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6 people found this helpful  

Manager, Advisory Services

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Manager  in  Los Angeles, CA
Current Employee - Manager in Los Angeles, CA

I have been working at PwC full-time for more than 3 years

Pros

There is access to a tremendous volume of knowledge and expertise within the firm. You can learn things here that you won't be exposed to anywhere else. There is a dedicated learning and development system for online self-study on thousands of topics. While you are required to take a certain amount of continuing education every year, you can capitalize on this and obtain additional certifications, etc through the firm.

The salary and rewards are in range with other 'Big 4' firms. There career advancement opportunities to be had both internally and externally. As far as the other big 4 firms go, I've gotten the impression that PwC is at the top of the food chain. Only uber-boutique firms like McKinsey or Booz seem to have a stronger branding & compensation and that is mostly for very specific areas of strategy consulting work.

The culture is very high performance oriented, which is both good and bad. The good side of it is that you have no choice but to excel at what you do.Having the PwC brand on your resume can open many doors for you in the future. A lazy person will not survive in this environment. Diversity (ethnic and cultural) is taken very seriously. There is zero tolerance for inappropriate behavior and treatment toward anyone. Your race, cultural background, gender, sexual orientation, etc, doesn't matter... either you are capable or you're not.

The environment is ultra-competitive, and not necessarily in an under-handed, backstabbing way. It's simply a fined tuned corporate machine, friendly on-the-surface and full of eager people looking to make a name for themselves. You either can OR can't do the job.

Cons

The work/life Balance is a challenge, We've all heard the horror stories about tax accounts working 25 hours a day.This is somewhat pervasive in other areas. A typical work week is 50-60 hours and you will be focused from the moment you wake up until you pass out. When on a client site, you will spend 10-12 hours on-site along with the requisite 'team dinner', go back to your hotel room to work some more and repeat the cycle until you head home from whatever location you're at.

The use a bell-curve annual review process, which basically means you are judged by a group of directors & partners who probably have no idea if you're any good, other than what your 'coach' can advocate in the 5-10 minutes they are allowed to plead your case, along with data on how many billable hours you've had (utilization) and your contributions to community service, etc. Most end up in the middle with a small bonus and single digit raise. That's not necessarily bad, but you're generally made to feel like you're not doing enough to satisfy their expectations.

The internal systems are constantly changing. Because its a firm full of smart people falling all over themselves to constantly revising IT systems. They use Lotus notes which is universally hated by everyone; however, it's so deeply ingrained into the IT DNA that they can't figure out how to migrate away from it.

The culture is very high performance oriented and you can rarely rest on your accomplishments. You are pushed to continually improve your abilities and 'personal brand' which can either burn you out or form you into a cold corporate machine. A lot of people self-medicate (drinking to numbness) and I've seen all-out mental breakdowns occur. Some people are eventually ushered out and feel relieved when it happens so they can finally get some rest. I'm sure those factors are not unique to any organization, but it seems a bit more pronounced at a 'big 4' firm.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

This is a tremendous, high performance culture, but it needs to be tempered with balanced expectations. I greatly respect the leadership and their collective vision seems to be on target. My 'ask' is to better equip directors to lead teams through inspiring their confidence rather than beating them into submission. There is high integrity and zero tolerance for mediocrity, but you need to align people in the right roles and take the fear out of the future. A lot of people live in fear of losing their jobs, rightly or wrongly, because they feel like they can't measure up to partner and director expectations. There are many instances where junior staff feel squelched by director megalomania.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

4977 Other Employee Reviews for PwC (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Joined as associate, progressed fairly ok, then stuck.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager  in  San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Manager in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at PwC full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Clear career path. Reputable company.

    Cons

    Bureaucratic. Lots of PwC propaganda but not all the glamorous talk is translated into real actions. It all comes down to the team of people you work with.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep your loyal employees happy. Appreciate them. Respect them.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Extremely intelligent people, very strong and prestigious strategy & operations projects

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Associate - Advisory
    Current Employee - Senior Associate - Advisory

    I have been working at PwC full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Very strong advisory practice (Growing 30% annually), Booz acquisition, management and HR listens and accommodates with employee requests and needs, flexibility in projects, respect to employees, huge intellectual capital (both through organic and inorganic growth), lots of opportunities to learn from senior people who are industry experts, opportunity for global projects and mobility

    Cons

    Can get involved in longer than expected projects (between 8 and 16 weeks), traveling is common

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try better staffing to minimize traveling

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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