by Big4Guru, author of The Big 4 Book of Secrets Hiring Guide
“For a college kid who was accustomed to dining halls and microwave meals, this kind of luxury was mind-blowing. I truly felt that on that day all my years of hard work had paid off.”
I was brainstorming topics for todays post and became incredibly nostalgic for my own Big 4 days. While I am exceedingly happy with where my career is now, there was something very special about those early Big 4 days. I spend alot of time on this blog talking about the rather unpleasant aspects of the Big 4 - interviews, career fairs, etc.. Today I’d like to start sharing a glimpse into how truly fun working for one of these firms can be. Today will be the first of a series of posts on my personal Big 4 experiences, so stay tuned!
My PwC journey began with a summer internship. Like most Big 4 internships it took place during the summer between my junior and senior years of college. My training was in Boston and I actually departed for the training 2 days after my 21st birthday. I met up with a couple of the other interns in the airport. Little did I know that they would become two of my best friends - even to this day. I was a little disappointed at the time that the internship was so soon after my 21st birthday. I thought that the experience would be all hard work and no fun. That couldn’t have been farther from the truth.
When we arrived in Boston we were met at the airport by a PwC car. It was the first time I ever got off a plane and saw one of those guys holding a sign with my name on it. That was pretty cool. There would be many “first times” during that one-week training. We stayed in an amazing hotel in the financial district of Boston. At that time it was the highest floor of a hotel that I had ever stayed in - I think we were on the 60th floor. I literally felt like I was on the Real World or something. When we walked into our room there were care packages provided by PwC. Inside was a couple t-shirts, a beach towel, coffee mug and a voucher for the 4-star restaurant in the lobby of the hotel!
We made our way downstairs and got seated in the restaurant, which turned out the be phenomenal. I ordered soft shell crab, just because I had never had it before. The voucher was more than generous to cover an amazing dinner, drinks and dessert. I remember thinking, “that was one of the best meals I’ve ever had - and it was completely free!” Whenever I am in Boston now I try to go back to that restaurant and get the soft shell crab - it was that good.
After dinner we took a stroll around Boston at sunset and went to the Bull and Finch, the bar that the TV show “Cheers” was based on. We shared horror stories about accounting classes and exams and joked about the interview process and how nervous we all were. Somehow we met up with another group of PwC interns from Chicago and were terrified when we learned that one of them had ALREADY passed the CPA exam!
For a college kid who is accustomed to dining halls and microwave meals, this kind of luxury was mind-blowing. I truly felt that on that day all my years of hard work had paid off. Finally, after hours and hours of studying, taking exams and writing reports I was actually realizing my goal of working with the Big. I had never stopped believing that this day would come. I hardly slept that night. The next day would prove to be a huge shock of information and knowledge - and alot more fun!
The Big4Guru is a CPA, proud Big 4 alumni, seasoned industry professional and author of eBook, The Big 4 Book of Secrets Hiring Guide. His passion is helping new accounting professionals achieve their career goals.