PwC

www.pwc.com
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6 people found this helpful  

You can come in for a long haul - just do it with eyes open

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Advisory Director in Washington, DC
Current Employee - Advisory Director in Washington, DC

I have been working at PwC

Pros

The typical line on PwC is it's a great place to start, build your credentials for a few years, then move on to greener pastures. It doesn't have to be that way. A long career here can be very rewarding - professionally, intellectually, and financially. But understand what kind of environment you're getting into.

Some straight talk to describe life at PwC: Hard-working, ever-changing, demanding, and conservative (at times in the extreme). And also intellectually stimulating, team-oriented, flexible, and fun (if you are on a good team, which most are).

You are working for the best and will be expected to bring your best every day. You need to get yourself noticed, yet do so in a way that is collaborative and team-focused. If you are a lone ranger (in reality or in perception), you will fail. Not everyone is able to bring that "mental balance" between ambition and great teaming to work every day. Ask yourself if you can.

My PwC cohorts are, collectively, the most intelligent community of people I've ever been around. Every person who sticks here is capable, diligent, and for the most part, more than willing to share their knowledge. The spirit of achievement and top-quality delivery to our clients is really something special.

Cons

Did I mention demanding and hard-working? Hours can be off the charts at times. The perpetual challenge has been that Work/Life Balance, while truly regarded as an important initiative, has always only addressed half the equation. You can offer all the time off and schedule flexibility you want, but until you make workloads and expectations more reasonable, you will never be able to achieve the "balance". They have never quite gotten that part. Over several years, I have never been able to take all my vaca time while remaining a top performer - and I am not the workaholic type by nature. It's the way the system is built.

Did I mention conservative? Understand this is still an accounting/audit firm at heart, no matter how big Advisory becomes. The hoops one needs to jump through - whether to initiate a project, establish a teaming relationship, handle admin tasks, or address personal financial independence requirements - are off the charts. After a few weeks/months, you will "get it", it will become normal, and you'll stop considering it ridiculously burdensome. Or not, in which case this probably isn't the environment for you. This is a "culture of compliance" taken to new heights.

Final thought: If you perform and progress, compensation can be excellent. Real wealth is possible. BUT - you will max out after a handful of years as a director. Consider that the partnership is basically a sign-in-blood-for-life proposition, and political x 1000 (which certainly isn't for everyone), and you may start face a career crossroads.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

1. Make WLB real by addressing the workload end of the equation - especially for directors, whose responsibility loads are insane.

2. Define a path for long-term compensation growth other than forcing a partner/MD track. Let's get creative. It is restrictive now to the point of driving top performers to seek other opportunities in the market.

Recommends
Approves of CEO

5815 Other Employee Reviews for PwC (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    PwC - stay within the lines...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in San Jose, CA

    I worked at PwC

    Pros

    Great internal training/information readily available on intranet. Shared services are great. Good people (for the most part)

    Cons

    Huge political game being played. People are labeled as troublemakers early on in their employment and then ignored. Review process incredibly anonymous - I just want to talk to someone about the work I did, not hear back from my manager who talked to the person presenting my case before a panel of people not identified to me.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fix the review process - allow some human interaction and don't play favorites in the office

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    PwC Transaction Services...an ok place to spend 4 years

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager In Transaction Services (Former) in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Manager In Transaction Services (Former) in New York, NY

    I worked at PwC

    Pros

    Working at a Big 4 based consulting group (e.g., Transaction Services aka TS) will help you develop a 'jack of all trades' skill set. Generally speaking most people learn & develop the following after ~5 years: a team-based attitude, strong accounting skills, sharp financial analysis skills, above average writing skills, and public speaking/presentation abilities. If one wants to make it to Sr Mgr/Director or Partner than being able to accumulate friends at that Partner level is paramount. At some point politics/bureaucratic tendencies become just as important as the other required skills.

    Cons

    Generally speaking working at a Big Four consulting group like PwC TS can pigeonhole you should you want to transition into the more sophisticated areas of finance that include banking, trading, private equity and/or equity research. Additionally the more junior you are the less fair your pay will be; partially this is offset by robust amounts of vacation you will receive. Do not expect a good bonus; it can happen but the bonus mentality in Big Four firms barely rewards the younger staff in proportion to the effort they contribute. Lastly due to nature of client service the requirement to work long hours is typically inevitable at some point...be prepared to put your time in as you work your way up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase size of bonus pool for all non-partner staff. By and large the largest problem at Big Four firm is their tendency to overpay partners and underpay staff.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
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