27 June 2016

Image of Francis Starts Down the Business Path With Experience at KPMG

Global organisations like KPMG tend to get the pick of talent in the business world, so gaining a place on one of their highly selective work experience courses is no mean feat.  

Having just finished his AS Level exams in his first year with The Sixth Form College, Honours Programme student, Francis Canning, joined an elite group of budding businesspeople in Liverpool’s Princes Dock, home of international professional service provider, KMPG, for two days of talks and tasks on their two day 'Discovery' course.

Known as one of the ‘Big Four’ accounting and professional service firms, KPMG offers audit, tax and advisory provisions for their clients’ firms across the globe, and big business is where Francis sees himself in the future.

Francis, 17, said: “The experience was really beneficial overall. They gave us an introduction to the different sections of the business and someone from each section spoke to us about it, from the employee’s perspective. We were then given tasks to do, based on that, and generally in teams. There was a lot of business pitching, which was pretty nerve-wracking but as soon as you get into the flow of it then it’s fine!

“On the second day, we had to develop a financial plan and a marketing plan for a business, and devise what assistance and advice to give that business on the direction to go in.”


KPMG'S Liverpool base in Princes Dock


Choosing AS Level subjects of Business, Economics, Statistics and Spanish stood Francis in good stead among his peers on the course, which he admits he did well to get on considering the quality and sheer volume of competition. He discovered about the 'Discovery' opportunity through the Social Mobility Foundation, with whom the college’s Personal & Guidance Tutors work as part of the Honours Programme

He said: “I felt like doing Business at AS gave me a good platform for the whole experience. I could use terms and technical language, and knew about processes that could be used, so I felt more professional in that environment. The same is true of Economics too. I’m happy that the subjects that I chose are helping lead me to exactly what I want to be doing.”

Francis travels to Aberdeen at the end of July to take part in a summer school in the city’s university, again focussing on his chosen career path of business, and the KPMG experience has opened his eyes to options within the arena that he may not have previously considered:

“I’ve been set on the marketing and HR angles within business but, having had a hands-on experience with accounting, it eradicated some of the stereotypes and preconceptions that I might have had. We had the chance to network with the KPMG employees and they told us what they enjoy about their jobs. They loved that every day was different, working with different teams and face-to-face with clients, so it’s not just sat in front of a computer all day. Accounting does seem like more of an option now.”

With Spanish being another subject choice at college, Francis explained how he wishes to study International Business Management with Spanish at university in 2017, and how he hopes that his love of studying languages can be the extra string to his employability bow. In fact, he’s already spoken to KPMG about how linguistic skills can lead to secondments and opportunities abroad with the company.

Born and raised in Northern Ireland, Francis only settled in mainland Britain with his family at the end of August last year, just days before starting at The Sixth Form College.

Now wrapping up his first academic year in Wirral, Francis, who has taken part in volunteer work within the community through our Enrichment programme too, said: “In Ireland, I felt like I wasn’t taking advantage of the opportunities around me, but coming over here and finding The Sixth Form College has meant that everything’s fallen into place. I’ve been part of the NCS (National Citizen Service) programme and made some fantastic friends. I love it here and I’m so glad I came. I definitely don’t have any regrets about leaving Ireland.”

To read more on our Business A Level, click here.
Click here for more on Enrichment, and here for information about the specialist support offered at The Sixth Form College.

Tags: Business Economics Enrichment Work Experience Honours Programme KPMG

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