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Growing up in Lithuania, Gabriele used to ‘play’ with the receipts and invoices from her mum’s hairdressing business. “I loved analysing numbers. So, with my family’s encouragement, I came to the UK.”
It wasn’t easy. Studying in a new language, only to not quite make the grades she needed. “That setback motivated me. I worked even harder, got the grades I needed, then started at KPMG on the 360° apprenticeship scheme a year later.”
Now Gabriele’s started a mentoring scheme at the college, in Tower Hamlets, London, where she studied. She speaks regularly at careers fairs about her experience and won BPP’s Level 5+ Apprentice of the Year in 2019. “I’ve faced a lot of challenges. I talk openly about them, to give others the confidence to succeed.”
A setback can be a gift.”
Rosie worked as a music teacher before she joined KPMG. So when a colleague told her about National Numeracy Day she jumped at the chance to get involved. She was one of hundreds of people who volunteered in schools, helping build children’s confidence in numbers. “It was great to join up what I knew from teaching with what I’m learning as I become an accountant.” Above all, Rosie wanted to encourage the children she spent time with: “Maths might not seem relevant to them now, but there are lots of ways they can use it in their life.”
KPMG is one of the founding supporters of National Numeracy Day. It encourages people to boost their confidence with numbers as poor numeracy can have a negative impact on people’s lives and the wider economy.
I wanted to show how I use maths in my life.”
As a director in our Restructuring practice Neil is used to handling complex problems. Until this year, distributing leftover food hadn’t been one of them. But it was one part of the challenge when KPMG was appointed as joint administrator to the Jamie’s Italian group of companies and a number of restaurants closed.
On the day of KPMG’s appointment, delivery vans had already arrived at those 22 restaurants. Nearly four tonnes of good quality food was going to go to waste. So the Restructuring team found a charity, who took the ingredients off their hands. They turned it into the equivalent of 8,900 meals for people who needed them.
Neil said “The administration was challenging for all involved but this has been a great positive, providing food for those less fortunate. It was an opportunity to make a big difference.”
We spotted an opportunity to make a big difference for people who needed it”
Jack, a computer scientist on our graduate scheme, is helping the NSPCC keep children safe. As one of 113 volunteers from our cyber security practice, Jack coordinated a day-long event that gave the NSPCC access to our firm’s expertise. The team helped the NSPCC understand the ‘Internet of Toys’ and the risks children face when playing games online. Having tested the toys – and revealing issues with their security – the team then created an assessment framework for the NSPCC to evaluate the safety of connected toys.
The NSPCC is KPMG’s national charity. By the end of September 2019, people like Jack spent nearly 1,000 hours supporting the NSPCC, through pro bono volunteering.
I really enjoyed it, and I’d definitely do it again.”
Yasmin attended KPMG’s Audit University for the second time this year. The three-day residential course is not your typical training course. It sees all colleagues, including partners, come together to learn new ways of collectively improving audit quality.
“I liked that there was a mix of experience. It enabled us to get many different perspectives at once.” Our auditors are introduced to new tools and tech which will help them improve the quality of our audits and the efficiency of our delivery. And it’s social too. With 700 new colleagues joining our Audit practice this year, there are plenty of new faces to meet.
We are all personally driving the change to improve the quality of audits.”
You’re unlikely to meet Mark if you visit one of our offices. His team work behind the scenes on the firm’s energy use.
Mark’s proud that in every KPMG site where we work directly with energy suppliers, all of the electricity used comes from renewable sources. And three of our offices have an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating (a third-party assessment of the sustainability performance of a building). That doesn’t stop the team from coming up with ideas of how to reduce our carbon footprint further, though.
This year’s achievements include installing energy-efficient LED lighting in our London office and finding a partner to recycle worn carpet tiles; they previously went to landfill. “We’re always looking for ways to improve. Even as our headcount’s increased, our energy consumption has gone down.”
We make little adjustments that have a big impact.”
Josh trained, and worked, as a marine biologist before joining KPMG. He taps into his team’s insights on recycling trends to help clients create and implement a plastic circular economy. “KPMG has huge convening power. We can get clients, supply chain experts, retailers, institutional investors and civil servants in a room. Once together, we identify barriers to a circular economy and figure out how to remove them.”
The reality is that there are very few incentives to pursuing this agenda alone. The work Josh does gives businesses a reason to take action on plastics.
When you marry science and commercially minded people, you can make radical changes.”