Interview: Floor Hendriksen, Consultant at KPMG Advisory | Technology

06 June 2018 Authored by Consultancy.eu

Having transitioned from the retail supply chain world to consulting work after the conclusion of her studies, Floor Hendriksen has been working with KPMG on some of the firm’s most diverse and innovative projects. Sitting with Consultancy.eu, she explained how the firm’s culture and philosophy have helped nurture her early career as a digital transformation and data analytics consultant.

Floor Hendriksen is a 27 year-old consultant based in Amsterdam. Having joined as a graduate in 2016, she is currently working as a consultant for KPMG SOFY, an in-house developed cloud-based Data & Analytics platform that drives digital transformation and innovation. The wing is part of KPMG Advisory, which operates in one of consulting industry’s largest sweet spots – technology. Digital developments are unfolding at a spectacular pace – something which is both a blessing and a challenge to a young consultant, hungry for new challenges, but requiring coaching to keep up with a changing landscape in the formative years of their career.

Every project at KPMG SOFY exposes Hendriksen to the latest technologies, tools and systems, putting her in tune with the newest innovations. Fortunately, Hendriksen said, KPMG is also fully committed to developing a continuous learning culture. Knowledge and master sessions are organised in which the latest industry trends and technologies are discussed or external speakers are invited.

While Hendriksen has now made firm inroads into consultancy, however, she might have chosen a different path altogether. She holds a Master’s degree in International Management in addition to a research based honours programme, both from Tilburg University, and during her studies she completed a number of internships in the retail sector, including with international cosmetics brand L’Oréal, where Hendriksen completed a Supply Chain Management internship. According to Hendriksen though, it was actually this role that pushed her toward consulting work.Floor Hendriksen, Technology practice - KPMG“During the last phase of my studies, I followed a research programme in which it became clear to me that working on complex business cases and analysing data are my areas of interest,” she explained. “During my Supply Chain Management internship at L’Oréal, I had the chance to create an extensive dashboard to monitor and review planning parameters for the right order proximities for their repack and relabeling processes. From that moment onwards, I was amazed by how data-driven dashboards can lead to (new) insights and business value.”

The combination of learning how to solve complex business problems with the use of data drove Hendriksen to seek a career with KPMG, one of the Netherlands’ top employers in professional services. She selected the Big Four member largely due to the firm’s corporate philosophy, which she highlighted as “an organisation that strongly believes in lifelong learning and innovation” – as well as being one which could provide intellectual stimulation by working with cutting-edge technology solutions in order to deliver change for a diverse client base.

“The KPMG Advisory culture is young, open, innovative and committed to delivering the highest quality work to our clients. A culture that is stimulating personal development, stepping out of your comfort zone, taking initiatives and encouraging out of the box thinking,” she said. Hendriksen elaborated; “On top of that, I wanted to work within an international and entrepreneurial environment, with plenty of room for personal initiatives, responsibilities, while being surrounded by people who care extremely about your personal and professional development.”

Since working for KPMG SOFY, Hendriksen said she has been exposed to endless opportunities for different types of engagements, and that KPMG SOFY has given her a route toward rapidly increasing her capabilities and knowledge in the process – thanks to its diversity of clients, and the technologies KPMG utilises to service them.

She explained; “Working on different projects means being exposed to diverse industries, complex business problems as well as having the chance to experience multiple roles. During each project, I obtained a deep understanding of the client’s issue(s), needs and business processes… It has been a great experience to see different organisations from the inside, which enabled me to explore different sectors, cultural differences/standards between businesses and diverse type of management styles… that I could not have imaged a few years ago!”The culture at KPMG Advisory is young, open, innovative and committedNext to working on different type of client projects, she has also been involved in developing and improving KPMG’s cloud-based platform, and the organisation of diverse informal and formal events for consultants in the same department, along with prototype demonstrations, workshops and training for potential/existing clients. Recently, this saw Hendriksen and two other colleagues fly out to train KPMG’s offshore software development & business analytics team in India, something she cited as a great experience, and one which enhanced her soft-skills when it comes to managing people of significantly different cultures.

This was important for Hendriksen’s latest engagement: an international project in which she helped to design and implement a digital risk platform supporting automated and manual control testing for a global oil and gas company. The platform is live now and being used by the company to execute an efficient and satisfying internal audit process by making use of a continuous control monitoring mechanism.

According to the consultant, while she has already learned a great deal in her time with KPMG, there are still new things to take from every project. In this case, rather than cultural difference – which were minimal here – she said that she took away the importance of being able to respond with flexibility to the changing requirements and using the right level of communication as key success factors.

She concluded; “During this project, I learned to operate within a global, challenging and dynamic environment (tight deadlines, adjustments in scope and requirements, complex IT landscape, interaction with many different type of international stakeholders).”

According to a recent study by KPMG Netherlands, M&A activity in the country has reached the highest point in decade.

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