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Management alumna rises through the ranks at KPMG

Favour Elegbede

The course at Brunel exposed me to critical thinking, strategic planning and management which have been useful in my current role at KPMG.

Favour, Alumni, Postgraduate

Senior Audit Associate, KPMG

Management MSc - 2013

From Nigeria

Tell us about your career journey since you graduated…

Upon graduation, I worked briefly as an Accountant in a church. I later secured an Audit Graduate Trainee role at KPMG. I rose through the ranks from Graduate Trainee to an Associate and now I am an Audit Senior. I am in the consumer / industrial markets unit so my clients cover companies in manufacturing, shipping, automobile, telecommunications, FMCGs as well as not-for-profit entities.

What does an average day at work involve for you?

An average day at work involves reviewing the schedules provided by the client which give details of the numbers in the trial balance and requesting for supporting documentation as required. It involves having client discussions to understand their business processes or why certain things happened during the year. It also involves coaching junior team members and reviewing the work they have done.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

I led a 5-person team on the audit of a multinational which is into the production of fast moving consumer goods. On this audit, my team and I identified issues which were material to the users of financial statements and were not previously disclosed. We also identified significant control deficiencies and made recommendations to the client. My career involves meeting with finance directors and CFOs which one would only read of in the papers if I hadn't been working in KPMG.

How would you say Brunel helped you to get where you are today?

The Masters in Management course at Brunel exposed me to critical thinking, strategic planning and management which have been useful in my current role. The workshops, seminars and factory tours exposed me to innovative ways of thinking. As part of the course, there were lots of opportunities for team work which was a strong foundation for me, as I have to constantly work in teams in my current role.

Why did you choose to study at Brunel and why would you recommend Brunel to others?

I chose Brunel because I wanted to study in London (which is where my brothers were currently studying) and it was one of the top 50 schools in London with an affordable tuition fee. I would recommend Brunel as it's a school known for its extensive research and great approach to teaching.

What is your best memory of studying here?

My best memory was working on my dissertation. I am grateful for the support I received from my supervisor. I like the focus on critical thinking and lack of tolerance for plagiarism. At the end, it was an A graded dissertation. I was so excited. I also had fun at the fireworks held in November 2012.

If you could give one piece of advice to new students, what would that be?

Have an open mind; be willing to learn, particularly from the team projects and seminars. Take time out to do a part time job and volunteer; the experiences gained will help when trying to seek a graduate trainee job or internship. There are groups / societies you can join on campus. Above all, try to have fun.

What would be your top tip or advice for new graduates as they begin their career journey?

1. Find a mentor at your place of work and inform this person or your performance manager about any issues you're facing and what you would love to see / do in your career.

2. Learn to ask questions; don't assume you know when you don't and don't act like you know it all either.