to take in you as a person.

 

How have you benefited from KPMG's learning culture?
KPMG really provided a learning environment for me. The mentoring and the coaching, both informal and formal, that I got from the senior people that I used to work with really made it conducive for me to pave the way to becoming a partner. And also the formal training that I received and the courses that KPMG sponsored on my behalf really helped me to become a partner.

 

What do you gain from charity/community involvement?
KPMG does a lot for the community and it gives its people an opportunity to participate both within company time and also during our own personal time. So I participate a lot in those initiatives that KPMG undertakes — but also on a personal basis I do have my own charities that I support. Mainly, I support the community where I grew up and my family still live there. It's a disadvantaged community and I try as much as I can to give something back.

 

What would be your advice to today's potential applicant?
So my advice would be to keep an open mind, acknowledge what it is that you do know, and what it is that you do not know, and just basically be a sponge. Be willing to absorb as much learning as you can. But at the same time, also act as a mentor and a tutor to the people that are coming on after you. There's so much that you can learn out of that.

 

How important is work/life balance to you?
The way that I try and create a personal work/life balance for myself is when I know that there's busy periods or a tight deadline coming up, I try and use the quieter periods to do personal things so that it balances out with the busy periods.

 

What key lessons have you learned from work with our firms' clients?
What I have learned from working with clients is, firstly, I realize every client is different, every situation is different and one has to adapt to the client situation. For example, you have to adapt to their culture, their way of working, their work ethic. But the biggest thing I've learned from clients is just learning about their business, learning the different industries; and also you realize how much you actually do know by imparting your knowledge and just being an anchor of information for clients, who often look to you for answers to their business problems.

My work involves setting up and running program management offices to advise our firms' clients embarking on large scale business transformation initiatives, aiming to increase their chances of project success. Typically I spend my days discussing progress with clients and following up on key decisions. Then communicating details to my team and providing guidance. Teams range from about 3 to 12 people. At the outset I'm about 90 percent at the client premises, reducing to about 40 percent as the assignment progresses and the team is firmly settled.
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