PwC careers are a great entry point into the world of consulting. In fact, many pursue PwC careers to leave PwC! Huh? Yes, PwC employees are usually not “lifers” and candidates join PwC to prepare them for something else they want to do long-term.
Adding PwC to your resume is a huge asset because of the brand name and sets you up for varied exit opportunities. Candidates join this massive firm with an understanding that they will most likely not work here for more than two to three years. They are looking for excellent training, experience, and global opportunities. PwC is highly desirable for its compensation as well, as it is extremely competitive.
PwC has over 160 years of experience helping clients solve business challenges, and is stronger than ever, which is impressive given the globalization of audit. Keep in mind that PwC focuses on tax, audit and advisory. Deciding which of these divisions you want to work for is key, as once you are hired, changing is nearly impossible. Divisions are known for not sharing their talent once acquired.
With over 180,000 employees worldwide, there are plenty of job opportunities. PwC has its U.S. headquarters in New York, New York. Given its massive size, employees can “fall through the cracks” and it can be challenging to stand out. Building strong networks and relationships is necessary to ensure you work on the right projects, ones that come to a close, and produce solid results. This will help you get what you want from a career-building perspective.
Hit The Ground Running
You must crush your first experience at PwC. Giving it 150% on your first project is necessary. This will highlight you to management and allow you to drive networking opportunities with multiple senior managers. This is necessary to ensure you are added to the right projects. After a year, consider stretching yourself by applying to a global job opportunity.
PwC is also known for being very inclusionary and is proud of its diverse workforce. Do let PwC know if you identify with any active diversity groups at the firm. While PwC does tout its work-life balance, keep in mind that much of this is dependent on how fast you learn to work. Work-life balance also depends on which arm of PwC you work for – for example, at Strategy&, your work is billed by the project, meaning you are incentivized to work quickly. However, in the traditional advisory practice, you are billed out by the hour. No matter how quickly you work, the goal is to max out your billable hours. This is a distinct cultural difference within the organization to be aware of.
Life at PwC
A PwC consulting career will be both challenging and financially rewarding. A PwC consultant helps clients identify solutions – both strategic and operational – to complex business challenges. For example, perhaps the Coronavirus has impacted a client’s supply chain – can you identify alternatives to mitigate the financial impact? Or, a project could focus on how to help an organization enter a new market or complete a post-merger integration.
Technical skills are highly prized and heavily used at PwC. However, like most other consulting firms, when PwC says, “technical skills”, it mostly means Excel. Now if you’re working in the Digital practice, this may be different, but in Advisory, you’ll spend 90% of your day in Excel and PowerPoint.
Pro Tip: even if you don’t join PwC with high technical skills, PwC will train you to develop them. However, knowing how to use Excel/PPT like a consultant will give you a leg up on Day 1. Technical training is emphasized over strategic/problem solving training at PwC.
Like at every other consulting firm, you can expect to face business challenges before you feel fully able to solve them. This is considered part of your training at PwC. The firm has no problem allowing you to experience not knowing how to do something out of the gate. It’s part of the process.
Furthermore, just like other consulting jobs, you can expect to travel weekly and to be on the client site 3-4 days per week.
PwC Culture, Benefits, and Reviews
Partly due to its sheer size and scale, PwC culture is hierarchical in nature. Outside of your immediate projects, you’ll have to work to benefit from the expertise of principals and PwC partners. Internal networking is key – this will help you get staffed on projects you want to be on and open up leaders’ networks to you after you leave.
Promotion cycles at PwC come along every 2-3 years, and the firm pays better than most of the Big 4. Its strategy practice offers a higher base than MBB. See full PwC salary data here.
PwC is known for fostering diversity and having an inclusive culture. It has won many awards for its focus here. It is also known for its office community days. These days focus on giving back to the cities in which PwC offices are located. While the firm does partake in its fair share of pro-bono projects, make no mistake about it – you will be working for a profit-driven organization that serves other profit-driven organizations.
PwC Job Openings
There is no shortage of PwC consulting jobs throughout the country and worldwide, especially in second- and third-tier consulting cities that smaller firms don’t have a presence in.
Whether you are interested in an internship or a PwC career, check out current PwC consultant job openings.
PwC Careers: Video
PwC Job – Worth Pursuing
Obtaining that coveted job at PwC will require a strong resume and effective networking to help you make it to that first interview. From there, you are on an even playing field with every other candidate, and regardless of background, your fit and case interview performance will determine the rest. Make sure to prep early and with an expert!
If you are interested in working in a team environment, are highly motivated and ready for a challenge, a career with PwC is worth considering.
PwC Careers: YouTube Transcription:
“PwC careers” – if you drop that on the street in LA or New York you might have a chance that somebody would be familiar with it. PwC at large is a huge brand name and with a few hundred thousand employees, you would kind of expect for it to be a big brand name. But, PwC as a career means one of three things: PwC tax, PwC audit, or PwC consulting. Today at Management Consulted, we’re gonna focus on the consultant aspect of it. I’m Jenny Rae Le Roux, the Managing Director of Management Consulted and an ex-Bain consultant. I have to admit though, I’m a little biased toward boutiques and firms that have a smaller more collegial feel.
But today I’m gonna go over three things about PwC that I think are important to know. Number one, what does a week or a day or a project in your life at PwC look like. Second, I would really like to focus on what the great things are about working at a place like PwC. And finally, I’m gonna talk about maybe some of the reasons why you wouldn’t want to work at PwC or a place like it. Having a career there can be an advantage, but it isn’t always. It is important to know that as well, so you go in with eyes wide open.
In addition if you’ve worked at PwC we really want comments and engagement on this video. Tell us what was great about it, what was terrible about it, what you would fix, or things that we got wrong. If possible, we want to make sure everybody sets the record straight. So please give us commentary and insights from your personal experiences at PwC. So back to the list there are a couple things that we’re gonna go through.
A Day In The Life At PwC
First of all, what is a day, a week of life, in the world of a PwC career look like. Well first of all, for PwC, you are in general traveling to the client site. Because of that, there isn’t a lot of remote in-office work with your team. When traveling, it’s usually Monday through Thursday and sometimes Monday through Friday. It depends on the level and the practice area inside PwC consulting and then the target of what you’re focused on. Typically there’s a clean room with the client where all the data has to be kept. So, of course you’re gonna be on site with the client.
So in general Monday through Thursday travel sometimes Monday through Friday. You’re gonna rack up a lot of hotel points and a lot of airline points. PwC however does have a very large network so you do fly less than you do at some of the other firms, because you’re generally closer to the clients that you’re serving.
Work In Teams
In addition you work with a team and interestingly because the offices are quite large and also there’s a lot of them. Your team is gonna become your family at PwC, not as much as your office. So a lot of people freak out when they think about where they’re gonna work at a place like PwC. Honestly, find a team and a group of people that you’re really passionate about in the practice area that you’re focused on, that’s gonna determine more of your experience in a PwC career than anything else.
In addition, you generally will work on projects for a long time. One of PwC’s main beautiful goals, coming from its advisory, and audit, and tax backgrounds, is that they really focus on long term relationships with clients. One year, five year projects that are multiple renewals and your focus is gonna be on delivering on those for one to two years.
What’s Great About Working At PwC
Now on to what’s great about working at PwC.
Size And Scale Of PwC
Number one, the size and scale of the firm is almost unparalleled. There are very few firms that compete with PwC in size. Because of that, you have access to the brand of the whole firm. You’ve got lots and lots of people that work for PwC that work smart and intelligent and are well-trained and did a great job and are well renowned in their fields, even if it’s not yours. So they’re great in tax and they’re kind of brand aura is cast upon you. So you have the benefit of this well-established trustworthy brand name.
Second, you have the network of a global organization. So once you’ve worked at PwC you have access to everyone who’s ever worked there. Hopefully they’ve loved it, and that makes it really easy to reach out to them and make your own future when you’re thinking about building work with them.
Training At PwC
The third thing that’s incredibly important at PwC that really, really marks a great experience there is incredible training. They focus so much from the beginning of your interview process, through the on-boarding process, through the mentoring process, through even the exit process. They’re thoughtful, calculated, data-driven in the way that they train and mentor people. And while sometimes you can feel like you’re going through a system and working through the wheels, they do a great job of personalizing that through one-on-one mentorship and through your teams. So you have both the benefits of this very rigorous, very well-honed process, and personal touch.
Reasons Not To Work At PwC
Now, what are some reasons why you might not want to work at PwC?
PwC careers can be grueling if you work at the same client for a year or two years and it is a terrible client but people that you don’t enjoy and a manager that’s not fun. That’s a really, really long time to get a good brand on your resume. So PwC is known for keeping people on projects for a longer period of time, so you really have to be ready to fight for what you want when you’re inside the organization and set an early precedent of excellent work so you get a lot more leeway the longer and later that you stay in your PwC career.
Culture Isn’t A Focus
In addition, PwC, as a large global firm, doesn’t focus as much on culture. They really rely on the small culture of the teams. And like I mentioned already, that’s really subject to the people that are on your team. So without having a one global culture, without having a culture that’s really focused on doing something, they end up naturally focusing on being a culture that doesn’t do things. They don’t discriminate, they don’t X, they don’t Y. So rather than having a really clear personality, their brand identity, they are working on, not becoming certain negative things which is really different than casting a positive light.
Work In Silos
Finally, I would say that at PwC your work is very siloed. So whereas for someone who works at Bain, like myself, we would have had multiple different projects, across multiple different industries, across multiple different practice areas, across even different kinds of business problems, you’re gonna have a lot more focus when you’re at PwC. The benefit of that is that you become an expert faster. The con is that sometimes you don’t know if you wanna be an expert at something, and then you become an expert in it, you don’t want to be an expert in that, and pivoting out of it it’s much more difficult.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this conversation about PwC careers. If you have something to add to it, please join us in the comments. In addition, you can check out more content on PwC getting interviews and being great at the job at PwC, or resources on other firms here.