How do you make an accounting student feel like a celebrity? Fly him to Hollywood, California, to participate in KPMG’s elite Fast Forward National Leadership Conference.
For accounting major Hunor Somogyi ’14, it was exciting enough to be in the running for a spot in the summer leadership program at the big four accounting firm's Portland, Oregon, office.
Just a few weeks after his interview, Somogyi learned that—along with being accepted into the Portland office’s program—he’d been tapped to participate in Fast Forward, KPMG’s exclusive leadership training event.
“It wasn’t even on my radar to be chosen for such a prestigious program,” Somogyi recalled.
Last July found Somogyi in Universal City, Hollywood, with approximately one hundred other Fast Forward participants from around the United States.
There, the students were greeted with swag bags and took part in an “Amazing Race”-style adventure throughout Universal City. And in true reality-show style, a video team recorded the group’s activities during their three-day residence.
Though the glitz and glamor were plenty of fun, what most impressed Somogyi was the strength of the connections he formed with his peers—and the fact that the firm's partners took time out of their schedules to lead the seminars he and the other program participants attended.
Somogyi—who has volunteered as a cadet with the Portland Police Bureau since high school—graduates from the Lundquist College this June.
Next summer, Somogyi returns to KPMG's Portland office to work as an intern in the audit practice. He'll be back on campus this fall to begin studies at the college’s Master of Accounting program.
What’s Somogyi’s advice for others seeking similar opportunities? It’s all about hard work and character.
“Your grades are important but at the end of the day it’s all about how you interact with people and how you can convey your personal experiences as something the firm wants,” said Somogyi.
Find out more about the Fast Forward National Leadership Program and watch a fun video about the 2013 event.