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 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.
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