London is not New York City, and for that reason alone, getting the chance to work in Great Britain’s capital is an enviable achievement.
Chris Hogan, a 1995 graduate of Fordham University and a partner in KPMG London, has made the dream come true for a number of Fordham students who have taken classes in England as part of the London study-abroad program.
“Of course, I love the place,” Hogan said of Fordham. So he has made it a point of giving back to its students.
“Traveling abroad may expand the mind, but working abroad stretches it in a way that a mere vacation cannot,” Hogan said.
Those hired as interns work 15 hours a week at KPMG, a global firm that offers audit, tax and advisory services. The internship is no gift. The firm has high expectations of the students, who work on engagement teams that serve the firm’s international tax clients, Hogan said.
“They prepare cost projections, attend tax briefings, help plan initiatives where the client is entering a new country, and organize the global KPMG network to deliver services,” Hogan said.
The interns, Hogan said, have done a very good job, and they are judged by the firm on their performance. Each group participates in a formal presentation at the end of their term, during which they are questioned about their contributions. Senior leaders “pull no punches during the question and answer period,” Hogan added.
“I’m pleased to say the students outdo themselves every semester,” Hogan said. “It’s a real credit to Fordham that such polished, poised, confident students represent the university abroad.”
Beyond the experience of working for a global firm, students also learn the intricacies of working in a foreign culture. Those differences, Hogan said, are significant, despite the “deceivingly familiar environment that is London.” A certain “cultural dexterity” is needed to be successful.
“But make no mistake, London is not New York,” he said. “The familiarity between the places is superficial, and the interns are quick to point out that there are different expectations, different ways of doing things here.”
Hogan is pleased with the “success story” that the London internships have become, and is happy the students come away with a better worldview than they had.
“In a nutshell, I suppose a New York internship tests your resilience,” he said, “and a London internship tests your resourcefulness.”