Doesn't sell water or houses but does sell pretty much everything else
As one of the Big 4, PwC enjoys a solid reputation in the market as a top-tier full-service professional services provider. Whilst it’s strategy arm (a la what used to be Strategy& before it was acquired by PwC) doesn’t enjoy the same prestige as MBB, it is still a great place to cut your teeth if you didn’t end up snagging in any of those three strategy giants. What PwC lacks in top of the market prestige, it certainly makes up for in its breadth of consulting capabilities. The business is distinctly separated into four lines of service: Assurance, Consulting, Financial Advisory and Enabling Functions (which is internally facing).
More specifically from a consulting line of service perspective, as of 1 July 2020, the business changed their operating model to shift focus on market and industry. As such, everyone now has an industry/sector ‘home’. This includes PwC Indigenous Consulting, Financial Services, Government & Public Sector, Health & Wellbeing or Consumer, Industrial Products and Services. PwC then also aligns you to a specific “competency” (i.e. Strategy, Digital Transformation or Risk & Regulation) and skill groups (e.g. Strategy&, Customer & Experience, Actuarial, Risk & Compliance, etc). Suffice to say, you should probably seek to understand how PwC consulting is structured in more detail before you dive in and get stuck in something you might not actually want to do.
And whilst you won’t be really be paid for the copious amount of hours that you are likely to accumulate here, you certainly will receive lots of tip-top mandatory training and accrue a wide range of work experience across industries. PwC (and other Big 4) predominantly targets mid-market work, mainly because there is a lot of it and also because this is the sweet spot for it. There is plenty of good work to go around and you shouldn’t fear getting tasked on some random M&A deal being pitched by your local shop. Because of the training and work, like the other Big 4, you will walk away with a strong foundation and numerous exit opportunities if you do manage to land a role at PwC. In other words, slogging it out at PwC in your early or even later days, and having the “name on your resume” will open doors in the future. Because of this, and as one of the larger employers of the graduate market, the competition to snag a grad role is still fairly competitive. The fact that it does not demand as high grades as other roles also means more potential candidates that will pass the firm’s initial screening processes.
PwC seem to genuinely want to foster learning and we have heard that people nice. There is certainly no sink or swim culture here and you will receive support where you need it. As with other Big 4 firms, they have been bringing up graduates for a long time, and you will be walking on a well-trodden path. Whilst marred by scandal last year from a story we broke (i.e. BatGate), we have heard that people in the firm usually appreciate its active D&I initiatives. We will, of course, reserve judgement on this for now. Otherwise, the firm is open about the more progressive things in corporate Australia, like working from home, dressing casual and organising bumper work events.
We mentioned that you aren’t working here for the pay right? Grad salaries are pretty abysmal though we admit that it does get better as you move up the ladder. Out of the Big 4, PwC pays its employees the highest (with the exception of lateral hires at other firms).
Overall, PwC is a great, fun place to get your career started. If you can take the hours and measly pay, and take comfort in the relaxed culture at the firm, then climbing up the corporate ladder may be something you’d like to do. Otherwise, get out of there into industry or jump firms for a leap in pay like most everyone else.