My day involves gathering and researching information, analysing the data and documenting the conclusions. I'm mostly in the Los Angeles office but also frequently in San Diego, where the majority of the real estate valuation group is based. I also have the opportunity to visit client sites to do inspections and conduct interviews.
After college I worked for a year and a half at a small middle-market investment bank, performing analyses and valuations in non-residential construction. I was attracted by the growth potential and interesting work opportunities at KPMG. Since being here I've had the opportunity to focus on three of our department's four disciplines, which has enabled me to gain a broad skill set. Now I'm on a Tax Trek.
It's a short developmental assignment within the Tax practice, to help further an individual’s understanding of working internationally — a 3 month exchange program where participants swap between member firms. So I'm in Buenos Aires for three months, adding to my knowledge of how different countries operate.
I have been fortunate to work with people who genuinely care about me as a person and want to see me succeed as a professional. I have had several mentors who have encouraged me to pursue my goals, take classes to enhance my skills and advised me when appropriate.
For me, I've learned that if you first relate to them as people, the professional interaction is a lot easier. For example, interviewing members of the management team when a hotel group was changing ownership, I realised many people were afraid they'd lose their jobs and were naturally hesitant to provide information. Connecting with them on a personal level, I was able to show they had no reason to distrust me and I was able to get the information I needed. Many of these people were able to stay with the hotels through the management transition, and I know if I ever need general hotel industry information, I have some strong contacts.
In Los Angeles, we organised an event at a local shelter for homeless teenagers, with strong support from our leadership. It gave our group a chance to bond outside the office and do something that made everyone feel good — because the results of our efforts were immediately visible and clearly appreciated. After our day's work, the shelter was clean, had new plants in its garden and was left with a full food cupboard from the generous donations of people at KPMG in the U.S.