1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My job title was an Associate of PwC. On a typical day I would have been emailed the client address where I would navigate myself to and join a team who I probably was meeting for the first time. We would then discuss a plan for the week, assigning areas of the work between ourselves. We would get the information from the client such as invoices, details of employees or asset information in order to verify the information in their financial statements. At lunch I'd usually have taken a packed lunch we'd eat at our desks. The work structure was relatively flexible so long as the work was completed during the week, and if there was anything I struggled with the team would be able to support me. I would usually be assigned to a client for a week or two, after that I might not see those team members for months .
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I'm training towards becoming a qualified accountant with the ICAEW, which is a combination of exams and hours worked in a firm. I've developed may soft skills such as decision making, communication, leadership and team work. I have also learnt that I really dislike audit.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I do not enjoy my programme. The people I work with are generally really nice but quite dull, and we're all under constant pressure to meet tight deadlines. The company organise socials quite often which are well attended and are fun. Everything I do is what I expected it to be, I just didn't realise when I applied how boring and stressful it would be. I
4. How valued do you feel by PwC?
I do not feel valued by PwC. There is a constant culture of improvement, we're supposed to ask for formal feedback at the end of each job (one or two weeks usually) which is tiresome as you're constantly evaluating yourself. After working overtime all week and in the evenings at the end of the week, after clearly going through what you weren't able to do, you might get a 'thanks for your help'. There are internal recognition systems but they're only really used between managers and those who want to be managers.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Very well structured. There is a clear support network which I often made use of. When I felt like I had no idea what I was doing someone was usually able to help me.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Not much from my university but I didn't necessarily ask them for help so I can't blame them too much. They kept us informed of any dead lines etc.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
There is a clear support network that I was able to use to help me when I feeling overwhelmed. When I had issues with the work my team members were able to help me, and when I had wellbeing issues my people manager made time to talk to me.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
PwC provided me with accommodation and I found I was able to spend more but also save a substantial amount, which I tend to use for travelling in the summer. We often went out for drinks or meals in the evenings and our salary was enough to meet this.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are many events outside of work. I was able to attend none during the working week, such as voluntary events or community events etc, as everytime I tried to get involved I was told that I couldn't have any time off. There weren't many clubs around people from work. Usually I'd get home so late from work that I didn't have time to do much in the evenings.
9a. Would you recommend PwC to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
If all you want from a job is a great name for your CV and to climb a career ladder quickly then PwC is the one for you. Having done three years at PwC I've seen my happiness take a down turn. I rarely laugh at work, and while I appreciate that we need to be professional there is no need for the level of stress put upon us. Having said that I know that I won't struggle to find another job after I leave PwC as they have defiantly provided some challenging circumstances that I have grown from.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to PwC? *
You are constantly working in teams at PwC and so team work is incredibly valued. On the assessment days just try to be nice and engaging as that is what they're looking for. Try to not get involved in banking jobs as they are very stressful, a small manufacturing company is where you'd probably want to be as you can get to know the client very well.
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