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PWC Graduate Case Study: Associate
The following article features a case study and interview with Gabriel Harris, who joined PWC’s consulting division.
Name: Gabriel Harris
Job/position: Associate, Consulting
Degree subject, year of graduation and university attended: Geography, 2012, Oxford University
- What made you choose to apply to PwC?
I originally started work with PwC before university when I was accepted onto the seven month internship placement. I enjoyed it so much I returned each summer of university as an intern, and was offered a full time job at the end of my placement in 2011. I decided to take the graduate role both because of the kind of work I can be part of at PwC, and because of the culture of the company itself. Consulting appeals to me due to the variety of the work, and PwC consulting appeals due to the breadth it covers. I have always felt there is a fantastic support structure at PwC, and that the company values my progression and my work/life balance.
- What is your role in the team?
At the moment I am working in a Programme Management Office for a Global Finance Transformation. I assist the Programme Manager in coordinating the work of 7 work streams in 3 regions that cover the globe, including reporting to the Client Programme Director, the Regional and Company CFOs and the rest of the programme team, running the programme to time and budget.
- What are your main responsibilities on a day-to-day basis?
I am responsible for coordinating the weekly and bi-weekly reports and work stream catch ups, and also attend weekly meetings with each work stream lead to catch up with their current work. These meetings allow us to assess the status of the work stream, monitor risks and issues, and record and track actions and decisions. I help to run the programme financials, including raising and monitoring bills (both between PwC and the client, and between the different regional PwC offices), and tracking costs using forecasting tools. I also support the team in logistics for the client site.
Your work environment
- What is the work/life balance like in your job? How do you go about balancing your work and home/social lives?
I consider my work/life balance to be very good. When I am up to date with my work and on top of things I try to leave on time, but I am happy to stay late when necessary. There is an expectation that when there is work to be done a team will pull together to get it finished. In quieter time on a project people are encouraged to leave in good time. When I have settled in to a project I have more of an idea of the expected working hours and therefore can arrange my social life accordingly.
- What are the most exciting parts of working in this area?
The variety of work and the people make working in consulting so interesting. Furthermore as an associate I feel that my contribution is valued which makes work more rewarding.
- What training and support have you received so far?
The 8 week Foundation for the Future graduate training programme is incredibly comprehensive, and all of us were able to enter into full time project work with confidence. There are so many other opportunities to train in other areas, and these are advertised well.
What skills in particular do you think you’ve developed?
Both hard and soft skills – my Excel and PowerPoint skills have certainly improved, as have my knowledge of programme management (reporting/budgeting/forecasting), and I have also developed softer skills such aspects of people management and communication.
Advice to current students
It’s important to be aware of what opportunities exist for work after university, including the internships offered during holidays etc, and to do serious research into various different opportunities available. At the same time, I think it is essential to enjoy university and to take advantage of the other activities offered e.g. social/sporting, that are often equally as important to help you to secure a graduate role.