Christina Gunawan | KPMG | SG
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Christina Gunawan

Christina Gunawan

Senior Associate, Digital Trust Consulting

Senior Associate, Digital Trust Consulting

Work Hard, Play Hard? With PEAK, You Can

Hi Christina! Tell us about your journey towards becoming a PEAK athlete in KPMG.

Just like any fresh graduate fearful of stepping into the ‘real world’, it was daunting for me to imagine juggling a sporting career with a professional one when being a student-athlete was already quite a challenge.

Thankfully, I was introduced to Singapore Sports Institute’s ‘SpexBusiness’ programme when I first entered the National Archery Team in 2014. They have a scheme which seeks to develop athletes’ career by partnering with companies offering various forms of employment opportunities. These include, apprenticeships, job placements and flexible workplace practices for Team Singapore Athletes.

Before graduation, I explored their job search portal where I signed up and attended a SpexBusiness networking session. There, I was introduced to the various career opportunities available, and through the standard recruitment process, I eventually landed a job at KPMG!

 

Could you give us a run-through of your typical work day?

Every morning starts with a commute to work by MRT and I usually head out pretty early to avoid jostling with the crowd. Once I reach the office, I will quickly ‘chope’ a good seat – hot-desking is a thing here.

I am a tea person, so I will head to the pantry to make myself an aromatic cup of tea, and then I will begin the day’s work. Depending on my schedule, a typical day could be packed with meetings, visit to clients’ offices for fieldwork, or both.

Work can be hectic. Being in a department of about 80 people, there’s never a boring workday thanks to the stories we share with one another.

People do work overtime but I am glad that flexible working is practiced here. So I never have to worry about leaving on time for my trainings as I can always work remotely if needed.

 

How do you incorporate sports training into your schedule?

Training starts on Tuesday and ends on Sunday. Unless delayed, I usually leave work by 5:30 pm to go for my training. This leaves me with Monday for recovery by having either a physiotherapy or sports massage session during lunch hours.

Tuesday and Thursday are set aside for strength and conditioning trainings at Sports Singapore’s Gym. And on Wednesday and Friday, I’ll head down to an indoor range after work to focus on improving my technique which usually ends at around 10 pm. My weekends are also well-spent; with trainings at an outdoor range from 8:30 am to 4 pm followed by a good evening with family and friends.

And all this won’t be possible without the support from the firm and my dear colleagues!

 

What motivates you to keep going?

For some, balancing work and training may seem overwhelming. But sports has helped me in many ways, instilling in me values that I live by, and applying them to both my work and personal life. Resoluteness, I believe, is the most important of all and we need it to become the best at what we do.

Fast forward two years from my graduation in 2016, I was able to qualify and compete in the 2017 SEA Games and then the 2018 Asian Games.

Sometimes we fail, sometimes we make mistakes, but what is important is that we should always learn from our mistakes and never give up!

The KPMG Digital Trust family has always been very supportive in helping me pursue a professional career as I continue to represent Singapore. When I have had to go overseas for competitions, my colleagues would encourage me and even offer to cover my work during my absence so that I can focus on giving my best.

Our Partner, Andrew Koh is ever supportive and tells me to pursue my passion and to do Singapore proud. I would also like to thank Rachel Lee from People, Performance and Culture, who helps me with my leave plans and checks on me regularly, asking if I am coping well.

It’s been a hectic two years managing my professional career while pursuing my passion, and I am so grateful for the unwavering support I receive from the KPMG family.

Photo: Archery Association of Singapore

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