27 March 2015

Winners and finalists : KPMG LLP

Dr Harry Kelly, Chemistry Recruitment Manager, GSK; Georgina Kvassey,  Senior Manager, Global Recruitment, KPMG LLP; Keith Dugdale, Director, Global Recruitment, KPMG LLP; Laurie Taylor, Broadcaster.

Company background

KPMG is a global network of professional services firms in over 140 countries, employing more 120,000 people worldwide.

Total number of employees

There are approximately 100 placements recruited across 19 countries.

Operational countries

The countries that were involved in the 2008 intern scheme were: Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, South Africa, Spain , Sweden, UK and the USA.


The internship scheme helps us to target top talent. We feel that by offering experience in two countries we can strive to build into our people an international mindset, so they experience working overseas early on and are ready to tackle international assignments in the future.

Name of work experience scheme

Global intern programme -eight weeks long

Name of person responsible for scheme

Keith Dugdale, Director, Global Recruitment

Steps to implementation

The current scheme has grown out of an original European idea. The scheme started by offering interns work in different European countries. This was then expanded into a global model and they are now able to work in 19 countries.


  • Primarily from a recruitment dimension, the intern scheme really helps us to get a message out on campus that we are a global employer that is committed to providing people with early global experience.
  • We are offering a unique work experience programme, no other accounting firm offers a similar programme with such an extensive international reach.


  • More than 90% are hired once they have completed their studies. The scheme is extremely successful as a source for attracting the highest caliber talent to the company.
  • Another less tangible result is the cross-cultural benefits of having different international students working in different international companies. This helps to meet the company’s global strategy of creating a global mindset.

Lessons learnt

  • The most important parts of the scheme are preparation and induction. This is an expensive programme and it’s therefore very important that we get the preparation right so that the students can gain the maximum benefit from the experience.
  • It is also important to give the students real quality work experience. We ensure that we get them out into client facing roles and real jobs where they can demonstrate the skills they have learned from university. The more we can do that, the more successful the programme is.

Future plans

In the future we would like to continue to widen the amount of countries involved in the scheme and to grow the range of opportunities across all our functions.

Key tips

  • Companies thinking about implementing a scheme should go for it as there are huge benefits of hiring interns for the students and the company.
  • Recruiting international students particularly brings richness and diversity to your organisation.
  • Make sure that you have somebody who has the time and resource to manage the scheme effectively as students are demanding and they need to be managed appropriately to gain the most benefits from an intern programme.


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