PwC Reviews in Chicago, IL | Glassdoor

PwC Chicago Reviews

Updated December 1, 2017
141 reviews

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Chicago, IL Area

4.0
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Tim Ryan
22 Ratings

141 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work/life balance is very hard to have at consulting firms in general (in 2396 reviews)

  • Sometimes had long hours with little notice (in 2475 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "IFS"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IFS Associate in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - IFS Associate in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at PwC full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Amazing resources
    - Stress about firm budget very rarely impacts employees (versus smaller firms, who very tightly monitor expenses, travel, software investments, etc.) which really allows you to focus on giving your best
    - Work perks abound, including health perks, gifts, and spot bonuses
    - Though it is very hierarchal, depending on your group you can contribute ideas and have them move very quickly into reality
    - Amazing work experience; you sink or swim, but if you're swimming, you're learning so much so quickly and really are enabled to be at the top of your field
    - Cell phone paid for, which is wonderful with the expectation of periodic messages outside of hours...I don't think it's fair when other firms expect you to distribute your personal number and install a bunch of work-related apps on your personal phone
    - If you can find time to take PTO, it's a lot easier to find support covering your projects than it is at smaller firms
    - Colleagues are incredibly smart
    - Good benefits and excellent holiday/leave policies
    - Recently brought all of the member firms throughout all the countries together, operating as one PwC, which was long overdue

    Cons

    - Long hours, especially working with international teams
    - Expectation is extremely high--perform not only at the top of your game, but find new ways to contribute with side projects and innovation ideas
    - The new "Snapshot" reviews that replaced previous annual review papers is easier to navigate, but does not capture year-to-year growth between career reviews; you essentially start over every year arguing your value (as opposed to leaders being able to see 2+ years of steady contribution and accolades)
    - IFS (internal firm services) professionals are mostly second class citizens, and will never have the earning power or the opportunities of a client-facing professional
    - Tendency is to reward through cash or gift card spot bonuses, instead of upping salary--which never keeps anyone happy for long
    - Limited advancement opportunities with some groups in IFS
    - Work environment is better than most, but still favors men and has a persistent boys' club atmosphere at times
    - Annual reviews are frustratingly not transparent; you have no place at the table to discuss your case if you're hoping for a raise or advancement--results are just told to you after the fact
    - Like all of the Big 4 and most big business, it's a very political environment

    Advice to Management

    It's understood across the industry that client-facing professionals command the higher salaries, bonuses, and better international opportunities. Give IFS credit and assume they all understand that. However, I consistently saw complaints across years of working about the lack of opportunities for IFS and how under-appreciated IFS employees felt.

    Stop thinking about what you can't offer IFS (salaries rivaling consultants), and start thinking about what you can give them to make them happier and more willing to invest time and energy back into the firm. Think about development opportunities for top performers who deserve to continue growing and improving. Think about ways to connect the more advanced/robust IFS support in the US and UK to other member firms in areas we have a smaller presence. At PwC, you like to compare IFS to the "hub" that holds together and supports the "spokes" that are client service. It's a nice idea, but invest back in that hub with some of the money you made back from cutting IFS in 2017--reward those who are sticking around and deserve it. Often IFS hours are just as long as client service hours, and with less recognition.


  2. "Good place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexibility
    Young colleagues
    Laid back atmosphere

    Cons

    Dull work
    Certain back stabbing people

    Advice to Management

    Overall good job

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Senior Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great opportunity to grow your career quickly. Solid perks and benefits.

    Cons

    Worklife balance is not always there.

    Advice to Management

    If your project plan assumes your team will work til 9pm for months on end... you don't have a good project plan.


  4. "Assurance Sector"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assurance Senior Associate in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Assurance Senior Associate in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great people - lots to learn. See many different processes and accounting by changing clients frequently in Assurance.

    Cons

    There are long hours/weekends, but that is known going into it.


  5. "Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexible hours, good benefits, smart people, great opportunity to start and grow a career. Amazing network to pull from and awesome place to develop skills needed anywhere.

    Cons

    Extensive travel, which is more a function of the industry not necessarily the company, but still applicable nonetheless. Below average pay.

    Advice to Management

    Pay for performance


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Couple of Notes from Working in Advisory - And a Suggestion"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Associate - Advisory in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Associate - Advisory in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at PwC full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    For years, as a financial analyst, and then as a financial reporting consultant (SAP & BI, etc.), I had wanted to work with one of the the Big-4 or a national firm. ...While in school had managed to get interviews with KPMG and Deloitte, but later when a chance came for a project at PwC, it seemed like the best-fit.

    For what it's worth, I had always felt that Deloitte had some of the best/slickest "relationship builders", but PwC had the most technically-proficient and respectable, and so also felt like that fit me as well. So, jumped at the chance to work in Advisory.

    I still believe that was more-or-less the right take on the "cultural fit". And I'd also say that PwC offers more of a chance to develop advanced-level knowledge, and that kind of thing. So, if you can find a good department/group/partner, you can forge a path. ...And this is very important to do, especially if (like me), you come in as an experienced hire, etc.

    Cons

    The one issue I had was (and this might not be PwC-specific, so maybe even more valuable of a note for other aspiring consultants), that there was an intense pressure to find future projects, 3, 6, or even 9 months in the future.

    After having moved-on from consulting, over the past couple of years, I've seen others report this as well. ...They say you have to "take responsibility" for managing your future projects and research/apply to other partners so to find projects to maintain your utilization ratio.

    I didn't quite realize just how much of an issue this is. But, what can happen is that if you're not careful, and don't manage it way-out there in advance, you'll end up being assigned to a funky project and/or something that you can't totally slam-dunk. ...If that happens, you could find it more difficult for future gigs (which again you'll have to spend night & weekend time to dig-up), and eventually if you have more than 2 weeks of non-assigned time at some point, you're at risk.

    Advice to Management

    My one suggestion, as someone who was an experienced hire and came in with (at least somewhat of a sense of the pro's/con's), is what if there was some way to take a bit of extra time off after or between projects at some partial-pay rate -- or even no pay, if that's an issue?

    This would help pretty significantly with retention and facilitate staff recovery between projects, as well as allowing them some chance to do marketing, searching for other partners in other departments, etc. ...After all, it was typical to plan/book time months in advance on the demand planning application. Might help with flex-time arranging as well, so could be good for all.


  7. "Tax Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - 62000 in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - 62000 in Chicago, IL

    Pros

    No travel
    Good benefits
    Numerous opportunities for promotion
    Opportunity to work on multiple clients
    Lots of networking opportunities

    Cons

    Very long hours
    Low level of flexibility
    Multiple clients throughout the year
    High level of competitiveness within group which leads to unhealthy teaming.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great firm, still not there on work/life balance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at PwC full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great engagements, team members, and credentials with clients. Great benefits and overall compensation.

    Cons

    Still not supportive of parents who want to be more present in their children's lives. Travel for consultants outside of some markets that are more local (e.g. Silicon Valley) are very taxing.


  9. "Good place to start your career"

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

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

    Pros

    - Strong leadership team
    - Great learning experience
    - Casual dress code in office every day

    Cons

    - Low compensation relative to the workload


  10. "Risk Assurance Intern Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Risk Assurance Intern in Chicago, IL
    Former Intern - Risk Assurance Intern in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at PwC as an intern

    Pros

    Experience, Pay, DisneyWorld if an offer is given

    Cons

    Lack of enrichment, lack of information


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