My name is Matt Pattyson and I am a rising junior on the men's basketball team. This summer, through one of the programs offered by the honors college, I had the opportunity to study abroad in London. While in London, I spent five weeks as an associate at KPMG UK and three weeks taking classes at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
As someone who wants to concentrate in both finance and accounting, I could not have been happier with my placement at KPMG UK. As a big four accounting firm, KPMG is known globally for its success and ability to develop employee skills. I knew I would have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, learn the industry, and understand the demands of the work on a daily basis.
While at KPMG UK, I worked in the International Standards Group (ISG), a department made up of people from various countries and backgrounds. My role as an associate allowed me to complete various tasks, with topics ranging from global audit assessment and risk management to international accounting standards. One of my biggest accomplishments at KPMG was that I co-created the appendix to the Insights into IFRS book, which the firm sells globally to clients. This book is over 3,000 pages and a huge revenue source for the company, so I was fortunate that the department trusted me enough to work on it.
For the other portion of my time in London, I took a course in financial markets at LSE. The course structure was different from anything I have seen at Babson, so it took some time to get used to the changes. My financial markets class had many more students than courses at Babson do, the duration of the course, three weeks, was significantly different than a Babson semester, and the grading scale was different, where abroad a 40% was a C. Although this was a challenging course, I did learn a great deal of information that will be relevant in a finance career or for investing in stocks. In particular, I found it interesting to uncover and explore different asset management strategies that firms are currently using in the market.
Lastly, being abroad was an incredible opportunity, as I was able to travel to different countries and appreciate life in a different perspective. With other members in my program, who have become my close friends, I visited Stonehenge, the city of Bath (which holds a Roman Bath), Ibiza, Paris, and Amsterdam. Additionally, I traveled to Ireland with my family once the program ended. Seeing all of these different cultures and regions opened my eyes to what the world has to offer. I will never forget the places I visited and will cherish the memories forever. Being abroad gave me time to reflect on myself and figure out what I want in my future. The time away from everything helped me clear my mind and do some much-needed personal reflection. The sights, the memories, the personal growth (work, academic, and mental related), and the friendships made this summer one of the best I have ever had, and for that I am thankful.
Oh and I shot some hoops occasionally, that was pretty cool too.