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7Personal Insight Assignment

Personal Insight Assignment

Task 1: Sourcing an Internship Opportunity

I have found an internship opportunity offered by KPMG. KPMG is a firm that offers advisory, audit and tax services to companies and other organizations. The firm is a professional service company and ranked as among the four largest audit companies in the world (KPMG 2016, 1). The large workforce and the fact that the company has set up in different countries across the globe offers an opportunity to develop my accounting career. I sourced the internship opportunity through visiting KPMG’s website, http://www.graduateopportunities.com/employers/kpmg/, where I found the graduate and undergraduate programs they have to help develop careers for students starting from when they are in school. The application for the internship is to be sent through the firm’s email. One of my goals has been to work in a multinational firm where I can get an opportunity to work in different countries and grow my career from an international level. KPMG offers that opportunity, especially through their undergraduate job programs. The fact that they are open to those that have graduated and those still in school means that there is an opportunity to grow my career in the firm given the opportunity (KPMG 2016, 1).

KPMG, being one of the world’s leading firms offering professional services, has their standards high for every person who wishes to work for the firm (KPMG 2016, 1). This means that to benefit from the program, I have to ensure that I get good grades and stand out from the rest of the students. According to Cottrell (2014, 6), employers are looking for graduates with skills that are relevant to the economy and are ready to work. To acquire these relevant skills, it means that I have to work hard in school to ensure that I get good grades. Employers also require people who can communicate effectively and work well with others. This means that one has to work to develop their communication skills and learn to work in teams effectively. Skills cannot be gained only through studying. I will have to participate in practical exercises provided by the school in the course of the learning process. Other than this, I intend to also find other places I can work during holidays and weekends to sharpen my skills in accounting. These techniques will provide a competitive edge as I prepare for the internship. In future, however, I intend to seek for more permanent opportunities where I can work and gain skills without interruption especially once I graduate. I also intend to participate in workshops and seminars to sharpen my skills and judgment in the course of executing my duties.

Cover Letter

September 24, 2016

KPMG Australia,

P.O BOX 13222 Law Courts,

Melbourne.

Dear Sir/ Madam:

I was excited to see an opportunity at your firm for the undergraduate vacation recruitment program, and I hope to be invited for an interview.

I am a student at Deakin University where I am pursuing an undergraduate accounting course. I have had an interest in working for your firm which offers auditing, tax and advisory services to other companies and organizations across the globe. Your firm is also a market leader in offering professional services which further increases my desire to work for the firm. The global network made up of different organizations created by your firm is an incentive for me to work for your firm since I have always desired to develop my career from an international perspective. While in school, I have participated in several accounting seminars and workshops organized by the school and others by corporate organizations. Further, I have also worked at the accounting offices in the school, SBG Accountants and Business Advisors and Southertons Melbourne during weekends and holidays as a way to acquire practical accounting skills. Through all these experiences I have learned about the importance of teamwork, and I have also gained effective communication skills which are essential in all places of work. Other than this, my academic performance is exemplary as is evident from the letter from the school indicating my performance (Office of Career Services 2016, 9).

In addition to the experience, I have also gained customer relations skills during my part-time job at the school. I also have strong computer skills in MS Word, MS Excel and database applications as indicated in the resume.

I am confident that I can offer your firm the accounting knowledge and skills, teamwork, customer and communication skills needed for your firm. Further, I am also an exemplary student who is ready to learn and promote the growth and development of the firm. I look forward to hearing from you to arrange an interview.

Sincerely

TELEPHONE NUMBER

Personal Statement

I am a well-organized and resourceful student with a solid academic background and practical experience in accounting and financial management. I have good communication skills, guided by the spirit of teamwork and able to handle multiple tasks while maintaining high-quality work.

Education

Bachelor of Commerce, Deakin University

Major: Accounting

Expected Graduation Date: January 2018

Computer packages

Professional Accomplishments and Skills

  • Formulated monthly accounting records for the school where I volunteered during weekends and holidays.

  • Developed and maintained accounting records for my school.

  • Prepared and presented accounting research papers during seminars and workshops organized by the school.

  • Participated in accounting and financial management school competitions

  • Presented papers testing the accuracy of accounting theories during seminars organized by the school.

  • Received customer satisfaction award during my internship at the school.

  • Carried out auditing services for a local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)

  • Provide assistance for start-up businesses while working at SBG (Southernbank Business Group) Accountants and Sothertons Melbourne.

  • Helped with book-keeping for companies and businesses

  • Prepared financial statements for several businesses at the end of their financial years.

  • Proficient in MS Word, MS Excel, PowerPoint, and QuickBooks.

Work History

Student Intern, Accounting Department Deakins University.

Interests

  • Watching soccer

  • Socializing

  • Engaging in community activities including charity work

  • Swimming

  • Travelling

Referees

Paul Dobson,

Southernbank Business Group,

P.O Box 304 Collins St West

Victoria.

Email Address: [email protected]

Southerns Melbourne Chartered Accountants,

Melbourne, Australia,

Telephone: +61 3 9820 6400

Fax: +61 3 9820 6499

Career Action Plan

Evaluation of my Aspirations

My career action is founded on strengths, values and technical skills that I possess. One of my greatest strength is my exemplary performance in school. This performance is important because it has an impact on my choice of goals and whether or not I achieve them. Employers are keen to have employees who acquired good grades in school as a sign that they are bright. Although it is not the only quality they look for, academic performance is given more weight compared to other factors. The fact that I have had experience working in accounting firms is also a strength since I have gained practical skills in accounting. These skills, coupled with my performance in academics, give me an upper hand in the job market. My values are also strengths as I pursue growth in my career. In all my actions am guided by honesty and integrity. With the increase in cases of employees stealing from their employers, increase in cases of corruption among other vices in the industry, employers are looking for people who can be trusted (Pearce 2015, 13).

Development Opportunities

During my internships, I discussed my career choices with managers and other senior accountants in these firms. One of the things that they have pointed out is the need acquire the accounting skills that are needed in the market. Despite my exemplary performance in school, I have learnt that practical application of the knowledge gained in school is needed if one is to develop his career. Customer relations skills are also an important part of accountants due to the sensitivity nature of their work especially because they deal with people’s finances. Accuracy for any person in accounting is important, hence I have made efforts to participate in accounting related activities in the places I have worked to get equipped with the right skills (Pearce 2015, 13).

Explore Possibilities

Although accounting is looked at as one concept, there are different career paths that are available. There are, for example, public accountants who are employed by public accounting firms. These accountants provide a range of accounting services such as financial analysis, preparing financial statements and tax compliance and advisory services (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants 2016, 9). This may require CPA certification from the relevant accounting bodies to ensure that one is qualified to provide these services. There are also management accountants who are employed by companies and other organizations to perform tasks such as budgeting, cost management, and performance evaluation. Such accountants require good people skills to ensure that they provide quality services to customers and the companies. There are also government accountants and auditors who are accountants employed by government agencies and private entities that are regulated by the government such as banks and financial service companies. These accountants provide audit services and also prepare financial statements (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants 2016, 14).

Career Choice

Based on the three career choices discussed above, being a public accountant matches my aspirations. One of the advantages of this choice is the fact that there are no limitations as to what one can do in accounting hence one can provide services such as audit, advisory services, tax compliance and financial analysis (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants 2016, 15). Despite the requirement for certification, this option has more opportunities for me. Management accountants and government accountants have their roles limited based on the where they work. Advisory services and financial analysis may not for part of their task. Further, being a public accountant also provides me with the opportunity to set up my accountancy firm after a few years of employment. Accountants in the accountancy firms I have worked in considered public accountants to be more exposed to a wide range of accounting tasks compared to other career choices. This makes them more equipped and experienced. My choice of being a public accountant is also based on the fact that such accountants are better placed to get opportunities in accountancy firms.

Action Plan

Completion Date

Skill or Experience gained

How to gain the Skill/Experience

Provider

October 2016

January 2017

Communication skills

Attending accounting seminars

The school and my career coach

January 2017

June 2017

Accuracy in accounting tasks

Going for internships and mentorship

Workplace Educator

February 2017

March 2017

Preparing financial statements

On the job and internship

Mentors in the workplace

September 2017

Auditing skills

Job and internship

Workplace Educator

Assessing the Effectiveness of the Action Plan

These goals will be assessed through reviews and comments made by my workplace mentors and educators. They will be responsible for reviewing my work and stating whether or not the goal has been achieved. Further, my lecturers at the school will also take part in the assessment of the activities arising from school work.

Reflection on the Unit

Accounting is essential in the running of companies and other businesses. Accountants provide financial assistance to business owners to help them identify how to apply the capital of the business in areas that will reap benefits for the company. Accountants also prepare financial reports for companies to show how they have performed in a specified period. Through the personal insight unit, I have learnt that one needs to set career goals and assess whether or not these goals have been achieved. Career goals are important for career development and ensure that a person chooses a career path that is appropriate for them (Career Management Center 2013, 3). I have also learnt that the unit helps one to prepare to build their career starting from when they are still in school. This helps students to be focused and plan ahead.

References

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants 2016, ACCA guide to career pathways in public practice, Available at: http://www.accaglobal.com/content/dam/acca/global/PDF-members/2012/2012c/career_pathways_2009.pdf [Accessed 25 September 2016]

Career Management Center 2013, Career action plan: Serious enough not to leave to chance, Arkansas State University.

Cottrell, S 2014, Skills for Success- Quality and the access to HE Diploma: Its everybody’s business, University of Leeds.

KPMG 2016, Company Overview, Available at: http://www.graduateopportunities.com/employers/kpmg/#aboutus [Accessed 25 September 2016]

Office of Career Services 2016, Resumes and cover letters, Harvard University.

Pearce, J 2015, Reflection and the career action plan, University of Victoria.

Appendix 1

Internship Opportunity

By student’s name