About Future Ready

What’s it for?

You need a real business brain to thrive at KPMG. Future Ready sets out to test yours, give you hints and tips on how to develop your skills and point you in the direction of further opportunities to learn. You may even discover that you’re more of a natural than you thought.

What’s in it for you?

On top of the hints, tips and further guidance, on finishing Future Ready you’ll get the opportunity to sign up to our Smart Network – where you’ll get access to exclusive content that will develop your skills further, and be amongst the first to hear when our graduate and undergraduate opportunities open.

What happens if I answer a question incorrectly?

An incorrect answer is not the end of the road. We’ll give you a hint around what we’re looking for and the opportunity to try again.

How long will it take?

We know you’re busy, so we’ve designed this whole quiz to take no more than five minutes.

Can I take it again?

Absolutely. Future Ready is about developing your skills and knowledge. If you want to take it more than once, you’re more than welcome to do so.

Is it scored?

No, not at all. This isn’t a competition or part of our assessment process. It’s about one thing only: helping you develop your business thinking and knowledge.

Will my performance be taken into consideration if I apply to KPMG?

No. Our only intention when creating Future Ready was to develop your business thinking and knowledge.

Tips when taking Future Ready

We don’t want to overcomplicate this, so our only tips are: do it on your own, allow enough time (it’s only 5 minutes after all) and have fun.

Future Ready: Business Ready

Woman running

How to seize business opportunities

Some call it commercial acumen, others talk about business brains. However you refer to it, the ability to spot and seize business opportunities is vital for any successful career.

Because it’s a strength we particularly look for at KPMG, we’ve developed this fun and informative tool. Have a go at Future Ready and you’ll test your skills, learn from our hints and tips and – once you’ve finished – you’ll be invited to sign up to our Smart Network, where you’ll gain instant access to exclusive content that will develop your business skills further. You'll also be amongst the first to hear about our career opportunities.

Equal Opportunities

Please complete the below short form before starting the quiz. Your responses will remain anonymous.

At KPMG we are committed to being an inclusive employer and encouraging diversity in the recruitment, retention and development of our people. By providing us with the data requested you will help us to track how successful we are in recruiting talented people, irrespective of difference.

Put your best foot forward

Choose your avatar

Faster food?

Challenge one

There’s nowhere on your campus to buy healthy food and drinks. Most students don’t have much time between lectures and the nearest supermarket is a 20-minute walk. You hear that the top floor of the main building will no longer be used for lectures. For cost reasons, the university wants to rent out this space as soon as possible. What goes through your mind?

  • 1I wonder what the plans are for this space. I must find out from the university manager as soon as possible so I can research and present my ideas to the committee.
  • 2I’ll speak to other students first to find out their thoughts before I do anything.
  • 3I better put forward my ideas to the university committee before anyone else gets there.
  • 4It’s a shame for such a big space to be empty, I hope someone makes good use out of it.

Correct answer!

I wonder what the plans are for this space. I must find out from the university manager as soon as possible so I can research and present my ideas to the committee.

It’s important in business to respond rapidly to changing circumstances and grab opportunities when they arise. But it’s vital to know what you’re leaping into, so always find out the nature of the opportunity before you act so you can do your research and prepare the best solution.

Now let’s see how you get on with our second challenge.

There's a better answer

I’ll speak to other students first to find out their thoughts before I do anything.

You won’t be the only one with great ideas! Other people will be interested in making use of this large space and they might get there before you. While it’s important to sense-check your ideas, it’s also vital to be proactive and get ready to share your ideas to the relevant audience.

There's a better answer

I better put forward my ideas to the university committee before anyone else gets there.

Of course it’s important to act decisively but you may first want to take a step back and see whether anyone else has got there before you! You may also want to consult other students to see if they agree with your idea. All successful businesses have a strong customer base so it’s important to understand your target market.

Learn more: You may find it useful to read business books/journals about understanding the consumer market.

There's a better answer

It’s a shame for such a big space to be empty, I hope someone makes good use out of it.

You may want to increase your understanding on how to spot - and act on - business opportunities (as this could be a chance to put forward your ideas on how this space can be utilised).

Learn more: You can do this by reading the biographies of well-known entrepreneurs or alternatively seeking out a mentor at the type of business you see yourself working for.

Prepared to be inspired?

Challenge two

You have a great business idea but you’re not sure how to make it a success. The university is holding a pitch evening in two days. There will be a flamboyant entrepreneur on the panel and a £500 start-up prize for the most inspired business idea. It’s a great opportunity, but you’re not sure if you have enough time to prepare. What goes through your mind?

  • 1My friend has recently started up her own business. The business area isn’t directly relevant but I have half an hour to pick her brains today.
  • 2I don’t think I need to do any research. I will sign up anyway and see how it goes on the day.
  • 3I want to be fully prepared; I’m going to reprioritise my current commitments, research my idea, speak to a few people who will be able to help and create a detailed business case.
  • 4Two days isn’t enough time to prepare; I am sure there’ll be another opportunity.

There's a better answer

My friend has recently started up her own business. The business area isn’t directly relevant but I have half an hour to pick her brains today.

You may want to factor in some time to fully prepare for this event. Your friend may be able to give you insight into how to set up a business, but they may have limited knowledge around your business sector or product.

Learn more: Try and identify some successful/unsuccessful companies and research the factors which have affected their success or lack of it.

There's a better answer

I don’t think I need to do any research. I will sign up anyway and see how it goes on the day.

We like your confidence, but it’s vital to prepare before an opportunity like this. You’ll need to be sure that you know how to launch a start-up. And in particular, you'll need to demonstrate understanding of how your specific idea will work.

It’s important to research the viability of your idea so you’re fully prepared when presenting to the panel.

Correct answer!

I want to be fully prepared; I’m going to reprioritise my current commitments, research my idea, speak to a few people who will be able to help and create a detailed business case.

Spotting a business opportunity is only half the battle. Successfully pitching an idea calls for preparation as much as sales skills. Only step up once you’re happy you have a comprehensive answer.

Also, you’re going to be asked questions, so you’ll need to be sure of your answers.

Now let’s see how you get on with our third challenge.

There's a better answer

Two days isn’t enough time to prepare; I am sure there’ll be another opportunity.

This is a unique opportunity to make your idea a reality! It could be a chance to gain some feedback on whether your idea would work in practice. You’ll get valuable advice from someone experienced in setting up new businesses.

It's probably a good idea to reprioritise so that you have more time to prepare and make the most of this opportunity.

A chance to connect?

Challenge three

Your friend asks you for help setting up a new international society. She’s really excited about the idea, but mentions she doesn’t have any money to market it. However, in the last week you have spoken to quite a few students who mentioned they really want to meet people from different cultures. What is the best approach? (Choose the option that represents the best order to approach this)

  • 1
    1. A. Brainstorm some marketing ideas.
    2. B. See if there are any similar societies being run.
    3. C. Speak to students to see if they would be interested.
  • 2
    1. A. Write down a list of students who would be interested.
    2. B. See if there are any similar societies being run.
    3. C. Brainstorm some marketing ideas.
  • 3Tell your friend you think this is a great idea and that you definitely want to be involved.
  • 4
    1. A. See if there are any similar societies being run.
    2. B. Find out who would be interested.
    3. C. Brainstorm some marketing ideas.

There's a better answer

You may want to take a step back before you start brainstorming ideas for marketing.

Find out if there are any similar societies being run. This will tell you whether there’s a gap in the university that a new society would fill. It would also give you an insight into what you need to consider to run a society and what types of members they typically have.

There's a better answer

It may be quite time consuming to find out how many students would be interested in joining straight away.

You may first find it beneficial to explore what else is already out there to determine whether your idea is distinctive enough or too similar to existing societies.

There's a better answer

As someone interested in pursuing a business career you need to demonstrate more evidence around what factors you would consider when you are setting up a new venture.

Learn more: You may find it useful to complete a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis to determine whether a business idea is worth pursuing.

Correct answer!

Firstly, it’s important to establish whether any similar societies are being run to gauge whether there is a need for a new society. Secondly, you will need to get a better idea of whether students would be interested in joining this society as it won’t run without members. Lastly, once you have established that the idea is distinctive you can sit down and do some brainstorming with your friend.

Summer shopping?

Challenge four

It’s getting to the end of the summer term and your bank balance is low. You love going shopping but need to be cautious about your spending habits. On the way to a lecture, you overhear a shopkeeper telling someone student numbers have significantly decreased this term and she isn’t sure how to increase sales. What goes through your mind?

  • 1I can speak to the shopkeeper to negotiate a discount for students.
  • 2Surely she can’t be the only one experiencing a decline in sales, let me start some conversations with other local businesses to see if there is a wider consumer issue they are experiencing too. We can then look at potential solutions which will benefit both the businesses and the students.
  • 3Maybe I should talk to a few students to see if there is a reason they have stopped shopping there.
  • 4It’s just the time of the year! Sales will definitely increase next term.

There's a better answer

I can speak to the shopkeeper to negotiate a discount for students.

Although your solution will benefit this particular shopkeeper and students, there’s a good chance other businesses are having a similar issue. This could be a great opportunity to create a multi-shop student discount scheme that has a much wider benefit.

Learn more: Read up on companies who have formed strong partnerships with their customers and other businesses. Try to gain a fuller understanding of why they have collaborated and how this has impacted their overall business strategy.

Correct answer!

Surely she can’t be the only one experiencing a decline in sales, let me start some conversations with other local businesses to see if there is a wider consumer issue they are experiencing too. We can then look at potential solutions which will benefit both the businesses and the students?

It’s very likely that other businesses will also be experiencing the same issue. You can address a wider problem by getting in contact with them and informing them their sales are likely to increase if they offer a student discount. In the end this will benefit them, as well as students!

There's a better answer

Maybe I should talk to a few students to see if there is a reason they have stopped shopping there.

Although it would be useful to gain an insight into this, there’s a good chance that the issue of student expenditure is wider than just one shop. You need to think more broadly about the factors that influence student behaviour and why spending patterns fluctuate throughout the year. That way, you may be able to hit on a bigger, more strategic solution.

Learn more: It may be worth doing some research on a prominent organisation to find out what factors influence the supply and demand of their goods and services.

There's a better answer

It’s just the time of the year! Sales will definitely increase next term.

Proactivity is the cornerstone of business success. This could be a prime opportunity to talk to the shopkeeper and see if you can kickstart a broader solution to this issue. Doing this could benefit yourself, as well as other students who are also likely to be cautious in their spending.

Star performance?

Challenge five

The Annual University Ball is approaching and everybody’s looking forward to it as a really good band is headlining. You are in the university band yourself and have been trying to raise money for new equipment. A week before the event, you find out the band has pulled out of the Ball which means the event is likely to get cancelled. What would go through your mind?

  • 1Maybe my band can play? I’ll contact the organiser to arrange an audition.
  • 2I’ll send a demo to the organiser – if they are interested I’m sure they will contact me.
  • 3I know a great band who played at another university ball; let me recommend them.
  • 4I am not sure if my band is ready to play at such a big event, I am sure they will find someone else.

Correct answer!

Maybe my band can play? I’ll contact the organiser to arrange an audition.

This is a great opportunity to get out there and ensure your band gains exposure and access to the funds you need to raise the money for your new equipment. Proving your ability by demonstrating it to the key stakeholder is one of the most effective sales tools.

Make an impression and you never know what further opportunities this may lead to.

There's a better answer

I’ll send a demo to the organiser – if they are interested I’m sure they will contact me.

Although sending a demo may make the organiser more aware of your band, this may not have the same impact as you taking the time to personally demonstrate what your band can offer and pitch for the sponsorship.

Learn more: You may find it useful to read articles or books on successful strategies for selling and negotiating.

There's a better answer

I know a great band who played at another university ball; let me recommend them.

Although this will provide a solution for the Ball organisers and ensure the event doesn’t get cancelled, your band will miss out on a great opportunity.

Learn more: Many well-known business professionals have succeeded in highly competitive environments. Seek out the autobiography of one of them and learn how they overcame the obstacles to success.

There's a better answer

I am not sure if my band is ready to play at such a big event, I am sure they will find someone else.

It would be a shame to miss out on an opportunity which will give your band the exposure you’ve been looking for and raise money for the equipment you need! It’s not always possible to predict when a business opportunity will arise. To succeed, you have to be ready to act when the unexpected happens.

Well done!

Congratulations on completing Future Ready. Commercial acumen is one of the most important characteristics we look for in KPMG candidates, so well done for taking the first steps to build your skills. If you want to continue your development and gain instant access to exclusive hints, tips and guidance on developing your knowledge in this area, then please enter your email address below. We’ll also be in touch to share other opportunities with you to help you on your career journey.