What PwC Seeks In An MBA Hire

PwC Australian Consultants

PwC Australian Consultants

Could you give us an overview of your MBA recruiting and interview process?

You’re going to see our brand from the moment you get on campus. Hopefully, when you come on campus for that orientation in the first few weeks, you’ll start to see PwC around. You might meet former interns: ask them about their experience with PwC. And very shortly after school begins – and once the recruiting cycle starts on campus – we’re there with a campus presentation and smaller targeted events.

We post by our vertical industries. For example, we post on campus for financial services, healthcare, CIPS (Consumer Industrial Products and Services) and TICE (Technology, Information, Communications and Entertainment).

We hold two interviews on campus in the first round; both are behavioral interviews. From there, if you’re recommended for the second round, the interviews will be held in the office. We’ll bring you in by a specific group. We’ll narrow the path a little bit for where we think you’ll have the best fit based on your background experience and conversations we’ve had with you on campus. So we do the second round interview based on where we think you’ll be the best fit. If you’re successful, the final interview consists of three interviews – two behavioral and a case. And then we look at possibly making an offer from that vertical and competency areas. So if you successfully interned with us in a specific group, you would have an offer, full-time, from that group.

So we do hire specifically by industry and competency. And the process would be the same for a full-time student, depending on the cycle. We’re running on the same cycle as the other consulting firms. It’s a similar process for those who did not intern with us but are looking to join us full-time.

Regarding the internship itself, we have a week of training and onboarding. And then we have you on a client site doing project work for the remaining 8-9 weeks of the internship. We have two onboarding cycles on interns, so the start and end dates are based on when school ends.

How can MBAs make a good impression and stay on your radar?

I think it goes back to what we discussed earlier. It’s making sure you maintain connections you have. Obviously, the recruiting process is very condensed with a lot of people reaching out to us. So making sure you are coming to our events, staying in contact with the people you meet, and maintaining that network is going to be the best way to stay on our radar. That’s not to say students who don’t come to any events don’t get interview opportunities, but I would say their chances are probably not as good as those who are very connected with us and maintain a very strong interest throughout.

What types of onboarding, training and ongoing support do you provide to incoming MBAs?

PwC ranks third on Universum's latest ranking

PwC ranks third on Universum’s latest ranking

I’ll just reiterate that we always take a lot of pride in our training and learning development. Our training is recognized as one of the top in the industry. It should give any recruit or new hire coming in a peace of mind that they are going to get very high quality training – some of the best anywhere.  And that comes through directly through all of our campus recruiting programs.

For an MBA internship, they are going to come together with all of their MBA class in one central location. The training is led by L&D (Learning & Development), which partners with our client staff practitioners to do the training. So you’re going to meet with people who’ve done the work and you’ll learn from them the best practices and get an introduction to our consulting methodology and the way we work with clients. Even if you are coming into the firm with no consulting background, we’re going to give you the tools that you need right away.

That extends throughout the offer. We also offer training courses throughout the internship or ways for you to interact with other interns and learn about our business. We provide a lot of touch points throughout the internship to keep students connected and we do that specific to the MBAs, with specific MBA touch points.

With full-time training, we bring the MBAs in with the experienced hires because of that background and experience that they have. So their network will begin with the professionals. They may not come from an MBA program, but they’d certainly have the same type of experience as MBAs might have as well. We’re going to begin to help them build that network. So training and bringing people aboard is something we’re very good at. And we take a lot of pride in it.

When it comes to PwC, what are some of the biggest misconceptions that students may have about your organization (and your industry)?

I’m not sure if I want to call it a misconception, but there’s an impression that we’re only a tax and assurance firm. Over the past few years though, our advisory and consulting brand is really taking hold.

For good reason, we’re very, very proud of our brand. But I think some people may not understand – or they may misconstrue – the size, strength and power of our consulting practice.

The advantage of joining a firm like PwC is that we do think of ourselves with a one firm mentality. We do leverage the expertise of all 40,000 PwC employees. So if there is something that you haven’t seen or done, there’s certainly someone here who has – and that can be incredibly powerful. It’s very important that you understand that you’re not just joining PwC’s Advisory practice, but you’re joining PwC and they’re going to have unparalleled access to the best people in professional circles. We have a really strong consulting practice for a reason – and being connected like this is really exciting to people.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.