How did you get started in your career and what drew you to KPMG?
I joined KPMG as a Graduate Trainee after leaving university with a First Class Degree in 2000. During my first three years at KPMG I studied for my Chartered Accountancy qualification, which I obtained in August 2003. I am now an Assistant Tax Manager with a portfolio of corporate clients for whom we provide tax compliance and advisory services.
I had always had an interest in accountancy, which was strengthened after speaking to Careers Advisors at university. From reading KPMG literature and other sources of information, the whole ethos of the Firm really seemed to stand out and the employees I met were very positive about their experiences. The Firm also showed a strong willingness to work with me in relation to issues associated with my disability.
How do you manage your disability at work?
Throughout my time at KPMG I have had full-time Support Workers to assist me in the office with administrative tasks and some personal care that I require during the day. This is funded by the Government’s Access to Work scheme. KPMG has also purchased a few small pieces of equipment for me (e.g. a cordless telephone, which I find easier to use than a standard desk telephone).
How has your employer helped you to do well at your workplace?
I can honestly say that KPMG has consistently provided me with all the support I have needed in relation to my disability. I believe that this support has been built on a principle of effective two-way communication between my managers and me, such that there have rarely been any misunderstandings on either side. One of the best examples of the Firm’s support and flexibility was the help that I received during the process of transferring between the Southampton and Cambridge offices, even though I was not in a position to give them any indication of timescales for my move.
How would you describe the culture at KPMG?
KPMG established an internal Disability Network for employees in 2005, part of which I now lead. I feel that this is helping to change the culture within the Firm in relation to disability.
What advice or top tips would you offer?
My advice for others:
- Don’t have any preconceptions regarding a particular organisation or a particular job. Roles can often be adapted where necessary and potential hurdles overcome with methods that you may not even be aware of (e.g. latest advances in technology).
- Be open and honest with your employer about your disability, but remain positive and focus on everything that you can do, as opposed to areas that you may find more difficult.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your employer for practical help where necessary. Recognising that you need some assistance to be able to work more effectively should be viewed as a strength, rather than as a weakness.