April 09, 2005

PwC Business Insight Course

Earlier in the week, I spent two days down at PricewaterhouseCoopers on their business insight course. It's run for first and second year undergraduates, though the majority of the 30ish participants were in the latter category. I was expecting a few presentations here and there, interspersed with coffee breaks but it turned out we were expected to work; not what you want to hear while you're on holiday.

The event's Ďicebreakerí was every child's dream; a challenge to build the biggest tower possible, with the large box of Lego provided. To ensure people didnít totally switch off, points awarded were dependent on time taken to build, number of bricks used, and height achieved. We were handed a number of graphs from which we were supposed to calculate optimal choices.

Following that, there were a number of business simulations and talks from various PwC divisions: Audit, Risk assurance, Tax and Forensic Services. Though highly time pressured, the exercises and presentations gave a real idea of what the work requires. Itís hard to get such things across to applicants via the vague job descriptions on company websites.

One thing many employees agreed on is that the world of Audit isnít overly exciting in the long run (surprise, surprise), though the 3 year training period provides great scope for gaining insight into business practice, with the final ACA qualification being a vital form of insurance and guarantee of future work. With the qualification, thereís plenty of scope for moving into more fun divisions, or even leaving to do something totally different. Iíve got some notes on the various departments which Iíll probably write up later on.

The evening was catered taken care of by a trip to Pizza Express, numerous bottles of wine and a spacious hotel room, all courtesy of the company.

Iíd recommend that anyone curious about the work done by professional service firms in general, apply for next yearís event.


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