Caroline Heynderickx shares her experience.
I have a commercial role that focuses on business development and key account management. My function is multidisciplinary working mainly for advisory, and at times other KPMG services like tax, audit & accountancy.
I arrived at KPMG with 12 years of experience, with a financial background and have mainly been working in financial management – notably in the area of credit- as well as treasury management and this in various industries (textile, media, paper industry & retail).
I started at KPMG in 2000, working as a consultant in the department that, at the time, was called Financial Sector Advisory Services. This was a new service offering, which we started with experts recruited from the banking and corporate sector. I stayed at the company for 4 years. As it was a start-up and a developing department we spent half my time in advisory projects and half our time supporting Audit.
Part of me missed working in the industry, where I had worked for over a decade… I really enjoyed working for KPMG, I learned so much as a consultant and I was afforded such relevant insights, yet at a certain point I had the urge to return to the industry.
It’s remarkable what working for KPMG does for you, curriculum-wise. Once KPMG was mentioned in my CV, I was viewed differently. It really put a stamp of professionalism on it. While the other companies for which I had worked were equally professional - they were lesser known in the market.
I chose to go to work for Gouden Gids – now FCR Media – where I stayed for 4 years. Following which, I went to Norske Skog, a Norwegian company active in the paper industry. As Managing Director I was responsible for the Antwerp shared service center. Due to the collapse of the paper industry some years later we had to close down the shared service center and all the activities were brought back to the business units & sales offices.
At this point I moved to Delhaize, where I worked for 2 years as Interim Manager Credit & Treasury.
I had always been very fond of KPMG, even after I left. Knowing the level of expertise and quality its people can deliver, it remained my preference as a service provider. There’s a real warmth in the company. On top of that, its values I really appreciate.
I had always stayed in touch with people at the company. I also attended the alumni events, which were a great way to catch up with friends and ex-colleagues.
At a certain point, in 2014, I wanted a change. I was ready for a new challenge and direction in my career, outside of consultancy. My good contacts with the KPMG management got the ball rolling, which led me to a job in a new area: business development & key account management.
I think this job plays to my strengths. Business development is a commercial function, but I know the industry very well too. Having years of experience in corporations is a real benefit - knowing how they think, what they need and expect.
Also, I was already familiar with our company. I’ve known many of the people here for a long time and although things have changed over time, of course, the concept is the same.
The combination of these factors, the challenging job, great people and work environment, ensure that I love what I do.
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