Opening corporate doors for public school teenagers

Tracey and Peter at KPMG’s Melbourne office.

Peter Raftopoulos, credit controller at KPMG Australia, is giving back to his community and inspiring young people by taking part in Ourschool.

Peter, an alum of Springvale High School, which is now Keysborough College, recently hosted two Year 10 work experience students from Keysborough College. He also held a seminar at KPMG’s Melbourne office for a Year 11 accounting class from his old school and has returned to Keysborough College to take part in an alumni career pathways session.

This is what Peter, and Tracy, one of the Year 10 students, said about the work experience week:

Peter: “I wanted to provide a work experience placement through the Ourschool alumni program because I thought it would be a great opportunity to give back to my school and also to be able to mentor public high school students who really want to come into a Big Four accounting firm in the future after completing their studies.

“I remember as a young person myself, I had an older brother who worked at KPMG, and on occasion after my school day I would catch the train into the city and go to his office, which was so empowering as a young person to see the inner workings of a large firm. So this program is a great opportunity to show other young people, that they too, from a public school, can have the same opportunities as private school students do.

“Even within my workplace at KPMG, there are so many diverse jobs that young people can aspire to, ranging from accountants, consultants, finance and IT support staff, secretaries, even catering staff.

“It’s a wonderful environment and I feel it’s a privilege to be a mentor to these students via the alumni program.”

Tracy: “I wanted to do work experience at KPMG through the alumni program because it felt like it was a good opportunity for my future. I’ve observed and learned about what they do at KPMG. I like the flexibility of the workplace, the flexible working hours and how everyone is so friendly.

“I thought everyone might not be so approachable but it’s the opposite.

“If I didn’t have this opportunity through the alumni program, I probably would have done work experience at a primary school because my mum wanted me to be a teacher. But that wouldn’t have suited me because I’m really interested in business.”