Tara Gagamoe

Tara Gagamoe

Graduate Auditor, KPMG
4th-year student, Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice & Bachelor of Business in Accounting conjoint programmes

She decided to study both business and arts as it scratched both sides of her brain, says Tara Gagamoe who is in her final semester of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business conjoint programmes.

“The accounting aspect of my studies is very much led by rules and formulae, and it’s satisfying when something balances. Choosing criminology also enabled me to retain my more creative and inquisitive side through investigating concepts and crafting essays to answer questions that we get to craft ourselves.”

While Tara’s graduation is still a few months away, she is already experiencing working life and has joined KPMG as a graduate auditor while she is completing the workplace experience component of her degree.

“I was fortunate enough to land a position even though I haven’t graduated – they were happy to act as my host organisation for my final-year workplace experience and then keep me on as a graduate. Starting at KPMG was definitely nerve-racking, and the imposter syndrome hit me hard, but I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better support system than the one I’ve found here at KPMG.

“Working in the corporate and enterprise sector, we look into the financials of companies to ensure their financial statements are free from error, so stakeholders can make informed decisions based on factual information. Being in the auditing team, I get an in-depth look behind the scenes of how a company runs, which is hard to come by in other professions. We’re often out visiting different client sites and learning about their businesses, so no two days look quite the same which is nice.”

A valuable networking opportunity
While Tara has had a number of highlights throughout her time at AUT, participating in the Shadow a Leader programme was definitely one of the standout moments for her.

“The AUT Business School partnerships team – Melanie, Nirisha and Darshana – is running the Shadow a Leader programme, an initiative where you’re matched with a business leader based on your majors and interests and you get to shadow them as they go about their day at work.

“I was fortunate enough to be matched with Lisa Tai, a partner at Deloitte and an AUT business alumna herself, and was provided with so much insight into potential career paths, corporate life and how to maintain my passions as I embark on a new journey into the corporate world.”

She says she would highly recommend the Shadow a Leader programme to others.

“Shadowing Lisa and her colleagues for the day helped cement my career goals post-university and gave me a clear idea of how I want to form my career. If you get the chance to shadow a leader through this programme, I would highly suggest doing so!”

Advice for other students
Tara has some great advice for other students who are only at the start of their university journey.

“My biggest piece of advice to future students would be to take advantage of all the opportunities that are available to you. For my first few years, I didn’t do that and it meant that I missed out on a lot of chances to network, make my CV look good and experience things that I wouldn’t normally get a chance to.”

Just take the leap, she adds.

“If you’re approached for any opportunity, and are scared or worried you won’t be good at something or think you don’t deserve it – honestly, take the leap. Some of the best things I’ve done are because I took the chance even though I was terrified of failing.”