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    KBS Corporate Placement Scheme: An Interview with Sam Holmes

    At KBS Corporate our finance placement students are coming to the end of their year working with us. The programme allows university students to work at KBS for one year, gain experience within corporate finance and train with senior deal directors.

    At the end of the programme, the students return to complete their final year of University, but each year we offer the most successful students a permanent position for after graduation, where they will join the KBS Corporate finance team. We offer them the opportunity to gain hands-on experience straight after graduation and provide the opportunity for them to study for an ACA qualification, accelerating their career in finance.

    We caught up with Sam Holmes, an Economics with Politics student at Loughborough University, as he reaches the end of his placement year at KBS Corporate.

    What have you been involved in during the programme?

    A variety of team projects, which have involved directors and senior staff. My day-to-day tasks have been very varied, which has kept the whole year interesting. I have been involved in document writing and preparation, researching, conference calls, client interaction and chasing clients and stakeholders in deals. Overall, I’ve worked with so many different departments and people here, so it has been very varied.

    What parts of the programme have you enjoyed the most?

    I have enjoyed learning about the commercial world of business, it is not something that you get to experience in lectures. I have developed my commercial awareness and that has been enjoyable and rewarding.

    What skills have you developed that you can take forward?

    Communication. I’ve definitely developed my confidence in communicating with a variety of people at all levels, including Directors. The real world experience has given me lots of new skills, even simple office skills and etiquette that you wouldn’t usually be exposed to at university. I can negotiate emails and meetings now, which is a skill that will be useful as I begin my career and not something you can be taught in lectures.

    Has there been a particular event or success that you have been proud of?

    Many – but working on the Private Equity database was particularly fun. Whilst I have been here I have seen the project go full journey from the very beginnings, through to completion, so I have been able to have an input throughout.

    It is satisfying now to see everyone using the database and knowing that I was involved is very rewarding. I will be able to talk about this experience in interviews and networking opportunities in the future, which I am particularly grateful for.

    Before you started, did you have any concerns and how have these changed (if at all) during the year?

    I wasn’t nervous because I had visited the company before which took away those first day nerves. That was another good part of joining KBS, I was able to meet everyone on an introduction day and get to know the team. I am glad everyone was very welcoming, which meant less pressure at first.

    What would your advice be to the next cohort on the programme?

    Get involved and get to know people!

    What are your next steps/career aspirations?

    I do not have any concrete plans at the moment – I will graduate next year following my final exams. This placement has encouraged me to look at careers in corporate finance , or banking. I am glad I got to experience my placement year at a company like KBS Corporate, as I have learnt so much and was really given the opportunity to get involved at all levels and gain experience which will be helpful for my career.

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