PwC Reviews in Chicago, IL

Updated September 10, 2014
Updated September 10, 2014
5,049 Reviews
3.6
5,049 Reviews
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PwC US Chairman & Senior Partner Robert Moritz
Robert Moritz
1,041 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • No work-life balance during busy season because the nature of assurance work (in 249 reviews)

  • I believe any of Big 4 firms is a great place to start your career (in 123 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life Balance does not exist as much as they say they are still working on it (in 864 reviews)

  • Long hours during busy season but thats to be expected at any audit firm in the city (in 830 reviews)

More Highlights

149 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    I like my job and lucky to have landed it before the Diamond merger.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Analyst in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    The healthcare consulting group is growing
    It is big 4 firm so people know what it is
    Great mentorship programs

    Cons

    Not as prestigious as working for many smaller consulting firms

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make it easier for employees to be reimbursed after business trips.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    A mistake for MBAs looking for M&A or Strategy projects

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Advisory Senior Associate  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Advisory Senior Associate in Chicago, IL

    I worked at PwC full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good brand name - I got calls from recruiters within a week of joining the firm
    Numerous offices
    Ability to see strategy projects carried through to implementation
    Decent health plan

    Cons

    Lack of support for MBA new hires and Experienced Hires. PwC offers minimal training once you're more than a year past college. New Managers hired from industry aren't trained to manage clients, projects, staff, in the context of Management Consulting.

    Low compensation compared to other Consulting jobs. PwC lags the market on salary. Performance bonuses for each performance rating are about half what you might expect from a Consulting firm. Retirement plan is minimal and has a 5 year vesting schedule, so the vast majority of staff can expect to never collect on the employer contributions. The health plan is decent but the employee contribution is pretty high for a professional services firm.

    PwC's client relationships aren't as strong as they should be, so strategy projects are often sold on price, rather than value. Strategy projects are routinely underpriced, cutting rates and staff hours allocated without reducing the scope of work promised to the client. For staff, that means that you're working double hours and not getting rewarded for it.

    Expectations around utilization and how many hours you can bill per day don't account for the substantial differences between M&A type projects (very long hours, high pressure, short duration, unpredictable nature of when these projects come up), Strategy projects (long hours, 2-3 months duration, somewhat unpredictable demand), and long-term implementation type projects (more reasonable hours, duration of 12+ months, highly predictable demand). Overall, the expectations set for staff are based on the long-term implementation projects, so you'll have to make a tough choice between doing strategic projects that offer growth and learning opportunities, and staff-augmentation projects that hit your utilization numbers to keep you employed.

    PwC has some interesting projects, but you'll sacrifice your utilization metrics, because the strategic projects aren't as well defined. Directors won't communicate a clear end date for your current project, making it difficult to get seamless staffing onto the next project if you're not 100% sure when you'll come available. Some Partners will try to hold on to a particular staff member even when start dates are delayed due to client reasons -- but staff is accountable for utilization and during those days or weeks on hold, your utilization will drop off rapidly. Because despite PwC's focus on ethical practices, more often than not you will be pressured to under-report your hours by as much as 50%. If you don't comply, you'll be penalized in your reviews, and if you do comply, you'll still be penalized because your performance (billable hours) is less than that of your peers.

    Your mileage may vary -- the organizational culture within Advisory is highly inconsistent. I've worked for some excellent Partners and Directors who really support their people, and I've also worked for some Directors who lack the ability to communicate effectively and treat staff as disposable commodities. If you can find a great Partner or Director to work with, stick with that person as long as possible.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you expect to recruit and retain top talent, make upward feedback a larger component of the annual performance review process for Partners and Directors. These folks have wildly inconsistent expectations of staff at any given level. The good ones realize they can't push staff to the point of exhaustion and burnout, but quite a few haven't made this connection yet.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Excellent place to start your career!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Advisory Experienced Associate  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Advisory Experienced Associate in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    -Unlimited opportunities if you look for them
    -Smart people
    -Great way to build your network

    Cons

    -Need more structure around project processes and templates
    -Quality is very uneven across the organization

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Growing very quickly, but be careful to grow with quality too

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Is It Worth the Wait?

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I worked at PwC full-time

    Pros

    Great exit opportunities, good people

    Cons

    long hours, tedious but good people

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop paying us like accountants but then asking for ibanking hours.

  6.  

    Loved it! I was an SDI Intern! Great learning experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - SDI Intern  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - SDI Intern in Chicago, IL

    I worked at PwC as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Great Salary, Great connections/mentor-ships, The #1 Accounting Firm

    Cons

    There are none. Great environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Great Job!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Work is not the best

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Advisory Manager  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Advisory Manager in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    Great experience depending on what you want to do

    Cons

    Not much opportunity to try new things

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    High pressure for performance reviews

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Associate  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at PwC full-time

    Pros

    It is a great company to have on your resume. The best thing I like about pwc is that it has a high-ranking brand. The employees are generally intelligent and you can sense this. They are strong on management consulting and are a top-ranking Big 4 firm.

    Cons

    Each employee is heavily graded on value and performance. They are called "PFF". This can cause undue pressure, and in order to progress in a career here you must make good friends with upper management - there is a definite "good ol boys" circle and it becomes difficult for new experienced hires to get involved. Many employees have started as Associates and have grown into upper management, it has a seemingly unwelcoming environment..

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Rather than a culture of severe scrutiny, where employees fear what reviews may be written about them, pwc should create a more holistic and team-friendly environment. It does not seem like personal growth is taken as seriously as the firm tries to emphasize.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great firm to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Campus Recruiter  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Campus Recruiter in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at PwC full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Excellent benefits - vacay and other perks really add a lot. Especially great for working mothers

    Cons

    If you come in at a lower salary, you'll never catch up.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Advisory Manager  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Advisory Manager in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    Learned a lot, great experience, great people and great career progression

    Cons

    Worklife balance - Intense travel which makes it dificult to spend time with family when you have kids

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to improve flexibility programs/worklife balance/smart staffing

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Even though they work you hard, they are a great company to work for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Tac Associate  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Tac Associate in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    PwC compensates fairly and allows you to work in a friendly environment overall. You have great mobility and a world-wide pool of people you can interact and network with. The training programs are excellent and they pay for extra perks like your cellphone bill. Your career is in your hands.

    Cons

    The hours can be ridiculous.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Utilize your employees in other departments during their downtime so you don't have to work them like machines when it's busy to compensate.

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