An Interview with Burak Yıldırım | KPMG | TR

An Interview with the Corporate Financing Director Burak Yıldırım

An Interview with Burak Yıldırım

An Interview with the Advisory, Corporate Finance Director Burak Yıldırım on Career

An Interview with the Advisory, Corporate Finance Director Burak Yıldırım on Career

1) What makes KPMG employees, or “KPMG graduates” successful in companies they work at? Why is being a member of KPMG a strong reference for employees?

No matter if they dream of a long-term career at KPMG or consider KPMG to be a strong reference for their next step, the common ground shared by almost all KPMG members is that they are aware that they will always be valued and favored for holding the KPMG title. The success and high positions achieved by our friends who have decided to continue their career outside of KPMG prove this notion. If KPMG has a strong brand reputation out there, one of the most important reasons is that our graduates, who have never broken their ties with KPMG, continue to represent our name successfully.

This strong reference which also induces self-confidence is mainly due to KPMG providing their employees from day one with a strong infrastructure, by offering intensive technical and social skill trainings. The large amount of responsibility taken in various and unique projects, and the profound industrial knowledge acquired from them render KPMG graduates very strong in the market when followed in the following years by management experience and a wide network.

2) What kind of a career and personal growth does KPMG offer their employees?

Here at KPMG, the career path awaiting our employees is pretty much pre-determined, especially in the first years. Having distinct career steps allows employees to see their future and plan their career easily. Of course these career steps may vary in terms of time, depending on performance and opportunities.

Career planning at KPMG is handled carefully by considering each employee’s skills, strong suits and areas open for improvement. Providing young future managers with higher awareness and a stronger infrastructure with domestic and international trainings, performance analyses, and guidance by their managers is among the priorities of department managers.

In addition to training opportunities, our young friends are also given large amounts of responsibility in the projects they work from the very start of their career, which allows them to take initiative at an early stage and improve their social skills as they personally communicate with the client.

Particularly in the advisory departments, we give our employees the responsibilities and powers of the upper position in order to prepare them faster on their career paths. This allows our team members to prove themselves and realize their self-competence quicker. In fact, they get to shape their own careers.

3) What is the greatest advantage of employees working on various projects in various industries?

Particularly in advisory projects, each new task is generally different from the previous one and intended to guide and satisfy the specific needs of companies operating in different industries; which means that each new project is a brand new adventure. The project team becomes the heroes of the project.Even if your duty is to express an independent opinion and make calculations based on specific standards, at the end of the day, you must resolve your client’s problems and guide them in the right direction. For this reason, a creative point of view and the ability to offer solutions with added value have great significance.

4) What kind of a working environment does KPMG provide as an employer? For instance, in what kind of environment are the superior-subordinate relations handled?

From an external perspective, KPMG is famous for being one of the companies that have a relaxed working environment (even though working conditions may be challenging at times) where employees don’t drag their feet when coming to work. I can tell that this is mainly due to the friendly working environment. The employees are able to communicate with top-level managers as easily as they communicate with their co-workers and there is a corporate culture that prioritizes cooperation and sharing rather than competition and conflict, which is one of the most significant factors that people enjoy doing their jobs.

While this kind of a working environment is attractive especially for new graduates, it is more significant for our friends who have had experience working at other companies and within different company cultures. Therefore, I observe that our experienced employees are more attached to KPMG.

As someone who has started his business life at a holding company operating in the energy industry, I can see very easily the positive impact of KPMG’s friendly working environment on the performances of employees.

5) “International job opportunities” is one of the most desirable factors that the young generation in Turkey asks from employers. What opportunities does KPMG offer Turkish employees in this regard?

One of the most significant opportunities KPMG provides their employees is, no doubt, the opportunity to participate in KPMG GO which is a short or long term international exchange program. Employees at different positions of almost every department are able to have the chance of working project-based or for a specific period of time at KPMG offices abroad. It is observed that global opportunities, especially in the departments of Advisory have been increasing steadily in recent years. During our advisory practices, being in contact with international offices and creating a strong network is greatly significant in terms of information sharing and getting international project opportunities.

Apart from that, we as the Advisory department participate in KPMG trainings abroad at least once a year, depending on employee needs and department objectives. I believe that in addition to allowing employees to improve their technical and social skills, these trainings are also an important means of motivation as they provide them with the opportunities of traveling different countries and meeting new people from other offices.

I participated in the KPMG GO program at the KPMG Dusseldorf office for 6 months in 2014. This period which I spent at one of the strongest KPMG member firms of Europe in terms of theoretical and practical knowledge and project diversity has had significant contributions to my career.

6) Could you tell us briefly about your adventure in Dusseldorf as part of the KPMG GO program? How did you spend your six months in Germany? What differences did you observe in terms of working environment and operations, compared to the Turkish office?

The most important quality that makes the KPMG Germany Corporate Finance team as strong as they are is that teams have specialized in different areas. There is a chance to specialize in different fields, in both industrial and technical terms, under the Corporate Finance department. While M&A (mergers and acquisitions), PPA (purchase price allocation), Modeling and Valuation projects are handled by different teams; employees also specialize in different areas such as finance, energy, real estate, automotive and other industries. This way, customer satisfaction remains at the maximum level in parallel with product quality.

In the six months I spent at the Dusseldorf office, I mainly worked on the projects of corporate valuation of clients operating in the energy, manufacturing and service industries, and purchase price allocation (PPA).