That's a great question! As an associate at PwC, I am familiar with the process of applying for internships and jobs at the Big Four.
For a start, don't worry too much about which firm you want to work for. I know that sounds counter-intuitive but you will be surprised at how similar all the firms are. Focus on where you want to work (they are all over the country) and what industry interests you (banking, media etc.). These factors will have the biggest impact on your experience, so pick the firm that is best at providing you what you want.
Specifically regarding your question, at the Big Four firms, all experience is seen as a good thing! Switching firms, or working for a different firm than the one you interned at will not be seen as a bad thing at all...as long as it is for an appropriate reason. Leaving because you were terrible to work with, got fired during your internship, or weren't even offered at job at the end will be seen as a major red flag. However, switching firms because you wanted to live in a different city, or different industry will not be seen as a problem at all. That's why I say to focus on those two factors first.
Yes, each firm has a slightly different way of doing things, but this is easy to learn and firms won't be concerned. I have worked with many people who started at different firms and have ended up at PwC. These people are valued BECAUSE they were somewhere else and thus are seen to have unique experience.
I hope this helps!
Jacob recommends the following next steps:
- Decided what city and industry you want to work in.
- During your recruitment, ask each firm specifically what they have to offer in your preferred city and industry. (Who are their clients, are they growing, how is their business changing etc?)
- Where ever you decide to intern, don't worry about getting it wrong. You will always have a chance to switch later and your experience at a different firm will only help you!