Meet Ikechukwu - Manager, Athlete, continual learner.
Meet Ikechukwu - Tax Manager, Athlete....
Manager, continual learner.
Upon graduation, my dream was clear – To work in a Multinational organization that will provide a platform to work with strategic policy makers in the private and public sectors (in an advisory capacity). I was also keen on joining a team whose work culture and environment would support my personal and career development. I joined KPMG in 2007 and I must say that I have been wowed!
I began my career here as a Tax analyst in the Energy and Natural Resources unit of the tax division where I quickly learned how highly intellectual the KPMG working environment is. The pool was filled with people of diverse academic background who were very knowledgeable in their respective fields of study but yet had common affinity for excellence in consulting. It is a highly competitive environment yet the epitome of cooperation and team work. It is uncommon to bring up a client related issue in the KPMG pool and you would not have a person that has experienced such and would provide you with innovative solutions. The general camaraderie is second to none.
I have come to realize that the firm is quite dynamic and uses its resources effectively. If you are the passive type, then this may not be a place for you. 4 years into my career, I was moved to be part of the team that would start up our now burgeoning tax financial services unit. This certainly, was a challenge at the start, as I had to read a lot to learn about the industry within a short period to enable me supervise my subordinates effectively. Of course, the firm also provided the necessary support in the form of trainings. Just as I was about to shout “eureka”, the firm identified the opportunity in Tax Management Consulting (TMC) in Nigeria and decided that I should work with a partner to develop it in addition to my FSI responsibility. Following this, I was sent to KPMG UK on secondment to learn how TMC is being done in their Jurisdiction. My colleagues at the UK office were also exceptional in terms of knowledge and general work ethics. My experience while in the UK finally made me conclude that KPMG was really true to its mantra “to inspire confidence and empower change”. Being able to leverage resources in the global network of firms is something I can only describe as wonderful.
KPMG encourages innovation, leadership, team work and other attributes that would make its people stand out. Quite early in your career, the firm would begin to place some level of responsibility on you. For instance, as early as my second year in the firm, I had already started leading a team that could be as many as 4 people. The leadership attributes I developed from such trust bestowed on me at such an early stage in my career has continued to grow. By my seventh year, I won the KPMG leadership award for the tax division. Yes! There is a well-defined framework for recognizing and rewarding performance to encourage hard-work.
Despite the seriousness of the work, I still find time to have fun outside work. I still make out time to use the gym that is just across the street. Most of my close friends are friends that I made here at the firm, people with like minds and similar life aspirations. It’s remarkable that the gap between senior management and other staff is seamless. It is not unusual for a partner to stroll to my desk to ask for my opinion on a technical or administrative issue in order to reach an informed conclusion and vice versa. This open door culture has helped me improve on my self-confidence and has inculcated a sense of belonging making me realize that I am valuable to the team.
I could fill up a book with my KPMG story but in summary, the best days of my life started the day I accepted the offer to work with KPMG, I couldn’t have made a better decision!