An interview with KPMG’s Tim Pardoel
An international career, to most starters of the new generation it sounds like the dream job. However, in practice there are many obstacles holding us back from truly making the big leap. Apart from quite some insecurity, also not everyone is made for the “explore the world in a formal way” life style. This article introduces you to someone who did manage to organize a job in New York.
Tim Pardoel is working for KPMG, an auditing, taxing and advisory company seated in Amstelveen, the Netherlands. KPMG is known as one of the big four, along with companies Deloitte, EY and PwC, serving a worldwide market. During a Career Event organized by the Asset study association at our university we were given the chance to Skype with Tim, live from New York. And of course, he didn’t mind talking about his amazing experiences in the Netherlands, the USA and Australia. A lot of questions were related to the differences in culture, and to what extent the different mindset of your colleges can affect the work delivered.
Tim graduated from Tilburg University with a Master in Accounting and directly started working at KPMG. Showing a lot of passion for the world across the borders, he quickly got the international clients and therefore contact with his foreign colleagues. Not very unexpectedly Tim started in an international project known as “rotation” in KPMG. This included working for 4 months in the Australian city Perth, to experience the international life in one of the 150 countries that KPMG serves. Of course, this system also works vice-versa, the headquarters in the Netherlands receive a lot of employees coming from the Americas, Australia and South-Africa.
Living in the second-most isolated city in the world Perth, with Auckland on number 1, Tim could work in the city’s specific specialization and live the Australian life. This region is known for it’s mine industries, and that was mostly what business in all disciplines was focused around. After the experience in Australia, he was relocated to New York and switched functions at the same time. The biggest barrier from moving to the USA normally would be getting a visa, but big companies will help you arrange one.
The important tips and tricks we learned from Tim? Work hard. Not in the quantity way, but deliver quality. Show a great deal of enthusiasm, involvement and perseverance. Of course you think going abroad will give you the extra touch to life, but your employer must feel the same way. A sponsor within the company is very important, think a mentor, coach or project manager. If the company has your back when you are abroad, your colleagues will be the most helpful integration workers.
Do you want to go abroad? Are you willing to bring up all the effort to prove it? Then start building your network now and make sure you have the connections you’ll want to rely on as soon as the time comes. And remember to answer the two most important questions: what’s in it for me and what’s in it for the organization?