Wonderful experiences: work and live in the UK, Birmingham
Hi! This is my first diary blog. For those who follow me from my previous UK travel blogs, you may know that I had been working in the UK for three months in 2013. This is the first time I would like to share my full experiences with you in a form of a diary blog.
I work at KPMG (a multinational firm expertise in the field of audit, tax and advisory). I am a part of transfer pricing team in the tax department at Bangkok office. During April to July 2013, I was on an assignment to work in the KPMG Birmingham office in the UK. This assignment was under a program called "Tax Trek" which is KPMG's global mobility program. As of now, there was over 800 KPMG professionals who have experienced in the Tax Trek program.
I wrote this article in order to compete in the Tax Trek yearbook contest for 2013. This below article is among the wining articles! (There were 3 winning articles in 2013). I got an iPad mini as my reward and the article was published in the yearbook for 2013.
Hope you enjoy reading my story
My dream come true : My UK Trek
Working aboard was always my dream. I was introduced to Tax Trek when I was a senior college student. How great it would be if one day I had a chance to work in other parts of the world, is what I said to myself four years ago. Then, fortunately, I got an opportunity to work in the Transfer Pricing team at KPMG in the UK from April to July 2013.
At first I was scared of going to live and work in the UK. I had never traveled alone or lived by myself before. Surprisingly, right now while Im writing this I miss my time in the UK so much.
Type of work
I was part of a Transfer Pricing team under Corporate Tax in Birmingham. As I also do transfer pricing work in my home country, it was quite a smooth transfer to the UK. Although the main principle of transfer pricing is the same and based on OECD guidelines, there are still many things to learn and understand. Different tax practices and different internal laws between Thailand and the UK pushed me to work hard. There are more transfer pricing cases in the UK than in Thailand and some cases are very complex and require other technical skills.
I also got a chance to work in areas of patent box, thin capitalization, and controlled foreign capital (CFC), none of which are formal implemented in Thailand yet.
My first day in the host office was very interesting. Everything was totally new for me. I was introduced to my performance manager who sat there waiting for me. My manager was very nice. He asked me about my work and experience in Bangkok and also explained how things work in Birmingham. It was a warm welcome. Then, suddenly he said, There will be a team meeting in London and we have to be there in the next two hours. I was shocked. Next thing I knew, I was running to the station catching a train to London.
At the London office, I met the rest of my team. The meeting was finished around 5 pm. We took a train back and reached my apartment at 7 pm. I was an interesting, surprising and exhausting first day.
Living in the UK
My apartment in Birmingham was totally awesome. Not only did I have two bedrooms and a well equipped kitchen, it was in a great It was a 2 minute walk to the nearest mall and only 15 minute was to the train station and the KPMG office. So, my main transportation was my feet! Birmingham is a diverse and populous city second to London the most populous British city, so I didn't feel like a foreigner at all.
I was in the UK during the summer. There were beautiful flowers all over the place. People went out to the park for picnics or even sunbath (this activity shocked me a little bit). The summers warmth helped me easily adapt to the weather. Nonetheless, the rain also reminded me that Im still in the UK.
For the food, I have to admit that sometimes I missed spicy Asian food. Therefore, my appetite persuades me to actually cook for the first time!I found a Chinese supermarket where I bought Thai ingredient and a familiar cooking sauce. I enjoyed cooking very much. Thanks to Tax Trek for letting me find another talent.
Work hard, play harder
There were lots of activities to do on the weekends. I explored Birmingham, visiting city landmarks, museums, parks, theaters, etc. During my three months, I took one day trip trips by train to other towns. I had a chance to visit London four times as well as Oxford, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Bath, Salisbury, Cardiff and many more.
Every trip was different in a good way. It opened my eyes to different cultures. I went to the English country side, which I would not have seen if I stayed only in the city. By seeing British life and activities, I got a better understanding of the British culture.
The Tax Trek program gave me a great opportunity to explore the world of transfer pricing and tax. This has developed me both professionally and personally. Working aboard, even just for the short time, has broadened my view. I have learnt other tax regulations, the nature of business in other regions, etc. Working in a different environment helped me improve my work skill and my personality. This experience made a huge impact on my career and added value to me as well.
After I came back to my home office, I shared my experience and UK best practices with my team. Some activities I learned from the UK firm have been initiated and implemented in KPMG in Thailand already! If you are considering a Tax Trek assignment, I would definitely say Go for it.
Tax Trek class of FY13Yearbook
2013 through the eyesof our Tax Trekkers
KPMG Birmingham office
a unique building of Selfridges (a mall)
Birmingham's city centre
the nearest mall : The Mailbox
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
near the office
my apartment: Bridgestreet
first time cooking
my wonderful UK team
Link to my UK travel blogs
1. Things you need to know before going to the UK here
2. Warwick & Stratford upon Avon (ตามรอยShakespeare) here
3. Oxford here
4. Liverpool here
6. Cardiff here
7. Bourton-on-the-Water here
8. Edinburgh here
ผู้ติดตามบล็อก : 57 คน [?]
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