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What is a professional services firm, and how can I apply? Find out all about PwC and how you can get started on your career with them!
Formed in 1998 from a merger between Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand, PwC has a history in client services that dates back to the nineteenth century.
156 countries, including 18 offices in the UK
Auditing, supply chain transformation, emerging technologies, taxation, sustainability and climate change, mergers and acquisitions and more
Students at school, college or university with no work experience, looking to make a headstart on their professional career.
There’s no one who wouldn’t fit in at PwC!
Jordan Denney, who works in the company’s student recruitment and talent engagement team, tells us what it’s really like to work for PwC.
What does PwC do?
PwC is a global professional services firm. That means you can’t go into a shop and buy something PwC branded. Instead, our product is our people, who are experts in a range of business areas. That includes auditing, emerging technologies, taxation and sustainability and climate change.
When an organisation, like a business or charity, has a problem they would like help with, they contact PwC and we deploy our relevant experts to try to reach a solution.
Where is PwC based?
PwC is based all over the world, but ‘PwC’ is the umbrella term for lots of different PwC territories across the globe, all with the same strategy.
The UK firm has 18 offices spread across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Once you’ve gained a bit of experience at PwC, you may get the chance to work at one of our international offices.
Working at PwC, you’ll often work at your ‘base’, but depending on where your client is at any one time and your job role, you may also spend time working at the offices of other businesses. We also promote flexible working, where it’s appropriate for you, your client and your team.
What kind of entry level roles are there and what do they look like?
You could join PwC straight from school or college as a full-time apprentice, where you’d learn on the job whilst gaining a professional qualification.
If you want to start a career with PwC whilst also attending university, you could apply for our Accounting, Technology or Business management Flying Start degree programmes. They give you the chance to get a degree from a leading UK university, whilst, for Accounting and Technology, having a placement; or for Business management, working four days a week.
If you go straight to university without applying for Flying Start, other opportunities at PwC include our Women in Business and Black Talent in Business programmes; summer internships; undergraduate placements; and graduate schemes.
What are the entry requirements for these roles?
To join PwC as an apprentice, you’ll need between 96 and 112 UCAS points depending on the business area you want to join.
For the Flying Start Accounting and Technology programmes, universities have their own entry requirements, so make sure to look at each university’s website for this information. For example, Queen’s University Belfast requires an A Level in Maths, Computing or Software systems development for the Technology degree apprenticeships.
For the Flying Start Business management route, you would need 112 UCAS points.
If you want to join an undergraduate or graduate programme, you would need to have achieved (or be on track for) a 2:1 degree. For most of the roles on offer, this can be in any degree subject.
What skills and qualities does PwC look for in applicants for entry level roles?
PwC does not expect any prior work experience, and for this reason, you won’t be asked any competency-based questions during the application process.
The PwC professional framework is what we’re looking for, which is:
Business acumen (aiming high/ planning)
Technical and digital (technical skills and digital literacy)
Global and inclusive (open-mindedness)
We’ll assess you for these qualities, along with your understanding and motivation for the role you’re applying for.
Who wouldn’t be the right fit for PwC?
PwC has such a diverse workforce and inclusive environment, that there isn’t anyone who wouldn’t be the right fit here. Everyone is made to feel welcome and part of the family.
We even have internal social networks based on things like faith, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation, disability, and parents and carers, to make everybody feel a part of the wider community and made aware there are people like them at PwC.
Does PwC offer work experience or internship opportunities?
For Year 12 students in England and Wales or equivalent years in Northern Ireland and Scotland, who are on track to meet 96 UCAS points in any subject, our Virtual Insight Week programme gives students the chance to get a feel for all things PwC.
On this programme, you can choose which sessions to attend over a week in the summer. You’ll hear about our different business areas, the technologies we use, and maybe get the chance to try them out yourselves. You’ll also get to network with PwC ambassadors.
What opportunities for progression are there?
If you join PwC as an apprentice or on a Flying Start programme, there’s the opportunity to continue on to the graduate scheme once the programme has finished. All routes offer you the same deal - the chance to meet new people, to grow as an individual, and to build lasting relationships.
Progression is based on merit throughout the firm, regardless of your entry route. Some of our most senior leaders joined as school and college leavers, showing that anything is possible at PwC.
What is a top tip to help an entry level applicant succeed at your company?
During the application process, make sure you research both PwC itself, and the role you’re applying for. Get a really good understanding of who we are as a firm, our culture, who our clients are and the industries we work in. Then, do some research about what’s going on in those industries, so you can bring that element of business acumen to your answers.
Once you’re here, don’t be afraid to ask questions - there’s no such thing as a stupid question here. We have a culture in which both peers and senior staff are willing to give up their time to help other people.
Often entry level colleagues are too embarrassed or afraid to ask questions, but it’s likely other people will want to find out the answers too. So use the opportunity to show an eagerness to learn, and to share that learning with other people.
How is work-life balance managed at the company?
Having a healthy work-life balance is really important to PwC. Our employee value proposition, called The Deal, sets out what you can expect from your experience here and what you’ll contribute in return.
The Deal is built on two-way flexibility and trust, giving you more freedom to work however best works for you whilst also meeting the needs of your team and clients.
It’s not always about work though! Here, you’ll also have the option to join sports teams, diversity networks, and other social interest groups as well as team drinks, parties, team away days and six days of volunteering a year.