Phyllis Ng relished adapting to a fast-paced environment as a fresh graduate with fellow colleagues at KPMG to tackle challenges.
My company and my job
Transactions services is primarily involved in the evaluation process of mergers and acquisitions. Within transactions services, we have three teams – financial due diligence, commercial due diligence, and integrations and separations. I am part of the financial due diligence team and my experience lies in assisting buy-side clients to identify key risks in complex deals.
My day-to-day responsibilities include preparing data for balance sheet and income statement trend analyses. Subsequently, I identify potential issues based on historical data and raise questions with the target. I am trained to view the target’s business through an investor's lens and have learned to flag potential issues which may affect the enterprise value of a business.
How I got my job
In my last undergraduate semester, I attended three rounds of interviews with directors and a partner, who assessed my technical knowledge and fit with the team. The most challenging part of the interviews was a case, in which I had to analyse the financials of a retail company.
Without any working experience then, I knew I could not count on my accounting fundamentals alone to impress the interviewers. Being confident and concise during the interviews is therefore important.
The highs and lows
I enjoy the pace and demands of working in Transactions Services. With each engagement lasting for an average of three weeks, I have a short time frame to familiarise myself with the expectations and value drivers of the client and the organisation being acquired.
While it was initially tough to adapt as a fresh graduate, I relished working in such a fast-paced environment with fellow colleagues to tackle challenges.
My happiest moment at work
My proudest moments are when deals are completed and announced in the news!
Training and support
At the department level, I was given the opportunity to attend training in Bangkok for new joinees. It was a great opportunity to meet colleagues from other Asia-Pacific offices and hone my analytical skills through case studies.
My performance manager also provides guidance on areas to improve on for career progression. On an advisory level, I attended various virtual classroom trainings on presentation, interview and report-writing skills.
There are no fixed working hours and every day is different. Two years in, I am still struggling to establish work-life balance due to ever-changing expectations from clients and fluid timelines.
What I love about KPMG is that there are plenty of opportunities to be involved in non-engagement work. I am in the recreational committee of Transactions Services, organising quarterly social events and annual department retreats for the team.
Beyond my department, I am also involved in planning Make a Difference Day for Deal Advisory as a whole. Last but not the least, I am glad to be part of the KPMG Band, After Hours, as I get to interact with colleagues from other departments as we rehearse and perform for firm events.
Be comfortable with the uncomfortable. Adapt when working with different people, be open to picking up new skills and be prepared to volunteer!