1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
The first day was an induction in the More London Office, near London Bridge. We received our laptops, learnt about the firm, and had the opportunity to meet other Business Insight Week students to socialise and network. I chose to spend the rest of my week in Audit in the same office and was attached to a Senior Associate for three days, who I was helping with audit planning. Most of my week was spent filling out engagement letters. I also observed a meeting, learned about the client, and met other auditors. The nice part about this work experience is that you're actually doing audit work, not admin work. There was also a fair bit of work, although I did run out on the final day. The last day was a team project with TeachFirst on proposals to help graduates and school/college leavers with developing business skills. My only criticism is that I wasn't particularly involved with the client or the (or any) audit team, although it is a quite time of year.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I've definitely developed my teamwork skills on the final day and am much more confident about my social skills. The first hour of the first day was mostly networking, something I'm generally nervous about, but I found no issues approaching people I didn't know. It was also nice that the groups were mixed up on the last day, as people had already formed loose friendship circles, which made it difficult to approach new people. The public speaking aspect of the final day was also nice.
In terms of the actual work placement, I have become a fair bit better at using Microsoft Excel, and have also learned some of the PwC systems (e.g. Aura). This will definitely be useful next year if I make school leaver.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
It was enjoyable. The work was a bit repetitive but not so bad. Everyone was nice and friendly.
4. How valued do you feel by PwC?
Quite valued. I believe we are paid quite generously for this placement, which is great. The fact that I received real client work also promotes this feeling. My buddy had a lot of work and seemed quite grateful for the help.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
It was well organised and structured. There were no delays as far as I remember with either the induction or final day. Food in the form of small sandwiches, crisps and various hot and cold drinks were provided on both days. All of the speakers came off very confident and knowledgeable. The online webinars organised during the three-day placement were useful and again organised well with no delays or significant mishaps. I had work to do throughout the week so I didn't get bored, another plus.
However, I have heard some negative things from a few friends. One of them was meant to be on rotation, working with an audit associate one day, tax another, and consulting the final, but was limited to audit the whole week. Another friend mentioned that his buddy was only with him for the first few hours of the first day, soon thereafter leaving the country. I also felt that it would have been nice to experience another service line other than audit. The recruiters who organise the event do mention (albeit late) that you can spend another day in a different service line, but this was meant to be organised by your buddy. I felt that bothering my buddy, who had a fair bit of work, with organising this for me was unfair so I left it alone and didn't mention it. I think the fact that you can rotate or spend a day in another service line needs to be mentioned much earlier so it can be organised properly. Either do it that way or not at all in my opinion, since the programme remains great without these additions.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Good support. Buddy was helpful and open to my questions.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Good contact with recruiters. Regular and insightful Webinars. Contact maintained well via email. Asked a fair few questions to recruiters, all answered in under an hour at most.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Haven't received payment yet.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
9a. Would you recommend PwC to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Everything above I suppose... it just feels like a nice place to work at. Not as bad as people say it is. Quite relaxed and calm. Not what you'd expect from such a huge corporation, at least.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to PwC? *
Practise numerical/verbal reasoning. Don't overestimate your ability, they're quite difficult and in my opinion impossible to pass without practise.
The telephone interview isn't so bad. Stock up on examples for each of the five skills PwC emphasise - relationships, business acumen, global acumen, whole leadership, teamwork, technical capabilities. For example, business acumen is generally asked in terms of a recent event and how it can (positively or negatively) affect PwC. In this one I talked about Brexit (this was before the vote) and what the implications of either result are. So for Brexit, more business for deals, with remain, more focus on consulting. Either way PwC would benefit in some way. I can't remember the other questions to be honest but they weren't bad at all.
In the application process I researched the firm a lot and tried to force any information I learnt into it, which obviously must have worked.
Anyway I think the most important thing is research. Spent some time reading the PwC website, its Wiki page, recent news articles about PwC, about the different service lines and skills PwC want, and you'll be ahead of most candidates. I think they are really impressed when you do research, so do it!
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