Our People: Rachel
Graduate Trainee - Pensions Actuarial in Manchester
Rachel did her Master’s degree in Physics at the University of Manchester. She joined KPMG’s Manchester office in the Pensions team where she is gaining her actuarial qualification.
“I started to consider KPMG as a place to start my career after I talked with some of their representatives at a uni graduate recruitment event. They were really nice and approachable, and were really switched on when it came to explaining what working at KPMG was like.
I liked that I would be given the opportunity to study as well as work. Because I am on the Pensions Actuarial graduate training scheme, I am doing a qualification to become a Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries. It’s a long programme compared to many – five years – but it carries a lot of weight. KPMG has given me amazing support in preparing for my exams, and those of us on the programme get 40 days off per year for study.
“I’m really looking forward to where my career might take me at KPMG, after I’m qualified.”
Learning is a real focus here. There is great support from the firm and the people around you. One of the best things offered by the firm is quarterly training days. In Pensions, all the new graduates across all offices got to go somewhere together – most recently, we went to Birmingham – as a collective we have a good time and learn more about each other too.
I’ve also learned to use technology that is really useful in actuarial work. For example, we use a tool called Fusion which helps us to model the risks associated with pension scheme strategies. It shows past performance and also provides real-time information in order to help our clients make more informed decisions.
I do all kinds of different activities in my role, and I find myself helping out on all sorts of projects. I love the team spirit you get at KPMG, the way we work together. We have regular catch-ups to think about how we can move forward on projects and client work, and to make sure everybody’s ideas are heard.
KPMG has a really strong focus on Corporate Responsibility, and development opportunities for their people. The firm encourages us to network inside and outside the organisation. Every other Thursday lunchtime I take time out to read to kids in local school, and I’m involved in The Academy which brings together graduate trainees from lots of different KPMG departments to get to know each other. You’re not just stuck at your desk doing the same things over and over.”