The four biggest professional services networks in the world, famously known as The Big Four, are also some of the largest graduate employers out there. They offer audit, taxation, management consulting, advisory, actuarial (risk assessment), legal, corporate finance and other services to clients across the globe.
PwC is one of The Big Four, and has been voted by graduates the number one Graduate Employer in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers survey for the last 15 years. Upon joining one of their many graduate schemes you can expect to experience a wide range of what the business has to offer and receive endless opportunities to grow as an individual.
Here’s what some current employees learned joining PwC as a graduate:
Senior Associate, Cyber Security – London
Learned that you don’t need a technical degree to succeed in a firm like PwC.
Siobhan joined through the Cyber Security Core Advisory Graduate Programme, and quickly realised that her degree in History and Politics wasn’t going to hold her back.
“When I joined PwC I was concerned I would not be technical enough to deliver my role as my degree background couldn’t be further from what you would expect someone in technology to have,” she said.
“However, from the first day of the induction, PwC assuaged these concerns. As well as some foundation level training, the Cyber Security team has a strong focus on learning from your colleagues.”
Siobhan says that senior leadership take a big interest in the junior members’ development: “I have certainly learnt huge amounts from my colleagues who challenge me and provide opportunities to learn from them, and problem solve independently, whilst always being able to call on them for guidance.”
Associate, Actuarial Services – London
Learned that you will end up working with a wide range of people from different backgrounds.
Kim says that one of the things she enjoys most about working at PwC is the opportunity to work alongside a vast range of talented people.
“It’s really interesting to work with people from such diverse backgrounds and with varying career paths,” she says.
“Some people joined PwC as graduates, others joined as experienced hires and many have worked in other countries as part of the global firm.”
Kim says that since joining she has learnt a lot from people within her department, as well as from her managers and training programmes, adding that they are all more than happy to share their knowledge and experience.
Associate, Legal - London
Learned how there is no strict hierarchy that prevents new starters from having a say.
Peter, who worked in traditional law firms before starting at PwC, talks about how he didn’t expect working for one of The Big Four to be so different. “Firstly,” he says, “there is no pronounced hierarchy, which is great because junior members are encouraged to express their views and they are given equal value.”
There is what Peter calls an “open culture” at PwC, which he says enables you to speak with anyone regardless of seniority: “I think that PwC is a great place for those willing to show initiative and innovation - many ideas floated by the team have been supported and approved by our leadership.”
He also says that there is no ‘long hours culture’ like there is in other workplaces, and staff members aren’t expected to stick around late just to show face.
Associate, Consulting - Birmingham
Learned that working at PwC makes the world a much smaller place.
Devina says she chose to work at PwC because of its reputation as a strong Management Consulting practice and because she knew it would look good on her CV. But since joining, she’s realised how many opportunities it being a global organisation provides.
“The fact that we are such a global firm allows me to utilise my Spanish and Portuguese in my projects when connecting with clients from South America,” she says. “There are also abundant travel opportunities here.”
Devina talks about the friends she’s made in other countries, and all the overseas companies and people she’s worked alongside while being based in Birmingham.
“The fact that PwC is such a global firm really makes it interesting to work here - I have a buddy in Colombia!”
She describes a project she worked on which involved a Canadian banking client as one of the most exciting projects she’s been involved with since starting.
Senior Manager, Assurance & Technology Risk – London
Learned how much you can progress after starting as a graduate.
“My career in PwC has given me the opportunity to gain exposure to a broad range of individuals, client engagements and challenges that have helped shape who I am today,” says Joel about his time at PwC.
He learned that if you take advantage of the wide range of things on offer at PwC you can quickly progress professionally and develop personally.
When asked about what he found most surprising about his career in technology at the firm, he said: “Being from an ethnic minority community, I would say it’s the sense that I’ve taken the opportunity to progress and experience the best that the firm has to offer.”
Senior Associate, Tax - London
"You learn by doing. And there’s a lot to learn."
Will works in PwC’s global mobility team, helping clients negotiate the process of moving their workforce around the world.
Will says he’s learned a lot since starting at PwC, doing his ACA qualification as well as learning on the job:
“Studying for the ACA qualification is a great opportunity. While I’m gaining practical, hands-on, client experience, I’m getting an in-depth understanding across not just accounting but finance and all other aspects of business so I can see holistically what makes an organisation tick.”
As well as this Will says there is regular technical training programmes arranged in his team which give him the opportunity to knowledge share.
The best way to learn, says will, is to widen your experiences and to gain exposure to as many different projects as possible, something he says is “fully supported and encouraged by PwC.”
Want to join PwC?
Not ready to apply yet? Sign up to PwC’s Talent Network to select your career preferences and receive email updates about relevant opportunities at PwC.