What it does: One of the ‘Big Four’ and the second-largest professional services firm in the world. Delivers quality services in accounting, advisory and consulting.
Staff Stats: Around 223,000 globally, with about 7,000 people in Australia.
The good bits: Getting to work alongside people from a range of different disciplines on meaningful projects, while servicing prestigious clients both in Australia and across the globe.
The not so good bits: The work is challenging. The hours can be long at times, depending on the team and nature of the work you do.
The PwC story
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is a product of a merger. In 1998 Coopers Lybrand, which began life as a London accountancy practice in London in 1854, combined with Price Waterhouse, another London accountancy practice that began around the same time and which had also grown into a multinational powerhouse. PwC now has offices in 776 cities across 157 countries and three service lines: Assurance, Advisory and Consulting.
PwC works with governments, private businesses and not-for-profits to “assess their performance and improve the way the way they work”. Domestically, PwC does everything from undertaking due diligence on the nation’s biggest corporate deals, to crafting policies to improve the nation’s health system, to advising some of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs.
PwC aims for what it labels ‘societal relevance’. It aspires to this though following three principles.
- Be good – This involves being diverse and inclusive and doing “the right thing to earn our voice in society and secure our foundation for growth”.
- Be part of it – This entails supporting PwC Staff who are “creating positive social change”.
- Be bold – This is about tackling worthwhile problems, promoting debate and investing in social change.
Like many corporations, PwC supports diversity but it has taken the extra step of putting a concrete goal in place. It has targets mandating that at least 40 per cent of new partners be women and at least 20 per cent (rising to 30 per cent by 2020) be from a “diverse cultural background”. PwC has been twice named Australia’s top LBGTI employer.
PwC’s global purpose is to “build trust in society and solve important problems”. In Australia, they try to bring this to life by through the work they do for their clients. Such as improving the livability of Australia’s cities with better transport networks and housing affordability, creating better food production & distribution, and redesigning the health & education sectors. They’ve also encouraged governments to engage in comprehensive tax reform and prepare students for the jobs of the future by promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). It encourages staff to foster social change through three programs. PwC Volunteering allows staff to volunteer for not-for-profits, social enterprises and community organisations. PwC Onboard supports staff wanting to take a board or advisory position with a not-for-profit or social enterprise. PwC Giving makes it easy for staff to contribute financially to causes they are passionate about, with the firm matching any donations made.
The recruitment process
PwC is the Google of professional services firms. It can and does target the cream of the graduate crop. The encouraging news is that those with “all degrees” can apply for a spot in one of its grad programs. No CV’s or academic transcripts are requested up front and there is one application for all, ensuring a fair and equitable process right from the start. You start the process by submitting an online application (takes about 10 minutes) via the careers’ section of the PwC website. At this stage, you’ll also need to nominate which grad program you’re interested in. (The options are Assurance, Consulting, Technology, Deals, Tax, Legal, and Private Clients.) If you make the cut, the next stages are a video interview then attending an assessment centre/interview day. Here, you’ll need to demonstrate that you’re “driven and agile; innovative and commercially aware.”
PwC offers grads a salary that is competitive with industry standards. As an entry-level employee, it is all about gaining experience to start but once you ascend to more senior positions, you will have further opportunities to be rewarded for your performance through salary increases, bonuses and other incentive schemes.
Benefits include discounts on everything from phone plans to health insurance, gym membership, study support, and overseas secondments. One of the best perks is a flexible work culture, casual dress code and free coffee. As a member of the Social Club, you can also snap up discounted movie, entertainment and sporting tickets and as well as a spectrum of other party and retail discounts.
There’s a structured career path, with transparent performance metrics that take you from graduate to senior consultant and right through to Partner. If you’re a strong performer, you can expect to be promoted every two to three years. It typically takes 10-15 years to make partner.
The vibe of the place
You can expect to be based in well-appointed offices in stunning locations with access to some of the best technology around. PwC has a trust-based culture. With no dress code, you will be able to wear what is appropriate for the work you do with both your team and clients - whether that has you in sneakers or a suit! You may also find yourself working from the office, home or a cafe thanks to PwC’s All Roles Flex Policy which encourages you to structure your work around your life. Surprisingly for a business filled with hard-driving overachievers, PwC is a friendly and very social workplace, with a ‘Work hard then play hard’ ethos. There’s a big emphasis on teamwork and both managers and partners make themselves available to those in the grad program for both mentoring and support.
Overall satisfaction rating among grad employees: 4.1 stars
From the Employer:
"Want to play a part in helping Australian businesses, not-for-profits and governments create value and improve the way they work? You’re in the right place! At PwC, our people build trust in society and solve important problems everyday. This is both our purpose and our passion. As Australia’s largest professional services firm and one of the world’s most powerful brands, our work has the potential to make a significant impact. We work creatively and collaboratively to deliver quality services in accounting, advisory and consulting. Established in 1874, PwC now employs more than 6,000 people in Australia and boasts a global network spanning 157 countries.
Now, let’s get serious for a second. We’ll be upfront. The work is hard. It’s challenging. But this is why our people get excited to turn up every day! The opportunities for growth and development are endless and the coaching and mentoring programs we have in place are second to none! You will certainly never feel out of your depth or without support to draw on. As the most sought after Graduate employer in the industry, we are committed to helping our people unleash both their passions and their potential. We know you are capable of achieving the extraordinary and we are committed to helping you every step of the way.
What makes us different
New offices and ways of working: We’ve got state of the art offices and new ways of working to ensure we are innovative, creative and can work collaboratively with our teams and clients to solve important problems. Whether you’re having meetings on treadmills, trying out our stand up desks, connecting with a client in Singapore using Google Hangouts or playing with lego on your brain break, you’ll completely challenge and change the way you work, for the better.
Technology: So you want to work for a tech firm? Our goal is to become the most technology enabled professional services firm in the world! Whether we’re exploring the future of business, restructuring the internal systems of one of our clients, or developing new tech to use in-house, there's a passion for innovation across everything we do here. Did you know we have the biggest AR/VR team in Australia? From innovators developing new software and applications, to scientists creating breakthroughs in processing speeds, technology is disrupting the way PwC approaches business.
The tech teams at PwC Technology are as varied as they are unique. We work at the intersection of business and data-manipulation in Risk Assurance and Insight Analytics, creating and delivering the end-to-end UX for companies of tomorrow in The Experience Centre. Our Cyber Security team employs offensive security techniques to identify vulnerabilities in client systems, and we develop market-leading technologies and solutions for PwC’s workforce in AUiT and EPS.
No dress code: You might be surprised to know people do rock up to work here in casual dress yep, no dress code here! At PwC it is all about trust. We “dress for our day” and wear what is best for the work we do with both our clients and our teams.
Flexible work: Whether you work from the office, from home or from a cafe, our All Roles Flex policy is in place to help you work smarter and in a way that suits your lifestyle! We believe that by allowing people the flexibility to structure work around their lives (and not the other way around) they will be happier and more engaged long term. We trust people will make the right decision for themselves, their clients, and their teams about how, where and when they work.
The PwC person…
- Acts with integrity
- Makes a difference
- Shows care
- Works together with others
- Reimagines the possible
What’s important to us
We are passionate and committed to creating an inclusive and diverse culture.
Diversity & Inclusion: Fostering an inclusive culture and embracing differences is at the centre of everything we do here. We know that when we feel empowered to be ourselves, only then can we realise our true potential. And when people from different backgrounds and points of view work together, amazing things can and will happen! We have a number of employee-led diversity networks that you can be involved in (including cultural, disability, LGBTI and gender equality).
Did you know PwC is the only employer to be twice named Australia's top LGBTI employer by Pride in Diversity and our CEO has publicly stated that he supports marriage equality?
Women: We do awesome groundbreaking research on how employers can support women in the workplace. But it doesn’t stop there. We walk the talk. We have some of the market leading policies around maternity leave and flexible work options in place. Plus, we always aim to ensure our shortlist of graduate candidates is 50% female! We have some incredible women in leadership roles who have worked with the UN and the government influencing legislation around domestic violence policies. In 2016, PwC were Awarded Employer of Choice for Gender Equality Citations from WGEA, one of only four organisations to receive this recognition.
Hiring from all degree backgrounds:
The type of work we do is so diverse but what is common across all of our business areas is creative problem solving. It is all about how you approach a problem and how you collaborate with your team members to solve it. We will skill you up, no matter what business area you join.
Programs and entry paths
Graduate program: Structured 2 year program where you’ll receive technical and professional development supporting your future progression within the firm.
Vacation Program: 3-8 week program for students in their penultimate year (2nd last year). As an intern, you will work on relevant client engagements, attend networking events and participate in a community service project.
Trainee Program: A unique 3 year program that allows you to incorporate real paid work experience whilst completing your degree. You'll start as a Trainee with us in either your second year of your single degree or your third year of your double degree, and work full time and study part time for two years. Once the work experience period is over, you return to finish your degree on a full time study basis. Many Trainees will be offered full time graduate positions to return the following year.
Legal Summer Clerkship Program: As a Clerk, you will provide support to our Legal team through conducting legal research, document management, client and team liaison and maintenance of legal precedents. This is an opportunity to get a taste of what it is like to work in a multi-disciplinary professional services firm.
Higher Apprenticeship Program: A new entry path for high school leavers commencing mid-2017 in both our Assurance and Consulting teams. This program offers an alternate pathway to the traditional graduate route. You can earn a competitive salary while studying towards a professional qualification from a leading training organisation.
Work placements: Whether you need to complete a placement as part of your degree, or you’ve already graduated, our work placements provide the opportunity to develop your commercial understanding, critical thinking and core technical skills. In some business areas, you'll also study towards a professional qualification, meaning you can fast-track to full qualification if you re-join us the following year. PwC partners with various Universities across Melbourne and Sydney, to offer high performing students opportunities to undertake paid and unpaid work experience placements, such as IBL and Cooperative opportunities.
STEM Academy: An interactive 2 day workshop for STEM students to become immersed in how we are solving important problems related to STEM at PwC everyday. Applications are open to all penultimate STEM students, final year STEM students and STEM graduates(within the last 5 years).
First Year Academy: A two day experiential event for students in their 1st year of a single degree or 2nd year of a double degree. Learn more about our different business areas, our culture and the learning and development opportunities available to you throughout your university years.
We have shaken up our recruitment process...
We look for people from a range of different university degrees, backgrounds and experiences and our recruitment process reflects this. We will no longer be requesting CV’s and have one application for all. What’s more? Our assessment days for the Graduate program have now evolved into an exciting event experience called Canvas - PwC’s Career Jam. At this event, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in our culture, learn more about what we do and discover where your passions and skills may fit - and all this, prior to sitting your final assessments! At PwC, we are committed to helping you bring your most authentic self to work every day and we want you to choose us, as much as we choose you.
What are others saying about Canvas - PwC’s Career Jam:
“I feel super pumped after Career Jam. PwC is changing the recruitment process in such an inspiring way.”
“It was a brilliantly organised assessment centre experience, made for the 21st century to bring the best out of me.”
Just launched our first ever careers app, PwC’s Pathfinder!
Through a cutting edge augmented reality experience, you will navigate your way around a 4D city to unlock amazing stories of impact and see where a career at PwC could take you. Whether it’s improving healthcare, creating smarter cities of building Australia’s start-up industry from the ground up, you’ll learn more about what we do and how you can help build trust in society and solve important problems every day.