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PWC Graduate Case Study: Associate, Consulting
The following article includes a graduate case study of Emily Carlyle, an associate at PWC.
Name: Emily Carlyle
Job/position: Associate, Consulting
University attended:, University of Nottingham
What did you study at university and why?
I decided to study Geography at university as it has been a passion of mine from an early age. I wanted to study a subject I would enjoy and I believed that Geography would give me a well-respected degree that would allow me to explore a variety of different career paths.
Where did you first hear about PwC?
PwC had a strong presence on my university campus and through attending career’s fairs I learnt that PwC were a top graduate employer. I spoke to the PwC recruitment team who were very enthusiastic about the opportunities available and so I went away to do some further research.
Did you do any work experience with PwC before joining the graduate scheme?
I was accepted onto PwC’s Talent Academy programme, a week long assessment and training programme in the summer between the first and second year of university. This gave me my first experience of PwC. After performing well in the assessments I was fast tracked to the Management Consultancy summer internship programme, a 6 week paid placement before my final year of university.
How did your internship benefit you? Did it help you bridge the gap between university and your graduate role?
My internship with PwC confirmed to me that I wanted to become a Management Consultant. I experienced different aspects of the role during my 6 weeks. I spent the first three weeks carrying out data analysis which meant I had to learn very quickly many of the Excel skills which are vital to the role. In the final 3 weeks of the placement I was then given the opportunity to shadow a Director. This showed me the massive variety or opportunities that consultancy has both in terms of the clients we work for and the work we do for them.
The internship made me more confident joining PwC. After meeting so many people and the diversity of the work I knew it was an organisation I wanted to work in.
What skills have you been able to transfer from your degree to your graduate role?
There are many skills that I acquired at university that I have been able to use in my daily role. On my Geography course I would often work in a team either to collect field data, present findings or to write a report. Similarly when working on projects I need to work well in a team to deliver the highest deliverable to the client.
What is your role at PwC?
I am a Level 2 Associate. I have recently completed a project implementing a change management programme. This was a very challenging project but extremely rewarding as I got to see first-hand how much of a change you can make as a consultant.
What are your career aspirations?
In the short term I am focussed on completing the Foundation for the Future programme and graduating to become a Senior Associate in either People and Change or Operations. I would like to work in other industries across PwC to build a strong knowledge base, working as hard as I can to develop and progress through the firm.
What advice would you give to someone currently studying at university, who wants to work in a growth driving sector?
My advice to students would be to research opportunities early and expand your peer network. I find my professional network is my greatest asset to provide the support and encouragement I need on particularly stressful projects.