How many applications did you submit for a graduate job? How many interviews did you attend?
I was very lucky. I applied for the KPMG school leaver scheme after I left school and was hired.
What was the most difficult interview question you have been asked and how did you answer?
I remember completely blanking at being asked which company I admired. I have no idea why it just completely threw me off. I think I stuttered through. It was the last question so I was convinced I hadn’t been hired!
Were you open about your disability during the application process? What support was provided to you?
Yes, I was always open. I didn’t do as well as expected in my A levels and this was partly due to health. I thought KPMG could give me opportunities that I may not get otherwise. I will admit I went back into the closet when I entered the workplace because I was scared people wouldn’t take me seriously.
What led you to this role? Why did you choose to join this organisation?
I had a friend who was on the course a couple of years above me and suggested it. When I didn’t get the grades for my first choice of University I was a little lost.
Tell us a bit about the type of work you’re doing at the moment; what are your day-to-day tasks?
My role involves a lot of project management and time management. I have to be very organised as I am managing multiple clients at once along with study to become a qualified accountant.
How do you manage your disability at work?
Most of my clients are either near my home or I stay in hotels. I get to work from home and when I need to and flex my time.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I enjoy the organisation side of the work and client facing side of it.
What about your job/organisation surprised you when you first started?
I can’t really remember. I had no idea what to expect so I don’t think anything massively surprised me. Maybe I am too used to everything now!
What aspect of the job have you found most difficult to manage? Is this affected by your disability?
The hours can be very long and this can cause my disability to flare. Auditing is a very intense career which can be difficult to manage if you have a disability to manage.
What is your organisation’s approach to disability; how has your employer helped you to do well at your workplace?
As an organisation KPMG are very proactive when it comes to Disability. They are always very responsive to new ideas and change in the workplace. They try and ensure they are a modern employer which helps employees with Disabilities.
What has been your proudest achievement since starting work?
I was really proud being made Co-Chair of KPMG’s Workability Network.
What do you wish you knew when you were at university?
I went to University alongside working for KPMG. However, I wasn’t very “out” with my Disability in my first year. I wish I had more confidence in my first couple of years to accept myself. I was a lot happier with myself when I did.
What advice would you give a student with a similar disability, who wants to pursue a career in the field you work in?
Be prepared. You are going to meet a lot of people: some are going to support you and some are not. Do not put up with the people who do not support you. There are plenty of people who will and those are the people you need to find and keep around.