Yes, I joined the Dubai office in 1996, but in 2003 I was given the opportunity to work in the London office on an 18 month secondment. It was a great chance to develop my technical knowledge and made me see that if I wanted to progress my career further then London was the place to do it. When I got back to Dubai I discussed the possibility of returning back to the UK with a Partner and as a result of his support I have been in the UK since 2006.
Financial services in London is more advanced and because it’s a bigger office you get to specialize. Another advantage is the range of non-Audit work that you get exposure to. But there are also benefits to working in smaller offices like Dubai. You get exposed to a huge variety of clients in different sectors — from small owner-managed businesses, up to large international banks.
I’ve never seen an organization where people are empowered so much — for example, if you come up with a good idea, everyone will get behind you to support it. If you spot something you think is wrong, senior people would say, “Okay, so how do you think we should change it? You take the lead.”
My experience here has definitely added to my confidence. One thing the Partners do really well is to put their confidence in you— you’re not afraid of doing what you think is right, which is fantastic.
Well, I wouldn’t mind going back to Dubai in the future and sharing what I have learnt. One of the great things about working for KPMG is that there are loads of opportunities around the world if you look for them.