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PwC Business Recovery Services Graduate Review

  • Work/Life Balance

  • Practical Skills Learnt

  • Live Up To Expectations

When did you join PwC?

I joined in September 2010

What area of the business do you work in and what is involved in this role?

My division is called Business recovery services (BRS).

There are four different subdivisions within the BRS area, but as a whole the division deals with lenders, creditors and businesses to advise them on the best way to move forward in situations such as liquidations or administrations, with a view to ensuring the best outcome for all concerned.

A large focus, for a few years now, has been the Lehmann Brothers administration and working out how to deal with all the assets left within the company.

Why did you choose to apply for PwC and that particular job role?

Obviously working for an organization like PwC looks good on your CV and enables you to achieve your qualifications, but with regards to the specific job area it was simply a matter of preference. I wanted to gain an insight in to how a business should or shouldn’t be run and that’s why I thought that BRS was the best way to gain insight in that area.

How did you hear about the opportunity?

I was looking online at a breadth of different opportunities and saw this role on the PwC website and applied online.

What was the application process like?

It was actually very quick! I made my initial application in January 2010 and completed the standard competency tests before having a telephone interview very soon after. Following my interview I was then invited a day or two later to attend an assessment centre in April.

After the assessment centre it only took them two working days to get back in contact to offer me the job.

What other places did you apply for? Was it mainly just the PwC competitors that you focused on?

I applied for the rest of the big 4 but I studied History at university so I had quite a broad range of options. As such, I actually applied for some other graduate schemes such as Diageo and L’Oreal.

What do you believe is the most challenging part of your job?

I find that having to cope with studying for the exams to qualify at the same time as working is the most difficult part, although they are extremely supportive. We are allowed study days in order to help us cope better and to achieve that work/study balance.

It is more challenging to achieve this balance when trying to pass your qualifications compared to, perhaps, the law industry. In the legal sector those studying for their qualification will focus on that for two years before entering in to the working environment.

Another challenging aspect of my role is being able to persist through the, perhaps, more “mundane” tasks. Just like with many jobs, you need to graft through the less exciting aspects of your role in order to reach the more interesting challenges.

Do you see the role you are currently in being a possible long-term career?

I can’t see myself working in this specific area for the rest of my career, but what is great about PwC is that there is such a broad range of opportunities available that you don’t necessarily have to move firms to experience a different challenge. I want to continue for now and complete my qualifications and then decide from there, but there are lots of options available within the organization.

What do you think makes PwC an attractive proposition for a potential graduate looking to apply for a graduate scheme?

I think the encouragement they give you to try and experience all the different areas of the business is really helpful. PwC is such a large company with a truly diverse range of opportunities available to suit a range of different personalities. I think that once you have completed your qualifications then the world becomes your oyster. This might be one reason why when you are working at PwC you are treated so well, because they want to encourage you to stay in the firm once you are qualified.

There are so many different pathways you can take at PwC and not just domestically. I am hoping to take a secondment abroad to somewhere like Japan or Bermuda, which is a possibility at PwC.

What do you think makes PwC different to its competitors?

I think one thing that I noticed PwC does really well is that it distinguishes clearly between the different areas of the business better than other firms I looked at. Again I think it demonstrates the vast array of opportunities available under the PwC banner.

What do you think the work-life balance is like at PwC?

When I compare my experiences with other people I know at different organizations I think that it is one of the best. The amount of work can depend very much on the specific department you work within and the time of year. Some seasons can be quiet, whilst other can be extremely busy.

I could work from 9.30am – 5.30pm if I wanted, but I think that it depends on how you progress with your own individual tasks and depending on your workload, your hours can vary. Very occasionally people will work from home on Friday’s however this doesn’t happen very frequently.

In terms of holidays it can depend on your individual HR director, but in general they are extremely understanding about holiday and if you have an issue that means you need to take a day off unexpectedly then it isn’t a problem. They even give you an extra day off for moving house that you don’t need to take out of your holiday days.

What would you say the general culture at PwC is like?

Like in any organization, you might have some personal dislikes depending on individuals personalities, but overall it is an extremely professional culture. The culture can also differ however depending on what team or division you are working in.

In your role what percentage of your time is spent in the office?

I would say about 85-90% of the time I am in the office, but that can change as you progress up the organization. Once you become more senior you will probably spend more time in direct face-to-face contact with clients, which is likely to involve being out of the office more frequently.

Have you ever had to work weekends?

No and unless something massive comes up I think it is extremely rare for employees to have to work weekends. I heard that some people worked weekends when the Lehmann Brothers situation came around but this was a very exceptional circumstance.

Were there any skills in particular that you learnt at university that have helped you perform in your role now?

I think there have been some basic fundamental skills that I developed further over university that are essential in the role I have now, such as using Excel, Powerpoint and Word.

I think something I wasn’t prepared for, coming from university, is being able to cope and work with potentially difficult personalities on a regular basis. I found whilst at university if you didn’t get along with someone on a project, then after that particular project you would not have to work with him or her again. However in the work environment it is likely that you will have to work with them day in and day out regardless of whether you like it or not, especially if they work at a more senior role than yourself.

Do you see yourself working for PwC in the distant future?

Potentially. Not in the exact job role I am currently in but I can definitely see myself working in a different division within PwC. I would love to be involved in the recruitment process and get involved in the interviews for potential candidates.

Is there a big diversity in the backgrounds of the people you work with at PwC?

Yes, there is a large variation of different races and religions, as well as people from completely different parts of the country, from different universities and degree areas.

If you had to describe PwC in three words what would they be?

Meritocratic. Opportunities. Cultural. 






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