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#WhereAreTheyNow: Nicolas’ story after KICC 2018

#WhereAreTheyNow: Nicolas’ story after KICC 2018

Nicolas participated in the KICC 2018. Following an internship at KPMG in Zurich, Nicolas will now go on a second internship at KPMG in Chile.

Nicolas participated in KICC 2018 and interned at KPMG Zurich and Chile.

To Nicolas, the KICC was “an unbelievably cool and totally unique experience”. After the KPMG Innovation & Collaboration Challenge (KICC), he joined KPMG Zurich as an intern in Financial Management Consulting.

Nicolas Schwarz presenting to an audience

You participated in the KPMG Innovation & Collaboration Challenge (KICC) in Kuala Lumpur, where you represented KPMG Switzerland in 2018. When you think back to this experience, what do you think of first?
I remember the mentality of the participants. And in my opinion, that’s exactly what is typical for KPMG as a company: They were prepared to give everything for several hours as they were solving the case studies and provide the best possible performance. But during the entire event, they nevertheless took the time to network with each other and to have fun. For me, it was an unbelievably cool and totally unique experience.

“During the case studies, we worked at peak concentration for several hours and gave our very best.”


Why did you participate?
I wanted to experience advisory services when it hits the ground in order to find out if it is something that I would enjoy doing in the future. Now I know: absolutely yes! My team colleague Oliver and I already applied for it in the previous year but did not make it into the final. This just made us all the more hungry to represent Switzerland in Kuala Lumpur at the International Final, so we tried again and made it!


How did you personally benefit from the challenge?
KICC allowed me to expand my skill set, also in business modeling. Through the challenge I learned a lot and gained even more self-confidence. Despite the fact that I had also presented previously as a tutor and at the military, KICC allowed me to improve my presentation skills. It also allowed me to explore new countries with friends (Singapore and Malaysia), get to know interesting people, make valuable connections and enjoy my time there.

“We had time to get to know each other better, to network and to have some fun during the entire event.”


Do you think the Challenge helped advance your career?
The Challenge was certainly a good jump-off point for my career as a consultant. After the KICC, I applied at KPMG Zurich for an internship in the Financial Management Consulting (Advisory) department. This gave me the opportunity to get involved in a Deal Advisory project for an international company.


So what does your professional future look like?
Before going for a Masters at HSG this fall, I will start an internship in the Valuation Team of Deal Advisory at KPMG in Chile. The reason for this is that at the International Final, I got to know the coach of the Chilean team. In the first challenge he saw what I can do, and he encouraged me to apply for an internship with him if I felt so inclined. Needless to say, I did that.


So what kind of advice would you give to a future KICC participant?
It’s a competition. If you want to get to the very top like the Swiss team did last year, be sure to prepare well and practice your presentation skills. However, once you have solved the case, mastered the presentation and impressed the judges, get to know other teams, enjoy the good food and relax. Be innovative and not overzealous — it’s the only way to have time to “think outside the box”.