Written by: Josh Puterbaugh
When I found out that I would be participating in KPMG’s Global Internship Program in Ireland, I was happy because I knew it was an English speaking country (I took Latin in high school…very interesting, but not exactly practical). However, I wasn’t completely expecting to encounter all of the different phrases and words I hear on a daily basis in Dublin and around the office. The above phrase, translated into non-UK English is, “’We go to the cafeteria at 12:30 pm”. When I first heard that phrase, I thought they were referring to the bathroom and meant 11:30 am. I thought, “Why are they telling me this? Is there an assigned bathroom break time? What have I gotten myself into?” I think the look of complete confusion on my face was enough of a sign that I needed a translation.
There are two KPMG offices in Dublin: Stokes Place and Harbourmaster Place. The Stokes Place office is located across the street from St. Stephen’s Green and the Harbourmaster Place office is located at the IFSC. I work in the Stokes Place office in an area of the office that is nicknamed “The Bullpen”. The area gets its name from the fast paced nature of the various mergers and acquisitions that are facilitated by the KPMG associates, directors, and partners working nearby. The entire Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) department is made up of 14 people, including myself. This is a lot smaller than the M&A department in Chicago, which I’m sure is much closer to 100 people, and that is only one office in the US. The Stokes Place office in Dublin is the main office for KPMG Ireland’s M&A activity and is their largest.
Shortly after I arrived at the office for my first day of work, I met with my assigned Performance Manager and Mentor in the Stokes Place office and was introduced to everyone on our floor. Everyone was very nice and welcoming and some asked me, “How are you getting on?” The translation for that phrase is simply, “How are you doing?” One of the benefits of working with a smaller team is that I am able to get to know everyone on my team fairly well. On larger teams, this is simply not possible, as 80 people cannot go out to lunch together every day. While out at lunch or during slower times in the office, I have learned a lot about the schooling in Ireland, the steps necessary to become a Charted Accountant, and that even the Irish follow Lindsay Lohan’s latest courtroom drama.
I remember during my first week of freshman year at OSU when one of my roommates pointed out that I have a “Cleveland accent”. In case you are not familiar, (or you are from the Cleveland area and don’t pick up on it because it’s the norm) those from Northeast Ohio tend to accent their a’s. I was well aware that in Ireland, my American accent would not be the norm and my team members realize that too and really enjoy having me say different phrases to highlight my accent. I get to share in the fun too when they practice their American accents that sound like a mix between a stereotypical Chicago and NYC accent.
My next blog will focus on how Ohio State has prepared me for both my internship in the US as well as my internship abroad.