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PwC Internship Experience

PwC Internship Experience

PwC Internship Experience

Executive Summary

Internship generally refers to the limited period offered by an organization to individuals seeking work experience, often students. Initially, internship programs were a confine of medical students but increased liberalization in the labour market has forced graduate students to not only seek for the relevant skills but also for the experience required in their particular industry. This paper explores the internship experience at PwC, which is a professional services provider and one of the Big Four auditors. The internships at the company provided the intern with an opportunity to learn more about his profession as well as acquire the skills necessary to reinforce his career development and progression.

PwC Internship Experience

Introduction

Solving the unique challenges at PwC is not only an excellent opportunity for demonstrating the skills learned in class, but also provides a platform for jump-starting one’s career in a Fortune 500 company. The internship program helped promote the researcher’s receptiveness skills and improved his technical proficiency and critical thinking which in turn made him more adaptable at the workplace. Both the employee and employers significantly benefit from the internship because the latter often hires from the best performing interns while the employees gain the necessary exposure required by most employers. Working as an intern provides one with an added advantage since employers often recruit people (interns) with proven skills and known capabilities because it saves them time and money. During the internship program, the researcher helped to develop and implement business strategies that offered solutions to its clients, which was the ministry of health. This paper presents a general overview of the PwC Company and highlights the different tasks performed by the intern. The acquired skills and knowledge as well as how they relate to the College of Business at Alfaisal University (COB) courses have been discussed to present the overall evaluation of the internship experience.

General Overview of PwC

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is a professional services provider and one of the Big Four auditors. Its network of firms is ranked the second largest in the world after Deloitte and has operations in over 150 countries (Winograd, Gerson, and Berlin, 2000). The company employs over 250,000 with global revenues exceeding $35 billion in 2017 (Eginli & Narin, 2017). PwC was created in 1998 through the merger between Price Waterhouse and Coopers making it the fifth largest privately owned company in the U.S. (Eginli & Narin, 2017). There are three core businesses at PwC which include tax and legal, advisory, and audit and assurance. Firstly, the tax and legal business sector combine the company’s deep knowledge of tax systems with technology to offer tax advisory services. As such, the company is strategically positioned to help its clients implement their business strategies while taking into consideration the prevailing government policies. Secondly, the advisory function involves helping organizations achieve their growth objectives as well as solve complex business issues which often range from strategy to implementation (PwC, 2019). Thirdly, the audit and assurance function involves asking the correct questions as well as testing assumptions to evaluate whether the clients are reporting financial information that can be relied on by investors and other stakeholders.

PwC (2019) identifies six main reasons why graduates and students should join their internship programs. Firstly, the company’s working environment is supportive, friendly, and professional. As such, interns are more likely to be achievement-oriented because the work environment ensures everyone works towards meeting their career goals. The dynamic work environment takes into account the importance of living in a fast-paced work environment because interns are often assigned projects from different clients thereby switching between industries. Secondly, working with PwC involves interacting with some of the most skilled experts in the market. As such, PwC provides an effective platform to help interns expand their professional networks as well as meet new friends from whom they can learn novel ways of doing things.

Thirdly, the intern’s contribution at the workplace is regarded as important because all projects have a direct impact on the clients. Moreover, the company’s high level of integrity coupled with its expertise signifies that 84 percent of Fortune 500 companies trust PwC with their businesses (PwC, 2019). Fourthly, the company prides itself for having a collaborative workplace. For an intern, being allocated the right team is essential in ensuring they learn the skills necessary to complete tasks with minimal supervision. As such, a cooperative workplace encourages diversity thereby broadening the interns’ professional expertise and mindset. Fifthly, the interns are provided with an opportunity to work for a diverse range of clients. Moreover, most of the team members are from diverse cultural backgrounds which provide interns with an opportunity to learn new things. Finally, PwC strives to better its workplace by creating a comfortable and friendly work atmosphere. The approach is crucial in helping interns contribute meaningfully to the tasks they are assigned.

Different Tasks Performed by the Intern

The internships at PwC provided the researcher with an opportunity to learn more about his profession. Although his position did not involve pay, completing his internship at the prestigious company significantly differentiates his resume from other graduates competing for the same job roles. The following are the four different tasks performed by the intern that enabled him to develop a comprehensive understanding of how the world works in the month of January.

Observing, Listening, and asking questions for Clarification

The first task required the intern to familiarize himself with PwC’s physical and operational structures by actively observing, listening, and asking questions. The approach ensured the intern understood the company’s code of conduct as well as his general requirements as an intern. This was the first task assigned to the intern and he did not experience any significant challenges.

Preparing and Entering Data into an Excel Spread Sheet

The second task involved preparing a PowerPoint presentation about BOT as well as conducting follow-up exercises on PwC’s recruitment processes. Moreover, the intern was required to write a report and present it to his evaluator and he did not face any significant challenge in completing the task because it was familiar o him and relatively simple.

Identifying Compensable Factors

The third task involved identifying the most appropriate factors for which compensation can be obtained. However, the intern was faced with two main challenges which include some of the employees being too preoccupied to have participated in an interview while others did not respond positively. However, the intern solved the problem by approaching his supervisor who was kind enough to offer it.

Helping Prepare a Report on Total Quality Management

The fourth task involves assisting an employee in preparing a report that explores the extent to which PwC leverages total quality management.

The following are the four different tasks performed by the intern that enabled him to develop a comprehensive understanding of how the world works in the month of February.

Identifying the Micro Environmental Factors Affecting PwC

The primary challenge faced involved difficulties in identifying how the media influenced the PWC’s initiatives. The intern solved this problem by critically reviewing how PwC creates public awareness of its brand.

Identifying the Tools Utilized in Micro Environmental Analysis

The task helped the intern to learn the internal business environment plays a central role in shaping the success of PwC’s business operations. There were no significant challenges experienced when completing the task. 

Identifying the Analysis Techniques Employed

The task enabled the intern to learn that numerous mechanisms are available to analyse a company’s internal environment which includes the SWOT analysis, the Porter’s five forces analysis, and VRIO analysis. There were no challenges experienced when completing this task. 

Identifying the Benefits and Challenges Faced during the Internship

The task helped him appreciate the fact that the internship opportunity was an exciting experience because he was able to work in a revered corporate firm. There were no major challenges experienced when completing this task.

The following are the four different tasks performed by the intern that enabled him to develop a comprehensive understanding of how the world works in the month of March.

Collaborating with other Team Members

The task helped the intern discover that marketing communication occurs in a variety of ways and his future employer would seek for the communication skills necessary in executing marketing activities. The primary challenge faced was that the process of coordinating marketing activities in an attempt to produce sales leads was time-consuming. However, the intern mitigated this problem by liaising with the manager to develop an effective schedule for completing the task.

Relating well with all Stakeholders at the workplace

The task helped the intern develop interpersonal skills which are essential in helping him build and maintain healthy relationships with all stakeholders in an organization. The challenge faced was that some co-workers and managers had a difficult time acknowledging the value of his differing perspectives. The intern mitigated this challenge by utilizing critical thinking to present his ideas as well as patiently trying to explain his position.  

Test the Intern’s Time Management Skills

It was up to the intern to organize his time well by prioritizing responsibilities. The main challenge faced was that the intern had difficulties in choosing between identifying multitasking and focusing on one specific task at a time. The intern addressed this challenge by liaising with his coordinator to identify the most effective time management approach.

Enhancing the Intern’s Collaborative Skills

The fourth tasks involve helping the intern collaborate with his colleagues to enhance his collaborative skills. However, the intern was faced with the challenge of not having a comprehensive understanding of his individual strengths and weaknesses thereby undermining how he related to others. The solution to the challenge involves conducting a comprehensive SWOT analysis to identify the intern’s strengths and weaknesses.

The following are the four different tasks performed by the intern that enabled him to develop a comprehensive understanding of how the world works in the month of April.

Testing and Applying the Intern’s Receptive Skills

The intern now acknowledges that being receptive ensures that he is able to address any mistakes or weaknesses that may arise in the future. The main challenge faced involves the difficulties experienced in identifying who he should report to. He solved the problem through proper consultation with his manager and was later able to report issues that arose to his superiors.

Understanding PwC’s computer systems

The second task involved the intern finding his way around PwC’s computer systems. The main challenge was that he had not done sufficient research about the company’s industry to familiarize himself with the systems. The solution involved learning the technical proficiency that was desirable in the workplace.

Critically Analysing Work situations and Forming a Judgment

The third task involves reinforcing the intern’s critical thinking skills but was undermined by the fact that he had not initially comprehended the importance that potential employers attach to these skills. The solution to the problem involves applying critical thinking both at work and home in order to become more critical and receptive in everything he does.

Familiarizing with the Different Departments that make up PwC

The task helped the intern become more adaptable at the workplace but was faced with the challenge of unsupportive staff. He addressed the issue by communicating with his supervisor who was kind enough to help.

Acquired Skills and Knowledge

This section highlights the skills and knowledge acquired by the intern as well as how they relate to COB courses. The first task assigned in January which required the intern to familiarize himself with PwC’s physical and operational structures impacted him with the crucial skills of observing, listening, and asking questions. These skills relate to COB courses in that the first skill learners practice at COB involves being good listeners. The second task involved preparing a PowerPoint presentation about BOT as well as conducting follow-up exercises on PwC’s recruitment processes. The primary objective of the task involves reinforcing the intern’s computer literacy skills. The intern learned new methods of programming using the excel spread sheet such as generating data results automatically.

The third task in January involved identifying the most appropriate compensable factors which in turn helped the intern learn how companies compensate based on professional knowledge and skills. The fourth task in January which involved assisting employees in preparing reports on PwC’s total quality management helped the intern to develop a better understanding of the significance of total quality management analysis. These analytical skills are essential in helping the intern to collect and appraise the information necessary in problem-solving and making decisions at the workplace. The analytical skill acquired relate to COB courses which are meant to reinforce the learner’s ability to apply critical skills when completing projects.

The first task in the month of February involved identifying the underlying micro environmental factors affecting the company’s overall performance, business strategy, as well as the decision-making process. The intern learned that the micro environmental factors directly affecting the company include stakeholders such as the media, the employees, and competitors among others. The second task in February involves identifying the tools necessary for appraising the PwC’s micro environmental and using at least one of them to evaluate the company’s internal business environment. The task helped the intern to learn that the internal business environment plays a central role in shaping the success of PwC’s business operations. The COB courses also impact learners with the skills necessary to identify the tools needed for appraising the micro environments of businesses. The third task in February involved reminiscing on the current analysis tools by identifying the most effective analysis techniques employed in the microenvironment appraisal of the company. As such, the learner acquired key analytical skills in which enabled him to appreciate the fact that there are numerous mechanisms available in analysing a company’s internal environment.  Similarly, the COB courses impact learners with analytical skills such as the SWOT analysis, the Porter’s five forces analysis, and VRIO analysis among others. Finally, in the month of February, the intern was required to identify the benefits and challenges faced during the internship. As such, he acquired the skills necessary to help him re-examine his performance based on the specific responsibilities assigned.

The first task in the month of February involves collaborating with other team members to promote offerings and track the performance of all marketing communications and campaigns. As such, the task helped him acquire the collaborative skills necessary to work with others as a team. The second task involved developing effective relationships with others at the workplace, particularly by interacting with the client as well as his co-workers and managers; thus, the task helped him develop interpersonal skills. Similarly, the COB courses impact learners with the collaborative skills necessary to help them build and maintain healthy relationships with all stakeholders in an organization. The third task involves organizing the time allocated appropriately and producing results. The task was assigned in order to test the intern’s time management skills. The primary skills acquired were time management. The COB courses offered also focus on helping the learners realize that they will not have a syllabus and a tutor to remind them about deadlines that are due when they enter the job market.

The primary lesson learned in the fourth task in the month of April involved communication skills.  Similarly, the COB courses focus on highlighting the importance of communicating and relating well with others at the workplace since everyone is working together towards a common goal. The first task in April involved testing and applying the intern’s receptive skills. The task helped the intern learn that taking initiative at PwC was important but not as much as his ability to receive feedback. The task of understanding PwC’s computer systems helped him improve his technical proficiency skills. The third task in April involved reinforcing the intern’s critical thinking skills which are also one of the core units in COB courses. Finally, the intern acquired adaptability skills when he completed the task of familiarizing himself with the different departments that make up PwC.

Conclusion and Overall Evaluation of the Internship Experience

The internships at PwC provided the intern with a unique opportunity of acquiring the skills necessary to reinforce his career development and progression. As such, enrolling in an internship program plays a central role in achieving one’s career objectives. The researcher acknowledges that the internship at PwC was an effective way of gaining the work experience needed to increase his future employment opportunities. However, although there were numerous advantages associated with the internship, there were several downsides which made it challenging for the intern. The first challenge faced involves the difficulty in identifying who he should report to. However, the intern found a solution to the problem by consulting with his manager who in turn helped him appreciate the leadership style at PwC which is transformational in nature. As such, the intern could now report any issues he was faced with directly to his superiors. The second challenge faced is that the intern had not done sufficient research about PwC’s industry to familiarize himself with the technical proficiency that was desirable in the workplace. However, he addressed the problem by learning the technical proficiency that was deemed desirable by his superiors at the workplace.

The inturn was also faced with the challenge of applying critical thinking in the first few days at the company. However, he overcame the problem by leveraging critical thinking both at work and home which in turn ensured he became more critical and receptive in everything he did. The primary benefits of the internship program at PwC involve networking, becoming more self-confident, and boosting his CV. Firstly, the internship provided a great opportunity for the intern to start networking which is one of the most effective tools for a job seeker. The internship increased his employment opportunities by knowing and lobbying with the right people. Secondly, the internship helped him become more self-confident. Having gained a real-world experience of the business and corporate world helps the intern better understand his value to his future employer. Finally, the internship opportunity helped boosts the intern’s CV. The exposure gained at PwC provides a fool proof way of demonstrating that he has the workplace skills and experience sought by most employers. Finally, the internship is admittedly crucial in the intern’s CV because the skills acquired relate to the COB courses and are relevant to his chosen profession.

References

Eginli, A., & Narin, A. (2017). Managing diversity in international companies: A case study for diversity management of PricewaterhouseCoopers. Communication and Digital Media301. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Aysun_Kahraman/publication/322156695_Adopting_Brand_Values_to_Internal_Customers_Case_of_Vestel_Inc/links/5a490a0a0f7e9ba868ad74ad/Adopting-Brand-Values-to-Internal-Customers-Case-of-Vestel-Inc.pdf#page=301

PwC. (2019). What is PwC. PwC. Retrieved From: https://www.pwc.com/c1/en/overview.html

Winograd, B. N., Gerson, J. S., & Berlin, B. L. (2000). Audit practices of PricewaterhouseCoopers. Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory19(2), 176-182. https://aaapubs.org/doi/10.2308/aud.2000.19.2.176

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