Meet Valentin

Valentin embarked on a six-month internship in the heart of New York City, where he was stationed at the German Desk for KPMG US. Find out more about his adventure.

Meet Valentin

"This internship was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I saw it as a chance to gain invaluable international experience and solidify and enhance my audit skills."

Valentin embarked on a six-month internship in the heart of New York City, where he was stationed at the German Desk for KPMG US. This internship offers Interns from KPMG Switzerland the opportunity to enhance their skills through international work experience.

Eager to learn more about Valentin’s journey through the Audit Internship Program and his recommendations on who could benefit from it? We reached out to him for his insights.

Valentin, could you give us a glimpse into the timeline of your US exchange and elaborate on the unique role you took on?

Sure! I started my journey with KPMG back in 2022 as a trainee in Audit Corporates, followed by an internship in the Deal Advisory Transaction Services team. I then started my internship at KPMG US in New York back in October 2023, which wrapped up in March 2024. During this time, I was part of the German Desk in the New York Metro Audit department. We mainly handled audits for German and Swiss companies, performing full-scope audits, checking account balances, and following other review procedures. I worked closely with a team of 16 people, including five other interns, from different German-speaking KPMG locations. One of our managers was also from Switzerland — this cool mixture of people brought in some diverse perspectives. Together, we formed a close-knit group, collaborating on projects for prestigious international clients. It was a fantastic learning experience!

What sparked the fire, Valentin? Tell us more about the passion that drove you to seize this internship opportunity.

Well, this internship was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and it was exciting to be the first one to take it on. I saw it as a chance to gain invaluable international experience and solidify and enhance my audit skills, which I’d previously acquired during my internship at KPMG in St. Gallen. Also, because I was considering the possibility of pursuing certification as a Public Accountant after my master’s degree, this internship seemed like the perfect platform to deepen my expertise, laying a robust foundation for my future endeavors in KPMG’s Audit department.

Of course, the prospect of living and working in New York, a city I’ve always dreamed of living, was also a big motivator. Living in a bustling metropolis like New York demanded dedication, resilience, and a dash of courage, and I was ready to embrace every moment of it.

New York is a city of dreams. Valentin, what was the most memorable moment you experienced during your time there?

You know, it’s interesting. I wouldn’t say there was one particular moment that stood out above all others. It was more about the experience as a whole. In New York, my lifestyle was vastly different from that in Switzerland. The vibe was completely different, which made it both fascinating and exciting to be a part of everyday life there — from the crowded subway rides to our office in the heart of Manhattan, where we worked on the 39th floor, featuring breath-taking views of the city skyline and the iconic Chrysler Building.

It was also special to know that they’d filmed “Suits”, the Netflix series, right next to our office; you can even spot the KPMG logo in one episode. Becoming a resident and being part of the workforce in New York, rather than just a tourist, made these experiences even more special.

What obstacles did you encounter during your internship that pushed you to grow and adapt?

One of the major hurdles I faced was adjusting to the size and intensity of New York City. The bustling, fast-paced environment was a stark contrast to the calmer cities of Switzerland, which I was accustomed to. Managing this new level of stress was crucial, and I found balance in seeking out green spaces to escape the chaos. Central Park became a favorite retreat of mine. Balancing the intensity of city life with moments of tranquility was essential, and it took some time to find my own rhythm. However, overcoming this challenge not only taught me how to thrive in stressful environments but also strengthened my adaptability and resilience. These are skills that I’ll carry forward, helping me navigate future challenges both personally and professionally.

Valentin, what valuable insights will you carry forward from your experience?

During my internship at KPMG US, I learned many things. On the one hand, I deepened my knowledge and insights in auditing, which will benefit my future endeavors. It also provided clarity for decisions regarding my master’s degree and pursuit of the Swiss Certified Public Accountant training. KPMG cultivates an environment where individuals are empowered to bring their diverse backgrounds to the table and feel appreciated. This inclusive culture was evident not only within the company but also among my colleagues during my exchange.

On the other hand, I learned to navigate a new working environment, collaborate effectively with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds, adapt to the American lifestyle, and manage the challenges of living in a bustling metropolis like New York.

And finally, who would you recommend this program to?

I would recommend this internship to anyone seeking not just professional advancement, but also personal enrichment. It’s not just about deepening your audit expertise; it’s a journey of self-discovery and a chance to create lasting memories. This program offers a unique opportunity to experience the vibrancy of The Big Apple, to challenge yourself, and to grow in ways you never imagined. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.