"I learn something new each day and know that it will stay with me for life"
"PwC place a high emphasis on training and the four year Core Training framework is a feature of working life in the tax department"
"If you like variety and have an appetite for learning, PwC is the place for you"
"Working with PwC has allowed me to grow through training and hands on experience"
What better way to get to know PwC than through our people? Some are already on their way to qualifying, others have been through that part of their journey and are onto their next challenge. Read about their experiences in these first-hand accounts.
It was PwC’s reputation both here in Ireland and globally that attracted me. When I first joined I knew the size of the Firm but was still impressed by the number of people working here. What impressed me more was the way in which the people from different areas interacted with each other.
I’m currently a Manager within the Banking Group. When I first joined the group as an associate, the work was more hands-on during the audits but as you move through your career with PwC you take on more responsibilities. As a Manager, I now spend more time on client relationships, coaching and mentoring junior colleagues and working directly with Senior Managers and Partners on specific projects. I have my own portfolio of clients and I work directly with these clients and the Engagement Partner in completing assigned engagements, including statutory audits and other specific work.
Throughout my career with PwC there has been regular formal training designed to equip me with the skills required to perform at the various levels within the Firm. These training courses are a great support and also allow interaction with peers from the various departments allowing development of additional business relationships. On top of these firm wide training courses I have attended industry specific courses which have helped me develop confidence in my business area. Working within such a supportive network of people has really helped me to develop my skills over the years.
One piece of advice I would give to those currently working their way through the minefield that is the graduate recruitment market is to make sure that you select a firm that will support your needs and allow you to develop your career along the path you choose, and this is something I have certainly found with PwC.
Senior Associate 2
Before I attended the milk-round presentations, I was unaware which accountancy firm should be my first preference. After attending the PwC presentation, PwC emerged as the obvious choice for me. I wanted to join an accountancy firm that would provide the greatest opportunities for me personally so I chose PwC because it holds the largest market share and I felt the culture within PwC suited me best.
I had no practical experience of auditing but that didn’t matter because I have received excellent training since joining the Firm. I currently work in the Insurance group and when I first started I was responsible for testing expenses and cash sections, as these tend to be less technical.
However, as my experience has grown I have had opportunities to test more technical aspects including premiums and claims and because of the constant on-the-job support from the seniors and managers I become more confident every day. My department has a very friendly, welcoming atmosphere and everyone knows the other levels within the group so there is great camaraderie.
Over the next few years, I hope to develop my technical knowledge and strengthen relationships with my key clients. And once I complete my FAEs I hope to take advantage of the fantastic PwC Secondment programme, preferably an assignment to New York!
Upon joining PwC, I found that the promises made to me during the recruitment process were fulfilled beyond my expectations in terms of varied work experience and exam support. I was surprised that such a large office could have such a friendly atmosphere with a mixing of people across all the levels from Associate to Partner.
My title is Assistant Manager which put simply means I have been with the Firm for four years. Thankfully, I was successful in passing my FAEs in September 2010. Being exam qualified has meant that I have had the opportunity to senior larger engagements thereby taking on greater responsibility and enhancing my technical and commercial knowledge. This experience has provided me with great insight to all aspects of the audit file and clients’ business operations.
Training and development is a continuous process at PwC. Each year, I have been provided with technical training. This is a great opportunity to catch up with my peers. However, the greatest training I have received is on-the-job training which solidifies the technical knowledge you have been accumulating since College. I have expressed at times in my career a desire to expand my client base or work on larger clients and I can honestly say that I have been awarded every opportunity for development that I sought. Last year I had the opportunity to present training to the incoming graduates which I am really enjoyed!
The most enjoyable part of working in PwC is that my role continually changes and the teams I work with change from job to job. No matter how much knowledge I accumulate, there is always more to learn. In fact, I never stop learning and developing throughout my training contract. PwC provides me with amazing exposure in terms of the people I work with, the clients I work for and the work that I do. In this way, I feel that PwC has given me every advantage in terms of helping me to succeed in my professional career.
I had two reasons for selecting PwC as opposed to other accountancy firms. Firstly, as PwC is the No.1 professional services firm in Ireland, this presented a magnificent opportunity to work with some great clients. Secondly, and more personal to myself, the facilities within the Spencer Dock offices are excellent and this leads to an enjoyable working environment.
Upon joining the Firm I commenced an intensive three week training course. I have seen firsthand the strong culture for learning and personal development within the Firm. Every year we receive firm wide training and in addition to this I have also received industry specific training so that I can address the needs of my clients and provide a quality service. Each client represents a different challenge and experience which has enhanced my knowledge of the industry. I find that it is important to follow my client’s results and performance through the media to ensure I am constantly up to date with their performance and new developments in their operations. The thing I enjoy most about working in Assurance at PwC is that you are constantly working in teams. Each month you tend to work on a different audit engagement with different team members. Working in teams allows for greater personal development as you receive constant training from seniors on each job.
I passed my FAE’s in 2010 and the Firm provided great support throughout the process. I attended various workshops to ensure that I was sufficiently prepared for the exams. A training contract can be a busy time with work and exams. However a work life balance in PwC is encouraged. The offices in Spencer Dock are testament to this. For example the gym facilities in the office are excellent, ensuring that I can manage to stay fit even during busier periods!
Senior Associate 2
My degree from the University of Notre Dame in the US focused on Accounting. After graduating, I worked for another professional services firm in Chicago for two years. Then, in 2008, I came back to Ireland to do an ACA qualification, opting to complete a Masters of Accounting at UCD.
That’s when I began working out which of the Big 4 firms would be the best fit for me. PwC’s strong reputation for quality, its client portfolio and its supportive culture made it my first choice. And the interview process confirmed it. The office building is state of the art, the people are friendly and I knew I’d get the best training going.
I work in Asset Management, managing small to large audit teams depending on the size of the fund. I report directly to the manager and work closely with clients every day. What I’ve enjoyed most over the past three years is that our responsibilities are constantly broadening and being redefined. I ran an audit as early as my second year, completing it from start to finish. The experience was invaluable. My one-to-one meetings with the manager gave me a much more complete understanding of the audit and taught me about the different factors that affect our approach.
Although all the changes can be challenging, I can always count on support from managers and colleagues. As well as formal training from our Learning and Development team, we get plenty of one-to-one training on the job. There’s a lot you can pick up from people two to three levels ahead of you with first-hand experience of the work.
Looking ahead, I know I’ll be learning constantly. On top of that, the breadth of services the Firm offers means I have the scope to try new things, take on different clients and explore other service lines.
Senior Associate 2
I knew I wanted a career in business. So, in 2008, I did a summer internship in Corporate Finance in London. That helped me decide to look for an organisation offering solid training and exposure to a wide range of industries. I knew that Assurance would give me a great grounding in the nuts and bolts of business and the chance to study for an internationally respected business qualification. Then a few friends who’d done internships with PwC said it was a great, fun place to work. The fact that PwC is a market leader both in Ireland and internationally, and that it has a well established international secondment programme for newly qualified accountants, made it the natural choice.
I work in the International & Domestic Business Assurance Group which covers a broad range of non-financial retail and industrial sectors. I was surprised how quickly I was given responsibility. Soon after starting I helped audit an R&D pharmaceutical company, taking ownership of specific sections of the audit and talking with client staff regularly. The company’s structure meant I gained exposure to different and more technical areas than an Associate normally would. It was challenging, but it was also great to look back after several weeks and realise how much I’d learned in such a short space of time.
The two things I enjoy most are the people and the variety of work. In Assurance you get to work on different types of clients within your industry group and also different areas of those clients – To date I have worked on everything from listed multinationals to manufacturing companies and charities. Understanding a client is a key part of being a good auditor and getting to know how a client’s business works can be fascinating. And because we work in small teams when at client sites, there’s a real sense of camaraderie.
As well as an in-depth induction course, I’ve benefited from in-house training for my ACA exams, IT courses and audit training sessions that reinforce my on-the-job learning. There’s a structured development path and each year you take on more responsibility and experience different areas, so the work stays interesting and challenging.
Over the next year I aim to pass my FAEs and broaden my knowledge of different industries. When I qualify I’d like to do an international secondment, perhaps to somewhere German speaking so I can improve my language skills. There are lots of myths about a career in accountancy. I’d advise graduates to find out the truth by talking to people at PwC.
*PwC would like to congratulate Kieran on his wonderful exam success in achieving first place in the CAP1 exams in 2010 and the CAP2 exams in 2011. A great achievement.*
I was attracted to PwC both by the knowledge that I’d get first-class training and the fact I really liked the people I met through the interview and presentation process. What’s surprised me most since joining the firm is how international the role of an accountant is. I didn’t expect to have so many opportunities to work abroad. Ireland is a very open economy with strong trading links, particularly with the UK and US. In order to develop your career, it’s important to understand what’s involved in doing business internationally. So it’s almost expected that at some stage in your career you will travel. For me that involved numerous stints overseas, varying from a week to up to six months.
In my current role I’m responsible for delivering our audit and assurance services to a range of clients in the technology / communications and media sectors . They range from large multinationals with revenues of over €1 billion to small venture capital backed software businesses that are at the product development stage. This variety is something I really enjoy. Plus, every day, there’s the challenge of presenting solutions and ideas to senior client contacts. We’re organised into different industry groups and I’ve already worked in all of them, including two of the financial services groups. I have also worked full time in our Advisory practice, where I was responsible for financial due diligence on acquisitions, business plan and working capital reviews, a fraud investigation and other similar assignments. There are always opportunities to move around the different areas and develop your overall skills.
For me the opportunities came thick and fast; I was admitted as a partner after just 12 years, which means I now have an entrepreneurial stake in the success of the firm.
The social events here are a big part of the team-based culture and there’s a busy sports and social programme. Our golf society is very active – with our golf weekend away each year a highlight – and I’m a keen participant. I also like to keep fit – not just for health reasons but also to manage day-to-day stress. The gym is fantastic and well used, though I prefer to get out in the park during the summer, so limit my use of the gym to the winter months. My advice to graduates? Really understand what a fantastic career you can develop from the Chartered Accounting training. Talk both to our current trainees and to our more experienced people and get a good understanding of what’s involved in the training contract and what opportunities you’ll have when you qualify.
I did a Summer Internship with PwC and after this I knew a lot about the values that people working in PwC have and this enticed me to come back as a graduate. Even having worked here before I was still surprised at how willing and committed people were to helping me settle in. Everyone was prepared to sit down and talk me through different aspects of the work which I’d be required to do.
Since joining PwC I have mainly been involved in compliance work which involves drafting corporation tax computations and returns for my clients. Recently however, I have been involved in a lot of UK reporting regime work. This is a relatively new area so I am very lucky to be involved at such an early stage. I have been involved in client calls and meetings in relation to UK reporting which has been a great experience for me. I really enjoy the team ethos in PwC, everyone is part of a team and it is good to know that I can add value to projects and my team. From day one I was involved in a huge variety of work which was enjoyable and also substantially broadened my knowledge of tax. In the future I hope to keep moving up through the grades in PwC and do well in my exams.
My first impressions of PwC were very positive. I was struck by the warmth and friendliness of the people I met when attending events in preparation for the Milkround interviews. All of my questions were answered thoroughly. I was immediately put at ease during my interview and it was this open and friendly working environment which attracted me to PwC above all the other firms I applied to.
I am currently a Manager in the Domestic and International Outbound unit. I am involved in the corporation tax compliance process for a number of high profile and household names in the consumer and retail industry. The compliance process involves assisting the client in preparing its corporation tax return and ensuring that all relevant deadlines are met in a timely manner. I have also recently been involved in various consultancy projects which add a different dimension to my daily work.
There is a positive atmosphere throughout PwC. I enjoy the collaborative nature of working in client service teams and interacting with people across all grades. This teamwork enhances my learning and provides a supportive working environment. By joining the firm with an intake of peers, I feel that a sense of camaraderie and friendship is developed.
The thing I enjoy most is the constant people interaction within my role, whether that be with colleagues or clients.
I am currently a tax consultant in the HRS department. It’s a very interesting, and the largest area of PwC’s tax practice. I have 20 or 30 personal tax clients whose individual tax affairs I look after throughout the year. I prepare their income tax returns as well as their Capital Gains tax computations and any other issues that may arise. I am lucky in that I get to deal with these clients one-on-one.
PwC place a high emphasis on training and the four year Core Training framework is a feature of working life in the tax department. For the first two years there was a training programme whereby my intake received specialised training once a week for a number of months on the various different taxes as well as other useful topics.
The working environment is very open, and from partners to assistants, everyone is open and willing to answer any queries I might have had since I started working here. There is a very strong work ethic and it is expected that you perform your work well, that you respect your fellow colleagues and pass your professional exams.
I would certainly advise any graduate to apply to join PwC as it is a great opportunity to work alongside the best and brightest in the industry. I can guarantee that should you come to work here you will be highly impressed with what the firm has to offer in terms of your career development.
My first year with as a tax specialist in Human Resource Services has been amazing. I’ve developed phenomenally. Firstly, the regular client contact plus all the team-based work has boosted my interpersonal skills. And secondly my knowledge of taxation has expanded fast thanks to the exposure I’ve had to its many different aspects. As well as preparing income tax returns, I’ve been involved in specialist areas of tax, like redundancy payments and dealing with the Revenue – handling queries relating to everything from tax credits to filing client returns.
My background is in accounting which I studied for four years in UCC. I did my work placement in industry and, although I enjoyed the experience, I quickly found out that the sector wasn’t for me. In comparison to industry, PwC is much faster-paced. Things change quickly here and there’s a lot more variety.
I’ve just completed my CAP2 exams. That was challenging but also very rewarding. They’re a fantastic way to broaden your skill set. PwC really supported us all the way through the year, running courses in house to help with some of the tougher aspects of the CAP2 syllabus and giving us ample study leave.
Would I recommend joining the PwC team? Absolutely. The workplace is energetic, the people are friendly, the atmosphere’s great and everyone is always happy to answer your questions.
I work in the tax department of PwC Dublin where I specialise in working with both multinational and Irish headquartered companies operating in the software, technology and telecommunications sector. After the initial shock of no longer having a college timetable but a regular working week, I quickly settled in to working life in PwC. There were two main reasons for this. Firstly, PwC have adopted a policy of assigning a ‘buddy’ to each new graduate. My buddy was a lifesaver – no matter what the task I was struggling with, I could always turn to my buddy who would guide me in the right direction.
Secondly, another great system PwC have in place is that for my first three years in the firm, I attended training sessions on a weekly basis. Apart from the technical benefits of this, particularly for the professional exams, it provided a great opportunity for me to find my feet and develop relationships with my intake.
Since completing my final exams, I have been faced with a whole new range of challenges as result of my involvement in more complex tax consultancy projects and the additional responsibility which I have been afforded. The consultancy projects I have worked on recently have ranged from relocating Intellectual Property within a group structure to Ireland to avail of Irish tax incentives, setting up new entities in emerging markets such as Indonesia, China and Sri Lanka, to putting in place structures to reward key employees in a tax efficient manner. Almost five years in, I can honestly say I have never regretted my decision to join PwC. I find the work challenging and I know the experience I have gained from working with such high calibre domestic and international clients will always stand to me.
Having spent a few years in the Physiotherapy profession, in 2009 I made a big decision to change my career. Initially, my primary concern was that as I was coming from a non-business degree background, would PwC be interested in hiring someone like me. The response from every PwC person I spoke to was a resounding "yes". It was extremely encouraging to see that PwC welcomed graduates with such a diverse background which, when I got the offer to join the firm, made my decision to accept a simple one.
As a Tax Consultant, I am coming to the end of my third year in the firm. Each day presents a new challenge and as a result my workload can be very diverse. My working day can range from a conference call in the morning with my colleagues in PwC offices in the Ivory Coast and Singapore, discussing the coordination of the tax compliance of major global technology companies to preparing the advice on the restructure of a local company's operations here in Ireland. I'm on a variety of client service teams looking after the tax compliance of well known Irish and international companies which enables me to see closely how major companies react to the current economic climate and the important role that PwC, as their tax advisors, has in assisting their business.
Without doubt, standards are set very high in the firm. However, there is plenty of help and encouragement available to achieve them. No problem is too great nor too small and I have found the support from the people I work with across all grades and departments fantastic, especially in the early days when I was finding my feet. Once all my exams are finished, I hope to remain in the firm to further my experience before looking into a secondment overseas for a period of time. PwC offers lots of opportunities to work in a variety of PwC offices all around the world, which I feel would be a fantastic experience both personally and professionally.
I knew the PwC Tax Practice had a strong reputation in the local market and I wanted to work for a firm where I would get top-class training and excellent experience with the very best clients. I also knew they had a considerable international presence and I was keen to work for a firm that was part of a strong global network.
When I first started considering my career options, I was fortunate to receive offers from a number of firms. But it was the people I met as part of the interview process which influenced my decision to join PwC - they took a personal interest in me and I really got the sense that my contribution would be recognised and appreciated. I felt that I wasn’t going to be just one of a large number of graduates but rather than I would be mentored and encouraged on a individual basis within my team – and I am glad to say that’s exactly how it turned out.
I was surprised at the amount of responsibility I was given right from the start. From day one, I was part of a client service team working directly with clients. The responsibility and role I play on the team has changed as my career developed – now as a Partner I am responsible for leading many key client relationships and making sure we are delivering the breadth of our services to clients to meet their needs. But I couldn’t do it on my own and I rely on the help and support of the whole team. Everyone at PwC pulls together to make sure we meet the highest standards of client service, all of which is helped by an open, friendly and supportive environment.
As for the variety of work I do, it’s fantastic. From advising on large corporate re-organisations, to helping companies establish operations in Ireland, to assisting film producer’s avail of tax incentives for film production, it’s always challenging, rewarding and never dull. It might sound clichéd - but every day really is different.
At PwC, we believe in career-long learning. This means there are lots of opportunities for training and development at every stage of your career, even at Partner level. The focus in the early part of my career was on the training and support needed to pass the professional exams. But as my career developed, it became more about equipping me with the skills to be a rounded business advisor.
So don’t hold back at your careers fairs, meet PwC people and learn more about what we have to offer. Think long term too – the range of experience and opportunities a firm like PwC offers will make sure you have a solid foundation to build your professional career.
Advisory Risk Assurance Solutions profiles
Senior Associate 1
In my second year of college I completed an internship which gave me a great deal of insight into the operation of the Advisory practice within PwC and also a better understanding of its culture and environment. Following that I was delighted to have been offered a graduate position in the RAS department and began my training contract in September 2010.
I have been very fortunate to have worked on a variety of projects since joining the Firm. I am part of the Systems and Process Assurance team which supports the assurance teams by testing the IT general controls of our client’s financial applications. However, I have also had the opportunity to work with other teams such as Data Services (DS), Third Party Assurance (TPA) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
To help me I received area specific training which provided me with a strong knowledge base for each area and helped me to fulfil my role on every engagement. The training and development opportunities in PwC are fantastic. Initial Associate training is supplied, followed by on-the-job training throughout the year in addition to technical update training sessions. And the Firm also provides exam support workshops which I found extremely helpful.
The working environment in PwC is excellent with an open and friendly atmosphere around the office. From my experience to date everyone is very approachable and are always willing to share their knowledge. I found this very helpful as a new graduate. There is a real commitment to ensure a work life balance exists which is achieved through the various social activities organised by the Firm. These include nights at the races, weekends away and sporting activities such as pool competitions and tag rugby tournaments.
The best advice I could give you is to attend the various graduate events and speak to my colleagues at PwC to obtain further information about the different departments within the Firm to ensure you choose an area which is right for you.
I was impressed with the level of support PwC gave me from day one. In fact, even before I joined they supported me fully to study for my Masters. Everyone is assigned a Coach when they start and mine has signed me up for many IT courses and supported me during my professional exams. There are all sorts of courses to develop the technical expertise you need, but it’s the hands-on experience and day-to-day support that I’ve found most valuable. I was working alongside Senior Managers within weeks and was surprised how approachable and helpful they were.
My job always presents me with new challenges and opportunities, including being seconded to the internal audit team of a large bank and creating environmental reports on behalf of PwC Denmark. Even in the short space of time I’ve been here, my work has been really varied.
I knew PwC was the largest professional services firm in Ireland before I worked here, but I didn’t realise the vast range of services it offers. I’d recommend that anyone thinking of a career at PwC researches the business areas and job opportunities thoroughly because you’ll be surprised at just how many different options there are.
I was attracted to PwC as a graduate employer for a number of reasons; the opportunities for professional and personal development; its reputation as an excellent employer; the fact that it is the leading professional services firm in Ireland with a diverse range of clients and industries; and the great opportunities to travel. And I haven’t been disappointed.
I’ve been very lucky to have a large variety of clients and experiences in PwC. I have been involved in reviews of a client’s key business processes, IT general controls for small and large clients, identifying key risks a client faces and putting controls in place to mitigate those risks. The variety of work across a broad spectrum of clients gives you a very broad overall knowledge of different businesses and before you know it, you grow into a very well rounded professional.
My role involves a lot of communication with clients and Managers from other departments, which I enjoy a lot. I love meeting new people and learning about new businesses so this would be my favourite part of the role.
I also really enjoy the responsibility that PwC gives me every day. This could involve anything from planning new jobs to presenting a client with final recommendations and outcomes of our reviews. As I have come to the end of my contract, I am looking more into the variety of options available in PwC. I see myself staying with the Firm and hopefully growing to a managerial role over the next couple of years. My advice to graduates is that PwC is ultimately what you want it to be for you.
I had decided by final year in college that I wanted to pursue the accountancy exams and become a Chartered Accountant. I found the career path of gaining a wide experience of different industries while working with a professional services firm like PwC very interesting. Throughout the recruitment process I found PwC to be the most personable firm and believed that they were the right fit for me.
When I joined the Firm it was my first time living in Dublin which was an adjustment at first. It takes time to get used to balancing the requirements of working and attending lectures, but the Firm supported me all the way. PwC provides excellent training and development; both formal training which is annual and progressive and also more importantly on-the-job training by peers and more senior staff. I have also been lucky enough to have been sent on secondment to PwC Bratislava which was excellent for the development of my international experience.
I was surprised that I was so client facing from early on in my contract. It’s now actually one of the things I enjoy most about PwC. I have varied and constant interaction with some of the most interesting clients in the Irish marketplace across multiple industries.
My advice to graduates would be to research as much as you can about the Firm and talk to as many people as possible who work here so that you have all the information before your interview.
Advisory Consulting profiles
One of the best things about PwC is the people that work here. Working in Consulting means that you will be working with very bright and highly experienced people. In addition to this I have been exposed to a variety of industries and work in both private and public companies. Since joining the Firm I have worked with retail, healthcare and financial organisations. I am amazed by the amount of experience I have received in only three years.
I have worked on both short and long assignments. Some engagements have only lasted a few weeks and others have stretched for several months. This year I worked on a Global PwC engagement which involved attending one week workshops in the PwC offices in Toronto, Berlin and Amsterdam. This was a fantastic opportunity and we were able to enjoy the weekends and do some sightseeing in all of the cities!
My projects have been both challenging and interesting and have allowed me to gain the confidence to lead important client meetings. PwC encourage you to think ‘outside the box’ and be yourself. You are always being challenged and encouraged to develop and grow.
The training you receive in PwC is excellent. I have had the opportunity to attend a two day training course in Paris and have attended many training sessions held in the office. You are always encouraged to develop and are provided with many opportunities to attend training courses throughout the year. When I joined the Firm I was assigned a Coach who supports my development and gives me constructive feedback. By working with my Coach I am able to ensure that my career is going in the right direction.
I am keen to develop my expertise in the area of healthcare and PwC have supported me in undertaking a Masters degree part-time in Health Informatics. The Consulting team make a conscious effort to put people on assignments that interest them and I have had the opportunity to work on many healthcare related assignments since joining the Firm.
I would advise anyone considering joining PwC to attend as many career fairs as possible and learn as much about the Firm through discussions with friends or through research on the Internet so that you get a real feel for what it’s like to work here.
I knew I wanted a career in Consulting and was determined to join a firm that would provide me with the highest quality training, a defined career path, and the opportunity to work across a variety of different industries. PwC ticked all the boxes. I am part of the Strategy group within the Consulting team. The group works across a broad spectrum of industries offering organisations strategic solutions. We seek to give independent, objective evaluations by validating and reengineering business strategies.
Since joining the Firm, two aspects of the Consulting practice have surprised me. Firstly, the degree of responsibility afforded to me. Hard work and ambition are rewarded with greater autonomy and responsibility. Secondly, the structure of Consultancy projects means I work alongside individuals from every tier of the organisation. Working with Partners, Directors and Senior Managers is both challenging and exciting.
The variety and breadth of work I engage in is something that I really enjoy about my job. For me, part of the attraction is the fact that from associate level upwards consultants are afforded unique insights across a host of industries. Exposure to complex client issues makes the work challenging and the multifaceted nature of projects means that no two days are the same.
The learning curve on every project is steep. However, the transition from student life to the “real world” of business was eased by the culture of openness in PwC.
There is great emphasis placed on personal and professional development in PwC. In-house training is complemented by on the job experience. There is a structured development path from associate level upwards. I plan to take a number of exams over the coming years to enhance my personal skill set. In the future I would like to do an international secondment in one of the many PwC offices worldwide, maybe somewhere warm!
My career to date has spanned over ten years, all of which has been in the Consulting field working for organisations in Ireland and internationally. I currently lead the Operational Effectiveness group so I typically work with clients on operational issues focussed on cost reduction, business performance enhancement or operational alignment with regulatory requirements.
No client situation is ever the same so what I find both challenging and interesting is how to best bring our experiences of working on other clients to helping our clients tackle their challenges. This variety means that no day is ever the same. I constantly get to meet new people in PwC and in our client organisations but equally I get the opportunity to work with our clients over a period of time and work with them to deliver change.
PwC provides fantastic training and development opportunities. Since joining PwC, I have become a Six Sigma Black Belt, qualified as a Prince2 Practitioner and have benefited from many management and people related training courses including “My Way” - PwC’s 18 month management development programme. People development is core to PwC and the Firm is a fantastic learning ground for graduates from a professional development and life experiences point of view. If you like variety and have an appetite for learning, PwC is the place for you.
Throughout the recruitment process it was clear to me that PwC would invest in me both personally and professionally. I came out of the interview knowing that this was where I wanted to work.
When I joined the Firm I was supported in completing my CIMA qualification, whether it was time off to study, advice on my case study from a senior staff member or financial assistance with study materials. I was also fully supported to obtain my Prince 2 certification in project management.
I’m currently a manager in the Financial Effectiveness group. To date I have worked on a range of engagements, from designing target operating models for global banks, to financial modelling for FMCG’s to secondments in Cost Control teams in telecoms companies. This variety is what I enjoy most about my role in PwC.
The career options open to me in PwC are endless – and that’s what I like. I started out Consulting on IT projects and moved into Financial Effectiveness. I face new challenges every day and have the comfort to know that I’m surrounded by the brightest people who will make time to help me overcome these challenges.
Senior Associate 2
When I read about the Advisory Consulting practice in PwC, I knew it was the firm for me. The type of work described really interested me, in particular the types of projects that the People & Change team are involved in – organisation designs, for instance, and HR function transformations.
PwC’s size means I get to work with a range of people across many specialisms on a variety of projects. My first project involved working with a Director on developing a Senior Management Team Development Programme for a private hospital. After that, I began working on the business case phase of a major transformation project for a global organisation. Once the business case for this project was approved I continued to work through to the design phase. The team on this project was brought together from PwC firms across the globe. It has been a great project to be involved in and has given me huge insights into large-scale change projects.
Overall, I have really enjoyed the past year at PwC. My highlights would be the interesting projects, the variety of work and the opportunity to learn from my vastly experienced colleagues.
During college I did a summer internship with a bank to which PwC provides consultancy services. I saw firsthand the work PwC did for the bank and thought “I want to work for the Firm that provides the solutions”. When I applied I knew I’d be joining a team of very bright people and would have lots of opportunities to work on interesting projects.
I work mostly on IT Security reviews but I’m also involved in IT Forensics and since joining I’ve obtained Prince 2 project management and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification. I’ve also done internal training on core Consulting soft skills and specialist training for skills I need for my role such as computer forensics and data analysis.
When I joined the Firm I was very surprised how relaxed PwC is in terms of interaction with management. Because of the prestige of the Firm, I expected the structure to be very hierarchical but in fact it’s very relaxed. All of the managers work on the floor with their teams and partners have an open door policy. Everyone gets an opportunity to contribute at meetings, even when you’re just in the door as a graduate.
PwC has a huge network of 161,000 professionals globally and everyone is happy to help each other out and support each other. It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how unique the problem is, there’ll be somebody who has the relevant experience to answer your queries.
I really enjoy the variety of the work that I do. I’ve been involved in strategy projects, project management and even supported some audit work. Working with people outside of the Information Security group is very interesting as they’ll often look at a problem in a different way. I’ve worked on small clients of 50 people right up to large organisations of 12,000 people so even the client base is very diverse.
I still have plenty to learn at PwC so I am looking forward to seeing my career progress over the next few years.
I did an eight-month work placement with PwC as part of my degree. The experience was excellent so the Firm was my first choice for my professional graduate training.
What made PwC so attractive were the opportunities graduates get here to develop both personally and professionally. At a personal level you’re constantly networking with colleagues, managers, partners and clients. So you make lifelong friends and business connections. And on the professional side, you’re always benefiting from revision courses, plenty of study leave – which goes beyond the Institute requirements – and lots of help with professional exams. My main challenge this year is completing my final exams. But thanks to all the support I’ve had from PwC, I’m feeling really confident.
I really enjoy working in the Limerick office. I’ve gotten to know my fellow graduates and managers very well and if I need help I can just ask. Coaching is integral to the PwC culture. In fact we all coach each other which definitely encourages us to feel part of one big team.
The number of opportunities PwC has given me is huge. Since I joined not one day has been the same. Each new audit is different from the last and the rewards and challenges that come with the job are always fresh. Over the past year I’ve travelled everywhere from Mayo to London and Limerick to Leeds. There’s been a lot of variety in the actual audits too. I’ve worked in a large team in multinational companies, been part of smaller audit teams and recently completed a pension audit by myself. So I can safely say life is far from dull.
If you want to work somewhere that’s full of opportunities to learn and develop, where you can make friends for life and enjoy loads of different experiences, then pick PwC. They really invest in you.
I completed six months’ work experience at PwC’s Wexford office as part of my degree. It was PwC’s reputation that attracted me to apply. Before my placement I knew little, if anything, about auditing or what working for a large firm like PwC would involve, but I was intrigued to find out how such a large firm operated. When I started my work placement I initially had a week’s training in Dublin where I met other college students also on work placement in different offices. And it was surprising how many of the same faces were there again when I returned last year after graduating. It’s safe to say I’ve made some great friends.
Working in one of the smaller offices allows you to get to know the managers and staff quickly and everyone’s always happy to help no matter how busy they may be. The three weeks training I had in Dublin before I started as an Associate gave me a fantastic grounding. Not only did it give me a real insight into the work we’d be completing over the coming year, it also helped me develop working relationships with my peers.
There are always fresh challenges and new people to meet. Over the past year I’ve worked in Cork, Kilkenny and Newcastle as well as Wexford. I’ve audited the Irish subsidiary of large multinational and prepared accounts for small sole traders. Being involved in a wide range of work is a big help when it comes to sitting professional exams. I was able to draw on the many different experiences I’d had and apply them to the theory I was learning.
Without a doubt, getting your professional qualification is tough. I attended lectures at weekends, and then had nine weeks off work to study. But even away from the office I had great support from my colleagues. My next goal is to pass my final admitting exams. Then I’m looking forward to a long career packed with new opportunities.
As I had decided that I wanted to pursue a career in Tax, it was an easy choice in deciding to apply for a graduate place in PwC given their excellent reputation. When I joined PwC I was not let down as from day one I received immense support both in terms of formal training and guidance from work colleagues.
From the offset I was involved in a number of very interesting and challenging assignments. In the regional offices the spectrum of clients is very broad ranging from multinational organisations to wealthy individuals. This exposes you to a wide range of work, ranging from double taxation issues for multinationals to advice for individuals. The challenging work and the chance to work with prestigious clients is extremely rewarding.
Since joining PwC I have received excellent training in the form of both technical tax training and training on various soft skills. I have also received numerous training sessions in relation to exams from people who have sat the exams the year before. Receiving advice from people that have been through a similar scenario not so long ago is a great support as these exams are challenging. Working with PwC has allowed me to grow through training and hands on experience. In the small number of months since joining PwC my knowledge has increased immensely and given the culture of support and encouragement that is prevalent throughout PwC I am sure I will continue to grow and learn over my time with the firm.
For graduates thinking of applying to PwC, I would say that PwC is a place where an individual is encouraged to learn and develop and certainly a place where you can fulfil your potential.
Prior to applying to work for PwC I had done a lot of research in relation to the firm and its values. As a result of which I knew it was a firm that valued its people and prided itself on providing excellent customer service. Since I joined PwC I have been continuously surprised by the variety of my work on a daily basis. This makes every day different which is both exciting and very challenging at times. It also ensures that I am learning every day and looking back now I can say that I have come a long way since I started my career with PwC.
As I work in a regional office I do not specialise in one tax area as a result I get the opportunity to work on corporation tax, income tax, capital taxes and VAT. In the past number of months I have also been given the opportunity to work in the area of pensions and investments. This variety of the work affords me great opportunities to build relationships with my clients.
There are two sides to the work I do in Tax, one is the compliance side and the other is the consultancy side. On the compliance side I ensure that my clients’ returns are correctly completed and returned to Revenue on time. On the consultancy side I get the opportunity to provide specific advice to clients which is tailored to respond to a client’s particular situation.
I love the client side of my role within PwC as I get to build relationships with my clients’ which allows me the opportunity to ensure that their needs are being met through the service we provide. I very much enjoy the variety in my role within PwC as no day is the same and I know that I am continually learning.
My immediate focus is on successfully completing my professional exams. Once I have successfully completed these I would hope to continue to work for PwC and develop my career with a view to becoming a PwC manager in the future.
Senior Associate 2
When I joined PwC I quickly began to realise the vast amount that PwC had to offer. They work with a diverse range of clients across many different industries and the experience that I would gain would prove invaluable to me in the future. After completing my work placement, I was offered a graduate position and I was delighted to accept their offer.
I’m now in my second year of my training contract, working in the Cork office. So far I have had the opportunity to work on audits that vary from large multinationals to Irish indigenous companies to local charities. It is this variety that makes my role enjoyable.
There are over 80 people working in the Cork office and this allows everyone to get know each other easily and supports a good working environment. We organise many social events throughout the year with the annual weekend away featuring as the main event.
PwC is a very friendly place to work. As soon as you enter the door, you will meet new people who will offer you help and support as they have all been where you are before. So even though starting off here was daunting, I soon discovered how helpful and encouraging everyone was. They gave me advice and guidance when I needed it and I always feel I’m a valued member of each audit team.
The Firm also encourages a strong work life balance. I play basketball at National league level, which involves team training twice a week and games every weekend from October to March. Since I have joined, PwC have been very supportive and accommodating, allowing me to fulfil my sporting ambitions.
I would highly recommend PwC to graduates. There is a strong learning and development culture and as a result you will receive comprehensive training each year. My advice for future graduates thinking of joining PwC would be to be prepared for a challenging few years. Each job that you will work on has its own challenges but the knowledge and experience that you will gain will benefit you greatly throughout your career.
Head of Funds Product EMEA – Citi
After graduating from UCD with a BComm and MAcc I joined PwC's Assurance practice. I really couldn’t have asked for a better start to my career! The training I received was second to none and really prepared me to take my career forward. So much of what I have learned has stayed with me to this day. I also was lucky enough to be seconded to PwC New York which gave me my entrance into the international financial services business. To this day I have an excellent network of colleagues within the industry which was formed during my times in PwC. I would recommend PwC to any budding business person who has drive and ambition to succeed.
International Financial Accounting Manager - Facebook
In 2002, I graduated from DIT with a BSc. Business (Management). After considering various graduate offers, I decided to join PwC. I started in the Assurance practice working with small business and Non-profit Organizations. The decision to join PwC was one of the best I have made in my career to-date. I received excellent training and had a really positive experience from a working, academic and social viewpoint.
I was seconded to PwC Amsterdam in 2005 which gave me experience in a European environment. I was lucky to work with some really top people and in spite of leaving the firm in 2006, I still remain very close to all my PwC ex-colleagues. I have built up a large network from ex-colleagues and clients during my time in PwC and this network offers great support and opportunities for the future. Since moving from PwC, I have worked with Google and now Facebook. My experience in PwC has really prepared me for these roles and will continue to be useful for my future career. I would recommend PwC to any graduate who wants a successful business career.
Group Tax Manager - Ardagh Group
I joined the Tax and Legal Services department in PwC in 2007 after studying Commerce in UCD and completing a Masters of Accounting in DCU. I had a wide range of clients during my time in PwC. These included large multi-nationals, indigenous Irish businesses and high-profile individuals. This afforded me great experience. I completed my final accounting exams in 2009 and my final tax exams in 2010. The additional training and exam support received in PwC was extremely helpful in this regard.
I joined the Ardagh Group in June of this year. The decision to leave PwC was not an easy one as I had made so many good friends and contacts in my time there. I would highly recommend PwC to any graduate as it provides you with so many opportunities to develop your career, both within PwC and the wider business community.