PwC Reviews in Chicago, IL | Glassdoor

PwC Chicago Reviews

14 reviews

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Chicago, IL Area

1.0
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Tim Ryan
1 Rating

14 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The work-life balance is much better than I thought it would be (in 559 reviews)

  • You will learn a lot from the people you work with (in 337 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance is not that great (in 2020 reviews)

  • Sometimes had long hours with little notice (in 2068 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Staff not set up to succeed"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Elmhurst, IL
    Former Employee - Manager in Elmhurst, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at PwC (More than a year)

    Pros

    Rigorous business processes in place

    Cons

    Coaching & mentoring strongly advertised, but not practiced
    Teams not set up to succeed

    Advice to Management

    Conduct addition training on coaching & mentoring so the process can be executed as designed.


  2. "The bad outweighs the good"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Advisory Director in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Advisory Director in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at PwC full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Advisory salary is good if you have a need skill set. There are some great people in this firm. You an go far if you find the right partner to work for.

    Cons

    Your career is at the whim of your leadership and if you happen to work for a lousy partner, you will pay. When Partners can't perform, they take it out on their staff. I watched a partner fire several excellent people in the last couple of months just because he couldn't meet his numbers. I also listened to a partner tell a story how he spent $7k in one night at a strip club and expensed it. Client beware! There are good people in this firm, but there are more bad.

    Advice to Management

    To Tim Ryan - PwC has lost many good resources because you don't keep your partners in check. No upward feedback equals horrible practices.


  3. "Don't Be Fooled"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Director in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at PwC full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Challenging engagements with a lot of learning opportunities

    Cons

    Greedy, self serving partners who care nothing of the non-partner resources in the firm. Honesty is not a virtue. Consider yourself lucky if you are at least treated as a commodity. You will find a lot of slogans but precious little substance. Prepare for 80 hour weeks and never a thank you.

    Advice to Management

    Include more than white men in the partner ranks


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Senior Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Tax Senior in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Tax Senior in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    NONE. I have no pros, only cons.

    Cons

    Worst place on earth. Everyone (staff, seniors, managers) are just miserable. Managers take out their misery on staff. Managers flat out call associates dumb and incapable in front of other employees. Lots of office politics and backstabbing. Sooo many cliques. You can't trust anyone. Only person you can count on is yourself. There is no time for training or mentoring. If you need help with something half the time the answer is just look at prior year. I would never trust the company to prepare my own personal tax returns. Big pyramid scheme. Basically your returns are prepared by interns and recent college grads and managers just glance at this stuff. Awful place. Everyone slaps on a smile and is fake. Associates all sametime each other how they are ready to get out of the place. This place is so not worth it. Your health and sanity are far more important.

    Advice to Management

    If someone asks for help don't just assume that they have a bad attitude and poor work ethic. Your expectations and work load are unrealistic.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Terrible Firm"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Experienced Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Experienced Associate in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at PwC full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The only pro to the company is the large number of under 30 people that work there, makes for a collegial atmosphere at times

    Cons

    The PwC Professional was and is a complete failure. It stunts career growth and makes the path to promotion almost impossible. In addition the pay is about minimum wage for the hours worked. You will work over 3,500 hours in a year for $55,000 as an associate.

    Advice to Management

    Align your compensation with the rates you bill your staff out at.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "From being part of a great company it's now being part of a non innovative company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Advisory Director in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Advisory Director in Chicago, IL
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at PwC full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    It used to be that people and culture were the saving grace. But not sure that is true anymore.

    Cons

    Lost culture, disillusioned work force and politics hampering individual growth I acting the collective growth of the company. Constant pressure on metrics when metrics are promoting bad behavior is not good. There is lack of innovative thinking and always being in a reactive mode to address market needs. More of the same appears to be the norm!

    Advice to Management

    In your zeal to make the newer talent pool from acquired companies feel welcome don't take the legacy folks from way back when for granted. All the new things that glitter is not Gold!


  8. "Job Shadow"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Job Shadow in Chicago, IL
    Former Intern - Job Shadow in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at PwC as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Wide range of exposure
    Got to interact with senior partners a lot
    Seemed interested in all shadowers

    Cons

    Lectures rather than real shadow
    Very unorganized when I arrived
    Too many shadowers at once

    Advice to Management

    Allow shadowers to actually shadow employees


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Poor work/life balance"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Audit Senior Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Audit Senior Associate in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at PwC full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Prestige, vacation time, working with young people

    Cons

    Unable to use vacation time, work comes first and life second, coaching has gotten worse due to everyone's lack of available time, creates too much red tape for itself

    Advice to Management

    Need to focus on more flexibility for employees, need to focus on more flexibility on audit engagements, things are too planned out in an industry where unusual items are the only constant, quit promising what won't be delivered


  10. Helpful (7)

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

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Advisory Senior Associate in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Advisory Senior Associate in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at PwC full-time (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 Management

    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.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "unfulfilling"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at PwC full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    big company, great for your resume

    Cons

    unfulfilling work, antiquated corporate culture, felt like I wasn't doing anything positive for the world

    Advice to Management

    Give more responsibility and purpose to employees


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