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Read more Aisling Murphy

Instructional Designer

KPMG Learning Academy

An unexpected discovery

This is the first of three articles on


"Oh, I heard you work at KPMG now?" said an

intrigued, yet approving, friend. This kind of

reaction to my new place of work had become

so commonplace over the last few weeks that

it acted as a stark reminder of the huge move

I'd recently made.

"I can't imagine you at a place like that, it's all

tax and accountancy isn't it?" Another

comment caught me off guard and my heart

sank a little. Was the reputation of this global

giant going to follow me around forever?

Smiling, I swiftly changed the subject, but my

friend's comments stayed with me long after

they were made.


I carried them with me throughout my first few

months at the organisation. I had presumed

the work I'd be doing as an Instructional

Designer in the KPMG Learning Academy

(KLA) would be less creative, less fun, less

colourful, less exciting. Surely there's no

escaping the fact that our area of expertise is

technical content - isn't it 'all tax and

accountancy' after all?

But, the best discoveries in life are unexpected.

And just as I was ready to give up any creative

licence to make way for dry, technical writing, it

soon became apparent that my impression

was, in fact, completely wrong. Everywhere I

turn my preconceptions are challenged. My

fear of coming into the firm and the stigma

attached to it soon lifted when I realised that

the KLA, as part of the wider Learning

Solutions team, is working hard to push the

boundaries of how we communicate with


Storytelling is a huge part of the approach to

learning design, a pleasant unexpected

discovery for me as a new joiner to the team.

'Great', I thought. I've always enjoyed reading

and writing stories. But there was more to

discover, as I soon found out that storytelling is

born out of the collaborative, consultative

values that are embodied in all that we do


Creating other worlds

A good story will entertain, but a great story will

resonate on a deeper level and should leave a

reflective and pensive feeling. I'm just about

recovering from the TV event of the year,

BBC's 'Bodyguard' and if you're not, it's likely

that you know someone who is.



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