Kit Seulean

  • Office: Portland, OR
  • Practice: Audit
  • School: Portland State University

Kit's Journal

PART 1

Future KPMG'ers,
I would like to invite you into a week in the life of a KPMG winter intern from Portland, Oregon. To begin, KPMG has been a wonderful place to launch my career. During my two internships (I interned with the audit practice last summer as well) I have had the amazing opportunity to interact on a one-on-one basis with multiple clients, partners, managers, associates, and recruiters. One of the greatest things about KPMG is the people. It seems that everyone at this firm wants to help you enhance your career, whether it is through mentoring, on-site teaching, recruiting events, or even a friendly discussion during happy hour.

KPMG is one of the greatest places to start your career. This firm has continually been voted as one of the top 10 firms for training their people and it really shows. My weeklong national training was in Orlando, Florida and it was fantastic. Not only does this firm dedicate its best professionals for training, but they also allow all of the new hires a chance to network with people all across the US. For example, my roommate during training was from Texas and we still keep in touch. KPMG understands the importance of creating networking opportunities for the leaders of tomorrow.

One of my personal favorite things about working for KPMG is the early client interaction that is encouraged by all. Although speaking to clients can be nerve-racking, it is also a wonderful opportunity to learn even more about accounting and business in general. An important thing to remember during client interaction is that asking questions that are not always accounting related is a great way to get to know somebody. The more you know somebody and their tendencies, the easier it is to work with them to get things done faster — and all accountants love efficiency.

The recruiting and decision making process regarding which firm is right for you can be a long, difficult, and demanding process. Try to meet as many people from as many different firms as possible during the recruiting process, and remember to pick the firm that you think fits best with your personality. You will be spending many hours with the professionals of your new firm, which is why it is so important to meet as many people as possible. The most important thing to remember, however, is to have fun and be yourself! Enjoy your transition into the business world and the beginning of your new career.

PART 2

Being a KPMG intern for the past six weeks has been an incredible experience and introduction into the professional world. I would like to share with the future interns of the world a few of the lessons I have learned during my KPMG internship. One of my biggest learning experiences has come at the client communication level. To begin, I would like to dispel the rumor that clients do not like auditors. Thus far in my accounting career, the majority of clients I have worked with are very accommodating. Actually, many of the clients we work with are ex-public accountants who understand our test work and procedures. Also, don't be afraid of asking the client to explain or clarify their responses. One of my biggest realizations has been the importance in learning how to ask questions and follow-up questions. It's also important, however, to remember that clients have busy schedules and being an effective and efficient communicator is very much appreciated.

Work-life balance, especially during busy season, is an important thing to remember. Although you will have to rearrange your life for a few months, it is important to take a breath and relax whenever you get the chance. You will be spending many long days with your work, so when you get a chance to hang out with friends, watch a movie, or go for a hike...seize the opportunity! Most importantly, have a great attitude and enjoy the wonderful life of an intern.

PART 3

Oh, Busy Season.
My winter internship has been an excellent training experience that will vastly help me as I enter the beginning of my professional career. Before busy season started, I was interested in how I would handle the hours, stress and immense learning curve. During my summer internship, I asked my KPMG mentor what exactly I should expect from my busy season internship. What he told me, and what I have found incredibly true, is to think of busy season as a conditioning experience much like exercise. At first the hours, the work, and the job itself are tough and tiring. However, week after week, you condition yourself and you realize how valuable and informative it is to be a public accountant. Also, just as the beginning of a new term can seem overwhelming and finals seem so far away, busy season can be the same. Before you realize it, busy season is already waning and spring is fast approaching.

Another invaluable experience about public accounting is the relationships you build with your engagement teams. I did not think that I would find such a great group of people to work with and learn from. During the past few weeks, many of the times I have laughed hardest have been with my coworkers, either at work or after hours. My fellow KPMGers in Portland are wonderful people to work with but, perhaps more importantly, they are real people that you can build both professional and personal relationships with.

PART 4

During my time here at KPMG, I have had the opportunity to get to know many professionals from both the audit and tax practices. The professional networking opportunities that KPMG continually encourages, especially during the internship, are excellent ways to begin your career. KPMG often has one-on-one meetings between interns and partners in order for interns to feel comfortable engaging partners in conversations. This is a golden opportunity to ask an owner of KPMG anything from career advice to questions about business to their favorite sports teams. Also, during the summer internship, KPMG Portland required interns to have two 45 minute conversations with engagement managers. We had complete control over the questions we asked and it was a great way to begin a relationship with your managers. KPMG fosters open communication between all levels of staff and encourages mentoring relationships.

For one of my previous engagements we had an "end of audit celebration," which included good food, a lot of fun, and even more bowling. The entire engagement team, including the partner, attended. I never imagined that I would be able to create so many great relationships during a relatively short amount of time. The topper of the night was when the entire engagement team got up on stage to sing karaoke. Working at KPMG has been a wonderful experience as well as a lot of fun.

I encourage all accounting students to reach out to their local office recruiters to get more information on career opportunities at KPMG. Recruiters have a ton of knowledge about the firm and they are more than willing to answer questions regarding anything KPMG related.

PART 5

My intern experience has flown by incredibly fast and, truth be told, I am going to miss working at KPMG as an intern. Earlier today I was joking with one of my engagement teams and they told me the audit just wouldn't be the same without me. Therefore, we decided, I must call every once in a while, just to say hi to the team and give them a little break. After my internship, however, I'm not completely letting loose. My goal is to pass all of the CPA exams before I start full-time work next fall. Ahead of me are many long days and nights of studying all four parts of the Uniform CPA Exam. One great benefit of working for KPMG is that they provide complete study materials to new hires, free of cost, before we even begin working full-time.

Additionally, I am looking forward to earning the $5,000 bonus incentive that comes with passing the CPA exams before the end of your first year. The way I look at it is that Uncle Peat is not only paying for my study materials, but also compensating me for studying! Also, after passing all of the exams, KPMG will reimburse the costs of taking each test one time. These examples are only a few of the wonderful incentive opportunities that KPMG offers. Finally, I do not want to forget to remind all of the incoming interns to apply for the global opportunities that KPMG offers.

The past ten weeks have been a great learning experience. It's been a lot of fun, a whole lot of work, and a great introduction to public accounting. I encourage everyone that is interested in KPMG to get in contact with a recruiter, check out the website, and attend local firm functions. Good luck!

Fun Facts

  • Are you actively involved with any community organizations?

    Yes, Cascade Aids Project. I am a summer camp counselor.

    Are you involved in any on-campus clubs or activities?

    I was involved in both student government and Beta Alpha Psi before I graduated.

    Do you have a mentor? If yes, please describe the experience.

    I have a KPMG Mentor and Buddy that I can talk to and ask questions. They are both very helpful and a great way to get to know KPMG.
  • What are your favorite TV shows?

    Blazers basketball games

    What is the last book you read?

    The Picture of Dorian Gray

    What do you do for fun/hobbies?

    Golf, hike, camp, basketball, wakeboard, and accounting!
  • Have you traveled outside of the US? For school or personal? Where?

    Travelled to Australia for a semester during my sophomore year of college. Also, I go to Mexico and Canada regularly.

    What are the top 3 reasons you chose KPMG for your internship?

    The people I met, the global opportunities, and the training opportunities.
  • What advice would you offer to a student just beginning the recruiting/application process?

    Talks to as many people from all of the firms you are interested in to get to know the company culture. You will be spending a lot of time with the firm you choose so get to know the firm and their people the best you can.

    What is the best piece of advice you have ever received

    Follow up with people you meet during the recruiting and take them up on their offers of grabbing coffee, lunch, etc. This is a great way to get to know the firm on a more intimate level.