We love getting daily emails from clients saying, “Your materials were awesome! Your services helped me get my dream job!” Here is one we got recently from John:

A few months ago, I wrote you for advice in regards to resources I could use to prep for interviews in consulting. I ended up using some of the books off your site’s recommended reading list – The McKinsey Way, How to Get Into the Top Consulting Firms, and I bought the Consulting Interview Bible. I ended up getting my offer last week and I wanted to write and let you know that I couldn’t have done it without your website as a resource. I’d be happy to write a review in my appreciation if there is a formal process for that. Thank you!

Instead of just a written review, we asked John to share his secrets and his process – and were amazed! He has a really cool history – international i-banking, college football, and more – and THEN he spent 2 years networking his way into a job at PwC. Talk about tenacity!

We love his story, and hope you are encouraged by the testimony that anything is possible. If you have your own story to share, make sure you email us – we love to hear from you, and respond personally to every email.

Enjoy!

When and how did you decide you were interested in consulting?

I initially started college on the east coast at a school called Stonehill College on a football scholarship. I transferred after my first semester, looking for a more competitive athletic program and a larger university with more opportunities. It helped that I was closer to home as well (originally from Oregon). I attended the University of Oregon and received my degree in Economics and Business.

I played football at U of O for a period of time and ultimately decided I wanted something different from my college experience; I decided to leave the team after my priorities changed. I started participated in clubs in school such as IBEC (international business and economics club). I realized I didn’t have a future in football after college so that prompted me to focus more on my education and gaining experience in internships outside of the classroom.

Internship experience is tough to come by if you want to be a competitive college athlete, especially in a football program like U of O’s. Summers are consumed with training, practice, team building and school, as your class load is lighter through the year to compensate for a demanding training/season schedule. Leaving the program was a tough decision, but my studies needed more attention and I had interests outside of athletics so it was the right choice.

My first internship in college was with Morgan Stanley as an intern/analyst in the local global wealth group in Eugene, OR.  The following winter term I took off (junior year), and moved to Vancouver B.C. where I worked for IMG (international marketing group) at the Winter Olympics. I landed an internship with IMG through a family member who worked with the firm. I managed a group of 17 brand ambassadors executing an “in-field” activation/marketing campaign for an IMG client, Wrigley Canada (chewing gum). It was an incredible experience and some of the best weeks of my life to this point; however, it taught me that I did not want to work in event management.

I returned back to school and worked as a research assistant for my econometrics professor the following spring term. I then took another internship in finance with Merrill Lynch. This was a more traditional analyst training program located in Merrill’s Portland, OR office. Again, it was an incredible experience, but at the end I determined asset management was not a field I wanted to be in.  I really liked aspects of the industry, such as research and analysis; however, the career path was of no interest to me.

My senior year I continued my work as a research assistant. I also explored other areas of finance and ultimately decided that I wanted to give investment banking a shot. This was a pretty ambitious goal considering no banks recruited from my school. I ended up leveraging my family/family friends network pretty aggressively, cold calling boutique banks in SF, LA and Seattle, asking for informational interviews, opportunities, etc. If there is anything I learned through that process, it’s that if you ask for help, and show intent and effort, people are generally willing to help out in some way. It helps to have determination, defined goals, and vision – thick skin is also a plus as there is a lot of rejection involved.

Another aspect of what I wanted for my post-college experience was international business experience. I searched and networked for 8 months until I found an opportunity in Sydney, Australia with a small boutique bank focused on oil and gas private placement, capital raisings, and small cap M&A. I finished school with my degree in economics and business that June, worked a construction job for a month, then flew to Sydney for my new role as a Summer Analyst.

I had an incredible experience working in Sydney. I learned a lot about the industry and got more responsibility than an analyst typically would at a larger bank. Given the size of the firm, there were more opportunities to help with different projects. I was tasked with research duties, creating presentations, working on models in Excel, etc. I also worked very long hours. It was a typical summer analyst experience working in banking, which is exactly what I wanted.

However, I ended up leaving Australia after determining I wanted to work in the U.S. I moved back to Portland and started looking for analyst jobs in banking, consulting, and corporate strategy.  All very competitive fields – and increasingly hard to break into given the time frame and condition of the U.S. economy. I started again with informational interviews and more networking.

A friend of mine was working for PwC in pre/post M&A integration management consulting at the time. I had a few conversations about his experience, and we determined it might be a good idea for me to meet his colleagues. I did a lot of my own research regarding PwC and consulting, the Seattle practice, where I saw my career in the future, and which of my strengths best complimented the industry/career path. I then met with a number of consultants from PwC on my own dime for informational interviews and networking purposes. After meeting the group in Seattle, I determined that this was an industry and company I really wanted to work in/for.

I then made a plan of how I would break into the firm, and executed it over the next 1.5+ years while I continued to gain experience in real estate finance and institutional asset management. Here’s the timeline:

  • January 2012: Started networking with PwC
  • February 2012: Determined I wanted to pursue consulting as a career
  • February 2012 – October 2013:  Networked within industry PwC/continued to gain experience in real estate finance/institutional asset management
  • November 2013:  Received offer
  • December 2013:  Started working for PwC

What was your networking process like with PwC?

My networking process with PwC entailed:

  • Introducing myself to a recruiter on the University of Oregon campus at the end of my senior year, and keeping in contact with her while I was in Australia.
  • Networked while in Australia with PwC folks for informational interviews.
  • Returned to the U.S. and connected with my friend at the firm; he set up 8 informational interviews with me over the course of a full day in January of 2012.  After my interviews, I continued to network and communicate with the core group of individuals I met. I always contacted them with a purpose – I was respectful of their time and would not ping them without good reason. I stayed in consistent contact every 3 months, for about a year.
  • Through the networking process, I was introduced to another Director in the Seattle office in July 2012. He and I proceeded to build a good rapport – after about a month, he let me know that he felt I could be a good fit with the firm/management consulting industry. He told me to be patient with the recruiting process and to keep in touch, when the time was right he would reach out to me with details/recruitment information.
  • I stayed in touch, periodically updating him once a month (sometimes never hearing back) until July 2013 when he called and asked if I would like to interview with the firm.
  • Through the formal recruitment process I was introduced to another Director with whom I stayed in very close contact. In addition, I also updated all of the other PwC consultants I had initially been in contact with, asking them for interview advice/resources to prep for my in person interviews.
  • Received an offer in early November, accepted the next day.

Talk about your PwC interviews – how many rounds did you do? What seniority were your interviewers? What did they cover?

I had between 30-40 conversations with PwC consultants over a year and a half. None of those were considered “formal” interviews. However, through that process I was asked many interview-like questions.

The final interview process (when I was formally being considered) consisted of:

  • Week 1: One phone interview with the finance team HR recruiter.  30 minutes, questions covering my background, experience, fit, etc.
  • Week 2: Phone interview with a Director out of the M&A practice working on a Venture Capital engagement. 30 minutes, questions covering background, fit, cultural fit, education, experience, future goals and plans, etc.
  • Week 3: After 2nd call, I had a few exchanges with Directors in the market I was being recruited into, discussing my calls, how I felt about interviews and the opportunity, etc.  Informal.
  • Week 4/5: Received a call from HR recruiter and Director letting me know they wanted me to meet with the hiring market Partner.
  • Week 6: Interviewed in office; 1 hour conversation with Partner covering my experience, opportunity, networking process I went through, story, linking my experience and skills with perceived tasks of role, fit for company, etc. Very conversational – had a great conversation and made a good connection. Was given a tour of office, had a follow up coffee with one of the Directors recruiting me. Same type of conversation as with the Partner. 
  • Early Week 7: Received a call from Director and Recruiter informing me that I was going to receive an offer and that they wanted to hire me, offer was in the process of being put together. Had a few calls with HR negotiating package and accepted offer at end of week 7.

What do you think were your key factors for success breaking into PwC?

I think many factors played into my success with PwC:

  • Having a friend within the team to connect me with coworkers, validate my character, work ethic, etc.
  • Prior experience in banking, athlete/leadership background, demonstration of interest in consulting, demonstrated ability to achieve above average + quality work and results, consistency, intelligence (things that are all pre-requisites for the industry/role).
  • A determination to break into the industry; self-education on frameworks, PwC as a company, competitors, various lines of service, clients, etc.
  • Above all, the biggest factor(s) was my ability to build a network within the firm and sustain those relationships, communicate clearly and concisely how I could add value to PwC and its clients, bring consistency in my brand through multiple conversations, informational interviews and formal interviews.

What are you most excited about as you transition to a job with PwC?

PwC’s greatest differentiator are its people. The level of intelligence, determination, and passion of each individual I have met has been very impressive. We all become better by surrounding ourselves with exceptional people that push us to do our best. Whether it’s on the sports field or in the workplace we all learn by example. I’m excited to learn from my coworkers and to in turn do a better job for the firm and our clients.

I’m also looking forward to working on engagements involving M&A integration, and getting the opportunity to focus my area of expertise as I gain more experience with the firm.

More from MC

PwC article Networking 101 Networking 102

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Ever wonder what MBB, the Big 4 firms, and other firms like Accenture or Oliver Wyman are looking for in a consulting resume?

During recruiting season, consultants review 100s of resume at a time. Because of the overwhelming size of the applicant pool, your resume has ~10 seconds to make an impression. It’s imperative you leave a memorable (and good) first impression

To help you learn how to create an outstanding resume, we’ve created a series of videos that will help by offering:

1) Understanding of the consulting resume review process — what happens to your resume after you submit it, how it is reviewed, etc. so that you become familiar with the process from a consultant insider’s point of view

2) Insight into precisely what reviewers are looking for in your consulting resume

To follow us (and get notified when each week’s video comes out on Wednesday), make sure you subscribe on YouTube here.

Enjoy!

What is a Consulting Resume?

The 3 Types of Consulting Resume Reviews

5 Things to Highlight in a Consulting Resume

Secrets of the Team Resume Review

We hope you enjoyed the videos. If you have any questions about your resume or about anything else relating to consulting, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be glad to help :)

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PWC INTERVIEW AND CULTURE

PwC is an absolute behemoth – prestigious, mystical, and totally confusing to the outside observer. The firm has a 160+ year legacy, and a brand that is cobbled together from so many pasts that it’s hard to tell which way the firm is headed.

Here’s what we know – PwC is a survivor. In the midst of the globalization of audit, growing cross-border complexity, international regulatory shakeups and threats to the core business, PwC has consistently returned to its core. With each challenge, the firm grows stronger.

Now, the firm is at the top of its game – and has big plans in the consulting space. Whether you’re planning to interview at PwC or just want the lay of the land, check out one of the coolest business stories consulting has to offer.

Enjoy!

KEY STATS FOR PWC

PwC Website: www.PwC.com
PwC U.S. Headquarters: New York, NY
PwC Employees: 184,235
PwC Locations: 157 countries, 776 cities
PwC Chief Executive: Dennis Nally (International Chairman)
PwC Revenue: $32.1B
PwC Consulting Engagement Cost: $350K

PWC HISTORY

PwC has a long and rich history. Did we explain how long? That’s right – 160+ years long.  However, this isn’t unusual for its heritage – founded in England, longevity is a common trait for many companies in the U.K. business world. PwC was basically created by a merger between 2 firms – Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand.  Below is a timeline of key milestones for both companies until they merged in 1998.

  • 1849 - Samuel Lowell Price starts business in London.
  • 1854 - William Cooper founds his own practice in London. 7 years later it becomes Cooper Brothers.
  • 1865 - Price, Holyland and Waterhouse join in a partnership.
  • 1874 - Business name changes to Price, Waterhouse & Co.
  • 1898 - Robert H. Montgomery, William M. Lybrand, Adam A. Ross, Jr., and his brother T. Edward Ross form Lybrand, Ross Brothers and Montgomery.
  • 1957 – Coopers Brothers & Co. (UK), McDonald, Currie and Co (Canada) and Lybrand, Ross bros & Montgomery (US) merge forming Coopers & Lybrand.
  • 1982 - Price Waterhouse World Firm formed.
  • 1990 - Coopers & Lybrand merges with Deloitte Haskins & Sells in multiple countries.
  • 1998 - Worldwide merger of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand to create PwC.

Following the merger, PwC had a massive consulting branch that was responsible for much of its revenues. This part of their business was called “Management Consulting Services” or “MCS”.  MCS was incredibly profitable in the 90s due to its global implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning systems, also known as “ERP”.

Most of you probably are clued in, but some of you Millenials were just toddlers, so here’s some background on the advent of an industry.  An ERP system is an enterprise business management software program that organizes and tracks large company’s resources (cash, raw materials, production capacity, etc.) and status of financial commitments – commitments like sales orders, purchase orders, payroll, inventory, shipping, and taxes. Multiple departments input data and the ERP system stores, arranges and produces analysis on any of the data required for applicable analysis. It helps facilitate error-free transactions and production (before ERP, people actually used odd things like pens, paper and ledgers to keep track of their stuff).

ERP software was originally created as a cure for the Y2K problem, also called the Millennium Bug, which affected both the digital and non-digital documentation and data storage systems - the anticipation of Y2K drove the ERP boom in the 90s.

PwC’s incredible growth in the 90s drew media and regulatory attention because clients had the same company auditing  and selling financial software management solutions – albeit through different branches of the firm, collaboration between practices was very high and PwC staff from both functions were on-site together. This was clearly a conflict of interest. In fact, many other major auditing companies had consulting arms offering similar services, and all the majors began to be questioned just as rigorously.

PwC is a legacy king of regulatory mastery – that’s what years of audit expertise will do for you! Something had to be done, and quickly. In 1999-2000, PwC decided to have MCS disengage with current audit clients and did not selling financial systems design and implementation services. It was a great solution to the one problem, but it created another – PwC’s most attractive audit clients were also the most attractive ERP clients. The intentions were good, and MCS lost dramatic revenue overnight, but a formal wall between the 2 service sectors wasn’t created.

Then came the financial auditing scandals of Enron, Worldcom and others, leading to the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Hewlett-Packard was in negotiations to purchase MCS for $17B prior to the scandal’s blast on the industry, but negotiations predictably broke down in 2000. SOX severely limited even more the interaction between management consulting and financial auditing services. In response, the MCS division of PwC re-branded as PwC Consulting.

In May 2002, PwC announced PwC Consulting would branch off to be its own independent entity and would have their own CEO to run the global firm.  Interestingly enough, in October of this same year, PwC changed their mind and sold their entire consultancy entity to IBM for the low-low price of $3.9B in cash and stock. IBM GBS absorbed PwC Consulting and doubled in size.

2009 began another era of change and purchasing frenzy as PwC decided to re-create a consultancy branch, starting with the acquisition of Paragon Consulting Group and the commercial services business of BearingPoint. In 2010, PwC continued the trend by buying out Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, Inc., and in August 2011, purchased PRTM. PwC moved on to acquire Ant’s Eye View, in August 2012, a social media strategy development and consulting firm.

In 2013, PwC decided to partner with Pneuron Corporation, an enterprise data integration firm. This was to strengthen  data management capabilities and solutions specifically to help large firms manage massive amounts of data. The most recent acquisition, and the most interesting to us, was announced on October 30, 2013 – PwC made public its intention to acquire Booz & Company. The deal was completed in April 2014 with the renaming of Booz & Co. to Strategy& following shortly afterwards.

Today, the main clients of PwC are in Europe and North America – the 2 regions account for 81% of PwC’s annual revenue.  Europe alone accounts for 45%. PwC’s audit sector includes 40% of companies in the FTSE 100 Index and 45% of the Fortune 1000 energy companies. Over all, PwC’s revenue auditing accounts for over 50%, but growth is expected to come primarily from the consulting practice – hence the continued focus on acquisitions in the fast-growing services sector.

PWC ORGANIZATION

PwC is recognized as one of the “Big 4″ accountancy firms and the world’s largest professional services firm by revenue.

While PwC is a global brand in the professional services industry, each member firm in various locations around the world are locally owned and operated and subject to the laws of their geographic jurisdictions (which makes sense, because some countries require this of accounting firms). Global member firms are a part of the PwC network and share common core values set in place by PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited (PwCIL), headquartered out of the U.K.

In contrast to many unregulated consulting firms (strategy firms top this list), members of the PwC network are not allowed to operate as a global partnership, which includes being identified as a single multinational corporation. The PwCIL simply acts as a coordinating entity and umbrella for member firms in its network and does not offer accountancy or any other services to clients. The member firms’ senior partners sit on a global board of partners.

Practice Areas

Here are the practice areas within PwC:

  1. Advisory
    • Work with companies as they pursue new opportunities, deal with serious events, and manage the daily pressures of growth, competition and shareholder value. This is the area where consulting lives, and the primary focus of this article.
  2. Assurance
    • Help clients with complex financial accounting and reporting issues such as capital markets transactions, IFRS conversions, and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.
  3. Tax
    • Assists clients with critical tax issues by providing quality tax services and in-depth knowledge of the industries and markets in which clients operate.
  4. Public Sector Practice
    • Helps federal agencies solve complex business issues, manage risk, and improve financial measures and the overall quality, efficiency and effectiveness of public service.
  5. Internal Firm Services (IFS)
    • Keep PwC running, providing strategic and creative services to internal clients. IFS departments include: Human Capital, HR Shared Services, Learning & Education, Knowledge Management, Technology Solutions, Finance, Marketing, Facilities Planning and Office Operations, and Risk Management.

Industries

If an industry is big, it’s on PwC’s list. The firm owns a significant share of the global advisory market, so if you are interested in breaking into a specific practice make sure you go directly to an office or expert of interest.

  • Asset Management
  • Automotive
  • Banking & Capital Markets
  • Communications
  • Energy & Mining
  • Entertainment & Media
  • Financial Services
  • Health Industries
  • Healthcare Payers
  • Healthcare Providers
  • Hospitality & Leisure
  • Industrial Products
  • Insurance
  • Law Firm Services
  • Pharmaceuticals & Life Science
  • Power & Utilities
  • Private Company Industries
  • Private Equity
  • Public Sector
  • Retail & Consumer
  • Technology

Competitors

Globally, PwC has only 3 peers in terms of its brand – Deloitte, E&Y and KPMG all have similar histories, structures, strong auditing practices, and growing consulting arms.

However, PwC does compete in areas of particular strength (think healthcare, oil & gas, etc.) with MBB, and with a whole slew of smaller firms on the operational consulting or audit side of the business (mostly serving divisions inside firms, not C-suite leaders).

Office Locations

Because for what other firm could you work as a consultant in Uzbekistan?

AFRICA

  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Chad
  • Congo (Brazzaville)
  • Congo (Dem. Rep.)
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Gabon
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Kenya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mauritius
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • South Africa
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

AMERICAS

  • Antigua
  • Argentina
  • Aruba
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Central America
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa rica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Dutch Caribbean
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Interamericas
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

ASIA / ASIA PACIFIC

  • Afghanistan
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Georgia
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Korea
  • Laos
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mongolia
  • Myanmar
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Pakistan
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Sri Lanka
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Uzbekistan

CENTRAL and EASTERN EUROPE

  • Albania
  • Belarus
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • Hungary Kosovo
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Macedonia
  • Moldova
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Ukraine

EUROPE

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Channel Islands
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Monaco
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom

MIDDLE EAST

  • Bahrain
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Middle East region
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • West Bank & Gaza

Career Path

Since each member firm governs its own approach to a career path, and both interns and employees have different experiences in their respective locations. To offer a strong representative sample, only the U.S. member firm’s career path will be highlighted here (but in strong European markets, for example, expect a very similar parallel path).

Below is an illustration of a summary of positions at PwC. There are sub-levels like Managing Director, Sr. Director, Sr. Partner, etc. that are not reflected here.  Most undergrads start as Associates unless you are an experienced hire, and MBA hires start as Senior Associates.

PWC Career Path

Don’t expect promotions to come quickly or easily – and here is one of the major disadvantages of starting with PwC – most employees say to expect a couple of years before promotions or even pay raises. Compared to the rapid escalation at MBB, the math doesn’t pencil out after the first year or 2 – even if the starting pay is close.

Internships

PwC’s internship program in the U.S.  is called “Advance”.  Most who acquire internships do so by applying through career fairs at their campuses. PwC pre-arranges and invites students to a pre-night social dinner interview. Be warned – they won’t tell you, but this is truly your first round interview! They are taking notes and deciding whether to invite you to interview further. Because the fit assessment is huge for PwC, making a strong interpersonal impression at social events and networking sessions is critical.

On average, there are 4 rounds of interviews, including the dinner – the process seems to take on average 4 weeks. If you pass the PwC case interviews in the 1st round, you’ve done the hardest part – after the first round, PwC switches to sales mode. The majority of questions in following rounds are more behavioral in nature – interviewers are really trying to figure out whether or not your personality fits their company.

Even for consultants, it is important that you do some outside research to ensure you can speak to not only current business issues, but also to relevant accounting issues when asked. Definitely make sure you have read about the company and understand your own reasons for wanting to intern there.

Here are some sample internship interview questions:

  • Why did you choose the school you went to?
  • Why do you want to intern at PwC?
  • What did you do to encourage someone to cooperate with you?
  • What is your greatest achievement?

Here are the 7 things PwC says you can look forward to in your internship with them.

  1. Training
  2. Client Experiences
  3. Coaching & Development
  4. Insight, PwC’s Shadow Experience
  5. Community Service
  6. Intern Networking Events
  7. International Intern Experience

You will have specifically designated training to increase your technical skills, both at the beginning of your tenure and throughout. The projects you will be assigned to are real-life client scenarios and will increase in difficulty as you complete each assignment. You will be on a team focused on real company assignments and needs, but many of the training programs will not be real-time (PwC will have worked for the client in the past, for example).

However, PwC does consider all experience a training ground – this may mean you are thrown into a project and are faced with tasks you are unsure of how to do even before completing the firm’s extensive global training program. Additional instruction outside of their corporate training classroom is entirely for you to seek out. Compared to a comparable firm (we’ll pick IBM GBS), expect PwC to offer more technical training on how to do analysis and research vs. strategic training on solving business problems.

A team of seasoned employees will be assigned to you to mentor, train, and supervise you throughout your time at the firm. You will be working directly with PwC partners, principals and staff. Make sure you utilize your time wisely and develop a sincere relationship with them – after all, even in a business full of numbers and calculations, it’s all about relationship and trust in the end.

When not on the clock, it’s time for fun. Time to network and socialize outside of your team and responsibilities are provided by PwC (as in, they arrange them and they pay for them too!). The firm believes that relationship building will be a key to your success, and PwC people are generally likable and social.

There are some very interesting optional pieces to the PwC internships as well.

For one, a sub-set of interns will be selected to participate in PwC’s “shadow experience”.  This is an opportunity for those selected to shadow members of PwC’s U.S. leadership team. This includes Bob Moritz, chairman and senior partner of the U.S. firm.

In addition, PwC shows commitment to people, communities, and environment by having a select number of interns assigned to a project specifically designed to improve an environment, education system/opportunity or other social issues.  The location can be domestic or international.

Finally, PwC U.S. selects a few interns to intern outside of the U.S. for a 1 week assignment. The interns are sent to various locations within their global network of firms.  An intern is paired with a current U.S. assignee abroad to experience that lifestyle and office culture.

Exit Opportunities

PwC is a great place to start a career, and the golden handcuffs do get pretty sweet for the senior folks – although pay is much more stagnant and caps out way, way below MBB firms.

However, recognize that because of the giant global brand with little cohesion, the exit opportunities are going to be much more in line with what you actually did at PwC vs. the fact that you worked there – so make sure that if you’re planning to leave (and you should start with that strategy), you are highly strategic about which office you select and which projects you angle for when on the job.

The good news? Leaving PwC will likely result in a pay raise – other firms value the training and experience the firm offers to early-careerists.

Notable Alumni

  • Donald T. Nicolaisen - Chief Accountant for U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission between 2003 and 2005
  • Enrique Zorrilla Fullaondo - Chief Executive Officer for Banamex in Mexico
  • Joseph F. DiTrolio - Vice President- Financial Operations of Comcast Corporation
  • Kamal Dua – Senior Vice President and General Auditor of Comcast Corporation
  • Karen J. May – Executive Vice President of Global Human Resources for Kraft Foods, Inc. (responsible for the company’s human resources function worldwide)
  • Keith Bradley – Executive Vice President and President of Ingram Micro North America
  • Laura K. Ipsen – Senior Vice President of Global Policy and Government Affairs for Cisco (since 1996, she is responsible for developing Cisco’s public policy agenda and managing government affairs activities worldwide)
  • Lawrence J. Salva - Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Controller of Comcast Corporation
  • Mark Kingdon – American angel investor (invested in companies such as Twitter, SAY Media, Kidzui, 140 Proof, NiftyThrifty, and Fab.com)

PWC CULTURE

Other firms (Deloitte, IBM GBS) are better known for their professional training, compensation and work/life balance, but PwC has a great scorecard on diversity. The firm has received an extensive laundry list of diversity focused awards, and are widely known as a company who is best in class at offering great flexibility programs and support for working mothers and parents who are adopting children. They take great pride in their corporate social responsibility worldwide.

There are many opportunities for exposure and training from senior leadership and working on assignments from top companies around the world.  You have options to transfer to global member firms within the greater PwC network.

When you’re building your own brand, the PwC brand is prestigious to have on your resume. Current employees recommend that you consider moving on to another corporation by about the 5th year unless your goal is to become a partner – it’s a long road to the top.

So where could PwC improve? One key issue is work/life balance. You should take responsibility to manage and proactively plan your approach to work/life balance in any industry, but in PwC consulting culture, it seems to be more of a constant tension and challenge especially during peak seasons (which differ depending on your assignment and field) – expect some nasty 7-day week stints.

At PwC, you should expect to be on the client site more than you would with Deloitte S&O or Bain, for example – 5 days a week on the roadare not an anomaly, although 4 are the norm.

Core Values

  • Professional development
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Work/life quality and flexibility
  • Commitment to our communities
  • Support for working parents
  • The PwC family

Awards

  • From 2005 to 2014 PwC named one of Fortune 100‘s best companies to work for
  • PwC #1 on Vault’s “Most Prestigious Accounting Firm” ranking
  • PwC listed on Vault’s “North American Consulting Top 5″ ranking list
  • 2010 PwC #4 as “World’s Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises” in the Global Make Study
  • 2011 PwC awarded the “Best Use of Blended Learning”, Gold Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning Award

PWC INTERVIEWS AND RECRUITING

Applying for a job at PwC comes in many forms. It can be by current employee referral, online application, recruiting, or through your college. After your application has been submitted and reviewed, an HR staffer does an initial screening over the phone before deciding whether you are worthy for additional rounds of interviews – this process is standard at Big 4 firms, but not at strategy houses. Recognize and prepare for the importance of this call – it’s not just a formality!

If you are selected, you will be scheduled for what is commonly known as the “superday”.  Prepare yourself for up to 3 rounds of interviews within the same day – each with one person. The first round might be with a Manager; second, a Director; third, a Senior Partner. Questions will range from technical to behavioral, depending on your position and the practice you are applying for.

PwC case interviews are similar to the style profiled in Case in Point – they are loosely organized, focus on a simple question, and highlight your ability to focus on key issues, solve basic math and collaborate. They are not as complicated as McKinsey cases, and not as quantitative as cases for firms such as Accenture or Deloitte.

Don’t expect major case interview tricks – but do be prepared to have a fast-paced business conversation. Be prepared to answer business case questions, regardless of the position you are applying for – and don’t answer them McKinsey-style. Being too thorough (in the name of structure) or strong-willed in a PwC interview is a death sentence, because collaboration is so highly valued.

The entire process can average up to 3 weeks. However, if you apply through university, expect lead times anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months before all is said and done.

Here are some sample interview questions:

  • Take me through your resume.
  • Can you give me an example of an experience in your career where your client/somebody else asked you to do something unethical? How did you handle that?
  • What do you consider to be your biggest weakness?
  • How would you support a team of 30 individuals who were not co-located and were constantly on the move?

Target Schools

It’s important to recognize that PwC recruits on a LOT of campuses around the globe, but not all campuses are targets for consulting. However, coming from one of these schools is important for consulting – it’s easier (and possible) to break in to a different practice from a target school, and nearly impossible to break in if you aren’t from the list of schools below.

Another key note here – don’t take the easy road and jump into audit if you’re thinking of aspirations in consulting later. It’s nearly impossible to switch, and the firms really do handle hiring and onboarding in a parallel but entirely separate way, and the wall between practices is nearly unscalable.

  • Abilene Christian University
  • Adelphi University
  • Albion College
  • Alma College
  • American University
  • Amherst College
  • Appalachian State University
  • Arizona State University
  • Assumption College – MA
  • Auburn University
  • Babson College
  • Ball State University
  • Baylor University
  • Bellarmine University
  • Bentley University
  • Binghamton University
  • Bloomsburg University
  • Boise State University
  • Boston College
  • Boston College Law School
  • Boston University
  • Boston University School of Law
  • Boston University School of Management
  • Bowling Green State University
  • Bradley University
  • Brandeis University
  • Bridgewater State College
  • Brigham Young University
  • Brigham Young University – Idaho
  • Brigham Young University, Marriott School
  • Brooklyn College
  • Bryant University
  • Bryn Mawr College
  • Bucknell University
  • Butler University
  • Caldwell College
  • California Polytechnic State U SLO
  • California State –  Chico
  • California State – Fresno
  • California State – Fullerton
  • California State – Hayward
  • California State –  Long Beach
  • California State – Northridge
  • California State – Sacramento
  • California State – San Marcos
  • California State Polytechnic – Pomona
  • Campbell University
  • Canisius College
  • Capital University Law School
  • Carnegia Mellon University
  • Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Central Connecticut State University
  • Central Michigan University
  • Central Washington University
  • Champlain College
  • Citadel
  • City University of New York – Lehman
  • City University of New York – Medgar Eve
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • Clark Atlanta University
  • Clemson University
  • Cleveland State University
  • Colgate University
  • College of Charleston
  • College of New Jersey
  • College of Saint Benedict
  • College of Saint Rose – NY
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • College of William & Mary
  • Colorado State University
  • Columbia Business School
  • Columbia University – NY
  • Cornell University
  • Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management
  • Creighton University
  • CUNY – Baruch College
  • CUNY – Queens College
  • Dartmouth College
  • Delaware State University
  • DePaul University
  • DePaul University Law School
  • DeSales University
  • Drexel University
  • Drury University
  • Duke University
  • Duke University, Fuqua School of Business
  • Duquesne University
  • East Carolina University
  • Eastern Illinois University
  • Eastern Michigan University
  • Eastern Washington University
  • Elizabethtown College – PA
  • Elon University
  • Emory and Henry College
  • Emory University
  • Emory  Guizeta Business School
  • Emory University Rollins School of Public Health
  • Emory University School of Law
  • Fairfield University
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University
  • Florida A&M University
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Florida International University
  • Florida State University
  • Fordham University
  • Franklin and Marshall College
  • Freed-Hardeman University
  • George Fox University
  • George Mason University
  • George Washington University
  • Georgetown University
  • Georgetown University Law Center
  • Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Georgia Southern University
  • Georgia State University
  • Golden Gate University
  • Gonzaga University
  • Gordon College
  • Grambling State University
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Grove City College
  • Gustavus Adolphus College
  • Hampton University
  • Harding University
  • Hartwick College
  • Harvard Business School
  • Harvard University
  • Harvard University School of Law
  • Hillsdale College
  • Hofstra University
  • Hofstra University School of Law
  • Howard University
  • Hunter College
  • Husson College
  • Idaho State University
  • Illinois State University
  • Illinois Wesleyan University
  • Indiana University
  • Indiana University – Indianapolis
  • Indiana University – Law
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Iona College
  • Iowa State University
  • Ithaca College
  • James Madison University
  • John Carroll University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Kansas State University
  • Kennesaw State University
  • Kent State University
  • King’s College
  • La Roche College
  • Lafayette College
  • Lamar University
  • LaSalle University
  • Lehigh University
  • LeMoyne College
  • Liberty University – VA
  • Lincoln University
  • Long Island University – Brooklyn
  • Long Island University – CW Post
  • Louisiana State University
  • Loyola College
  • Loyola Marymount University
  • Loyola University – Chicago
  • Loyola University – New Orleans
  • Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University
  • Manhattan College
  • Marquette University
  • Mercer University
  • Merrimack College
  • Messiah College
  • Miami University of Ohio
  • Michigan State University
  • Mississippi State University
  • MIT Sloan School of Management
  • Monmouth University
  • Montana State University
  • Montclair State University
  • Morehouse College
  • Morgan State University
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Muhlenberg College
  • New Mexico State University
  • New York Law School
  • New York University
  • New York University – School of Law
  • New York University, Stern School of Business
  • Norfolk State University
  • North Carolina A&T University
  • North Carolina Central University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Northeastern University
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Northern Kentucky University
  • Northwestern University - IL
  • Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Business
  • Oakland University
  • Oglethorpe University
  • Ohio Northern University
  • Ohio State University
  • Ohio State University – School of Law
  • Ohio University
  • Ohio Wesleyan University
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Old Dominion University
  • Oregon State University
  • Pace University
  • Pace University – Westchester
  • Pace University School of Law
  • Penn State University
  • Penn State University – Satellite Campus
  • Pepperdine University
  • Portland State University
  • Providence College
  • Purdue University
  • Quinnipiac University
  • Renesselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Rice University
  • Rider University
  • Robert Morris College – IL
  • Robert Morris University
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Rockhurst University
  • Roger Williams University
  • Rowan University
  • Rutgers University
  • Rutgers University – Camden
  • Rutgers University – Law
  • Rutgers University – Newark
  • Sacred Heart University – CT
  • Saint Louis University
  • Salem State College
  • Salisbury University
  • Sam Houston State University
  • Samford University
  • San Diego State University
  • San Francisco State University
  • San Jose St. University
  • Santa Clara University – School of Law
  • Santa Clara University
  • Seattle University
  • Seton Hall University
  • Seton Hall University School of Law
  • Shippensburg University
  • Siena College
  • Sonoma State
  • Southeastern Louisiana University
  • Southern Connecticut State University
  • Souther Illinois University – Carbondale
  • Southern Methodist University
  • Southern University and A&M College
  • Spring HIll College
  • St. Anselm College
  • St. Bonaventure University
  • St. John Fisher College
  • St. John’s University – MN
  • St. John’s University – NY
  • St. Joseph’s University
  • St. Louis University
  • St. Mary’s College – CA
  • St. Mary’s College – IN
  • St. Norbert College
  • St. Peter’s College
  • Stephen F. Austin State University
  • Stetson University
  • Stockton State College
  • Stonehill College
  • Suffolk University
  • Suffolk University Law School
  • SUNY – Albany
  • SUNY – Geneseo
  • SUNY – Oswego
  • Susquehanna University
  • Syracuse University
  • Temple University
  • Temple University School of Law
  • Texas A&M University
  • Texas Christian University
  • Texas Lutheran University
  • Texas Southern University
  • Texas State University – San Marcos
  • Texas Tech University
  • The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Touro College
  • Towson University
  • Transylvania University
  • Trevecca Nazarene University
  • Trinity University
  • Troy University
  • Truman State University
  • Tufts University
  • Tulane University
  • UCLA
  • Union College – NY
  • University at Buffalo
  • University of akron
  • University of Alabama – Birmingham
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health
  • University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Arkansas – Fayetteville
  • University of Baltimore
  • University of California – Berkeley
  • University of California – Berkeley, Haas School of Business
  • University of California – Santa Barbara
  • University of California – Davis
  • University of California – Irvine
  • University of California – Los Angeles School of Public Health
  • University of California – Los Angeles, Anderson School of Business
  • University of California – Riverside
  • University of California – San Diego
  • University of California – Santa Cruz
  • University of California Berkeley Law
  • University of California Davis Law
  • University of California Hastings Law
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Chicago, Booth School of Business
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Colorado – Denver
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Dayton
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Denver
  • University of Denver – College of Law
  • University of Florida
  • University of Florida – Law
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Hartford
  • University of Hawaii – Manoa
  • University of Houston
  • University of Houston – Clear Lake
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Illinois – Chicago
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Iowa College of Law
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Maine
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Maryland – Baltimore County
  • University of Maryland – Eastern Shore
  • University of Maryland - University College
  • University of Massachusetts
  • University of Massachusetts – Boston
  • University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth
  • University of Massachusetts – Lowell
  • University of Memphis
  • University of Miami
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Michigan – Dearborn
  • University of Michigan – Flint
  • University of Michigan, Ross School of Business
  • University of Michigan School Public Health
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Minnesota – Duluth
  • University of Mississippi
  • University of Missouri – Columbia
  • University of Missouri – Columbia Law
  • University of Missouri – Kansas City
  • University of Missouri – St. Louis
  • University of Montana
  • University of Montevallo
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of Nevada
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of New Haven
  • University of New Orleans
  • University of North Alabama
  • University of North Carolina – Charlotte
  • University of North Carolina – Greensboro
  • University of North Carolina – Wilmington
  • University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
  •  University of North Dakota
  • University of North Florida
  • University of North Texas
  • University of Northern Iowa
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Portland
  • University of Puerto Rico
  • University of Rhode Island
  • University of Richmond
  • University of rochester
  • University of San Diego
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of Scranton
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Southern CA
  • University of Southern California – Law
  • University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business
  • University of Southern Maine
  • University of St. Thomas – Houston
  • University of St. Thomas (MN)
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Texas
  • University of Texas – Arlington
  • University of Texas – Austin, McCombs School of Business
  • University of Texas – Dallas
  • University of Texas – San Antonio
  • University of the District of Columbia
  • University of the Pacific
  • University of Toledo
  • University of Tulsa
  • University of Utah
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Virginia Darden School of Business
  • University of Washington
  • University of Washington – Law
  • University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
  • University of Wisconsin – Whitewater
  • Utah State University
  • Utah Valley State College
  • Valparaiso University
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Villanova University
  • Villanova University School of Law
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute
  • Virginia State University
  • Wagner College
  • Wake Forest University
  • Walsh College – MI
  • Washington & Jefferson College
  • Washington & Lee University
  • Washington State University
  • Washington University
  • Wayne State University
  • Wayne State University – Law
  • Weber State University
  • Wellesley College
  • West Chester University
  • West Virginia University
  • Western Carolina University
  • Western Kentucky University
  • Western Michigan University
  • Western New England College
  • Western Washington University
  • Westfield State College
  • Westminster College – UT
  • Whittier College
  • Widener University
  • Wilkes University – PA
  • Williams & Mary – School of Law
  • William Paterson University
  • Winthrop University
  • Wittenberg University
  • Wofford College
  • Wright State University
  • Xavier University – LA
  • Xavier University – OH
  • Yale University
  • Yeshiva University – Cordozo Law
  • Yeshiva University

Diversity Programs

Keep in mind, based on geographic location and laws the diversity programs may differ in emphasis and implementation. The following diversity statements and programs serve as guidance for the PwC network as a whole:

  1. We’re encouraging open minds.
    • Talent has no age, race or gender and can’t be ruled out because of a disability. Open-minded means one can adjust to different types of working styles.
    • U.K. member firms created and implemented “Open Mind”, a U.K. member-wide training program using e-learning, video and face-to-face discussion sessions to help member firms reflect on how open-minded they are. PwC is currently launching a network-wide program.
  2. We’re creating opportunities.
    • Global Mobility Program increases the delivery of high-quality services to clients while developing cultural skills and international awareness of people across the PwC member network.
  3. We’re creating leaders.
    • Genesis Park is a leadership development program focusing on expanding creativity, problem-solving skills and cross-cultural understanding through real work/life experiences and real-time coaching.
  4. We’re creating better workplaces for people.
    • PwC has agreed to uphold the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) on human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. Many PwC members offer support for people’s own charity or community activities through programs such as ‘matched giving’.

PWC LINKS

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