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Big 4 new joiner advice please - am I doing the right thing?

 
#1 Big 4 new joiner advice please - am I doing the right thing?
13/11/2015 13:52

Planet

Hi all,

A brief background:

I have read this forum over the past couple of years whilst at uni trying to decide on a career direction. I have a good degree from a top 10 university and have done a summer internship with a boutique consultancy in London.

I have recently started on the audit and consulting shared scheme at PwC. It's a five year scheme which rotates between audit (and studying for the ACA) and management consulting, it's effectively two graduate schemes in one.

I'm currently in my audit rotation and wondering if I have made a mistake! My rationale for choosing this scheme was the ACA. During my MC internship I worked alongside some very clever people however I felt like a lot of the work we did wasn't based on expertise, there was more bluffing than understanding. I wanted to avoid that.

My question is: will my time in audit and the ACA mean that I am branded an accountant for life?

I don't want to be an accountant. I want to be a consultant. I am interested in strategy and I know I will be able to gain experience doing this at PwC, and learn the consulting skill set. My plan is currently to leave at the end of five years and look to move into a strategy consultancy...is this feasible?

I would really appreciate any thoughts anybody has.

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#2 RE: Big 4 new joiner advice please - am I doing the right thing?
13/11/2015 14:14

CalcConsultant to Planet (#1)

I doubt it. I feel like the ACA could only be beneficial to you.

I know the head of a very successful boutique consultancy that was an accountant for the first few years of his career.

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#3 RE: Big 4 new joiner advice please - am I doing the right thing?
13/11/2015 14:36

Deusextra30 to Planet (#1)

You'll only be pigeonholed as an accountant by other people if you let yourself be.

Once you complete your 5 years then make sure you brand yourself on LinkedIn, CV's etc appropriately.

E.g.

I'm a financially literate management consultant with specialism in finance transformations.

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#4 RE: Big 4 new joiner advice please - am I doing the right thing?
13/11/2015 16:33

marsday to Planet (#1)

I'm currently in my audit rotation and wondering if I have made a mistake! My rationale for choosing this scheme was the ACA. During my MC internship I worked alongside some very clever people however I felt like a lot of the work we did wasn't based on expertise, there was more bluffing than understanding. I wanted to avoid that.

So you want to avoid being branded as an Accountant, think MC is all bluff, but you are on a dual grad scheme in both at one of the biggest names in both? I applaud your decision making skills.

Moving on to a strat firm is feasible but very unlikely given your background. if you had a chance you would probably be there now and not switching between bluffing and bean counting.

Get that ACA. It will actually be the best thing you ever did for your career.

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#5 RE: Big 4 new joiner advice please - am I doing the right thing?
13/11/2015 22:08

Richthekeeper to marsday (#4)

As someone who has a vested interest in these schemes, I can only echo the above sentiments. In my experience, people who have been through this split scheme make excellent consultants.

One of the best Senior Managers I know is particularly effective at knowing when to mention his Tax background. It's usually a card he plays when talking to an accountant to get them onside, and it rarely fails.

In short, enjoy your rotations and good luck!

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