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How do I get an opportunity to intern in one of the Big Four accounting firms?

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I am currently majoring in Accounting and I will be a Junior next semester (Fall 2019). I am really interested in interning in one of the Big Four (KPMG, YE, PWC, and Deloitte). There are locations near me and I have started applying to two of them, but what do these firms look for in a student? Are there any suggestions, things to look into, or courses I should take that would help me land a spot with them? #accounting #finance #accountant #college #business #bigfour #kpmg #pwc #ernstyoung #deloitte #cpa

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45 answers

Joseph’s Answer

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Hi Victoria,


I am currently working for a Big 4, and I am glad that you are displaying such a high level of interest in interning with the Big 4. I will try to keep this short and sweet, as I probably have too many things to say about the internship process.


  1. One of the most important things that Big 4 recruiters look out for is your Accounting grades. Before they get to you know you this is what you will be judged on. If you have a good reason for your grades not being as high as your classmates, I would practice explaining the situation to recruiters. (For interviews, the best format is STAR which stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Google it!)
  2. Have a good idea of what you want to do in the firm. The classic Lines of Service are Auditing or Tax, but there are so many more services that these companies provide! If you come in with that research already prepared, you will show whoever you're talking to that you've done your homework.
  3. Be ready to show that you are a well-rounded individual. This includes clubs, activities, etc. Just being a bookworm can only get you so far. In our industry we are client facing, so recruiters want to see that you can be personable and relatable especially when you communicate.
  4. Attitude is everything! Coming in and showing that you can be a team player with a good attitude is so important, and I can already tell that you have this. Keep it up!
  5. Keep looking for opportunities to network with Big 4 recruiters through campus events. Practice talking about yourself, and come up with good STARS!

Good Luck!

Joseph recommends the following next steps:

  • Research what roles you would be interested in at Big 4.
  • Attend recruiting events, every single one of them!
Thank you so much! Just now got invited to one of their networking events! Can't wait! Any advice is welcome Victoria G. Translate
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Samantha’s Answer

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A lot of the big 4 firms offer "leadership programs" that are 2-3 days long which is nice stepping stone into an internship offer. I know for PwC its called the "Elevate Program" and after participating in this program I immediately received an internship offer. I would definitely recommend one of the programs. In general, the Big 4 are looking for high performing students who are well-rounded and have a good attitude!

Awesome! Recently got invited to one of the programs! Victoria G. Translate
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Miranda’s Answer

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I would suggest utilizing your alumni network that is currently at your University, as well as the career development office. But for me, and I currently work at the Big 4, I applied to the leadership development programs for each of the Big 4 Firms when I was a sophomore, which is definitely the best route in. From there, each firm will offer you an internship at the conclusion of their program, which for me was the summer between my sophomore and junior years, and by the end you will pick from the Big 4, where you want to ultimately work. By being proactive and starting early, you are able to secure an internship before the rest of your peers apply.

Miranda recommends the following next steps:

  • PwC Elevate Program https://www.pwc.com/us/en/careers/entry-level/programs-events/elevate.html
  • EY Emerging Leaders Program https://www.ey.com/us/en/careers/students/your-role-here/students---programs---emerging-leaders-program
  • Deloitte Leadership Program https://jobs2.deloitte.com/us/en/job/DELOA003X252089/Summer-Leadership-Conference-Participant-Summer-2019
Thank you for taking the time to help out! I greatly appreciate it. Victoria G. Translate
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Hannah’s Answer

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Hi Victoria!

The big four is a great place to start your career and each firm has many opportunities and areas to get involved in. I did an internship with PwC the summer in between my senior year of college and my one-year master's program. But many students who do not do a grad school program choose to apply for their internship for the summer after their junior year. So this is great timing for you! First, I would check with your school's career office to see if they have any relationships with any of the firms, and if there are any upcoming recruiting events at your school such as a job fair or specific accounting events. The best way to get to know the firms and to let them get to know you is to attend these events and have some meaningful conversations with representatives of the firms. Ask them about what they do, and tell them about you! If there are no events that the firms attend at your school, there are always application opportunities on the firm's websites.

For things to do to help with you application, I would recommend getting involved in organizations at school and/or outside of school. Being able to show all of the things you are involved in on your resume shows that you are a well-rounded individual who is motivated to succeed and get involved at the firm!

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Brieanne’s Answer

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Hi there,

Great question! It seems you have already taken a step in the right direction by applying to internship opportunities at Big 4 firms. I have listed some additional suggestions below on how to help set yourself apart during the application and interview process.

1. Start building your network! If the firm you are interested in recruits at your college campus, start building your network in person! Attend the firms’ on campus events and be sure to introduce yourself to recruiters and client service professionals. If the firm does not recruit at your campus, start building your network virtually! Most firm websites provide information on how you can connect with a campus recruiter. You can also ask career services for advice on connecting with the firms and reach out to professionals on LinkedIn or via your university’s alumni group.
2. Have a 150 credit/CPA plan! If you plan to pursue a career in public accounting, you will likely need your CPA (certified public accounting) license at some point in your career. Build a plan to ensure you are eligible for the exam after graduation!
3. Find a mentor! Talk to students who have interned with these firms in the past and have them share their advice.
4. Have a well-rounded resume! Get involved with clubs/organizations/etc. on campus. Find a club/organization you are passionate about! Try taking courses in areas outside of your major. For example, if you are majoring in accounting, take courses in technology to broaden your skills as you enter the workforce.
5. Be yourself! Always be sure to stay true to yourself when going through the application and interview process. The firms want to get to know your authentic self!

Best of Luck!
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Margaret’s Answer

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I currently work for one of the big four accounting firms. Personally, I would say to strive to get into that interview process. They are going to be looking at the courses you have taken in accounting and the grade average you have been able to maintain in these classes. They are also going to be looking for what differentiates you from all the other candidates, so this is something you are going to want to think about during and before the application process. Lastly, have an idea of what you want to do/ be open to trying new things!

Thank you so much! So far I do not have many accounting courses under my belt (but I have been keeping my grades up), would you say that it might deter some recruiters from considering me? Victoria G. Translate
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Bryan’s Answer

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DISCLAIMER: I have never had an internship and I'm not an accountant or an auditor. However, I've always been able to find work when I needed it, and over the years I have worked in computer consulting, I've worked with and socialized with employees from Accenture, PWC, Deloitte, KPMG and many other smaller companies. If I were attempting to get an internship at one of these larger places, I would try several different methods:


1) Use information gathered through a work-related social network (probably LinkedIn but you may know of others) to learn about (first) and establish some communication with (second) people already working there. Use caution as always when contacting strangers, and try to communicate with them in a structured way during usual business hours.


2) Reach out to accountants/auditors or other professionals through businesses in your area to try to establish an indirect connection with someone who is working with one of the firms where you want to get an internship. These folks are probably going to be very busy because smaller businesses have fewer resources, so be respectful of their time. You might even offer to do some short-term volunteer work for them to let them know you are serious if the place seems interesting to you.


3) Find out where the nearest regional office is and walk in the door to find someone who works there and ask them some questions. If you can find someone besides security and they're willing to help you, then that's great, but don't expect too much here. This is just a step you can take to get used to the situation. There may be other visitors if it is a busy office, and you might meet others who are waiting to be let into the building for a meeting. Asking for help or information might generate another contact.


4) Establish connections with employees by attending social or professional events in or near your area. I'd lean more toward the professional events which may turn into social events afterwards, but everyone is different, and my recommended approach may be different from yours.


Some of these things will be easier than others and can be done anywhere using your phone or a laptop like 1) and 2), while others might require more preparation, and I guess the sequence I have shown above is how I'd recommend going about the search. That's because you'll get some practice as you begin this work, and you'll want to get some of that learning out of the way before you get in front of the people who will decide whether or not you'll get an internship. Also, you will get information that will help you learn about the kinds of people you'll meet in steps 3) or 4) and you'll be better prepared when you get those meetings.


One of the things I remember about a college roommate I had who had pledged a business fraternity and who later worked for one of the big-six (back then there were six) was how important phone etiquette and politeness were when arranging or attempting to arrange the many meetings he needed to get into his chosen fraternity. Just as important as the professional tone was the persistence that he showed in the face of a ridiculous number of rejections as he attempted to setup meetings and get someone to sponsor him. This difficult learning process must have played a huge part in his later efforts to become part of the firm where he eventually landed after school.


Keep in mind as you reach out to people that they will probably be more busy on Mondays. They may be out of the office toward the end of the week, and they probably will be tired at the end of the day. Also, you might want to wait until after they have had their morning coffee before you make your introduction or contact them for assistance. By mid-morning on Tuesday, they'll have had enough coffee and hopefully will be in a good enough mood to be open to helping someone new.


Good luck and be careful. Also, keep your eyes open for opportunities along the way to your ultimate goal of a big-4 internship. You might find that you are more comfortable at one of the smaller firms, and if you are just starting out, you will probably also find that you'll get more experience sooner at a small firm if you do choose to go that route. On the other hand you might find that larger organizations suit you best and provide more opportunities for advancing your career. An internship is probably a really good way to find that out.

Bryan recommends the following next steps:

  • Use information gathered through a work-related social network (probably LinkedIn but you may know of others) to learn about (first) and establish some communication with (second) people already working there.
  • Reach out to accountants/auditors or other professionals through businesses in your area to try to establish an indirect connection with someone who is working with one of the firms where you want to get an internship.
  • Find out where the nearest regional office is and walk in the door to find someone who works there and ask them some questions.
  • Establish connections with employees by attending social or professional events in or near your area.
Thank you for the advice! Victoria G. Translate
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Haley’s Answer

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The best way to get in with a Big Four accounting firm is to maintain a strong GPA and network as often as possible. The recruiters will recognize your efforts if they see your face at all the events. Additionally, when going to the recruiting events, have something unique to talk about that makes you stand out. This could be something interesting about yourself or past work experience, or showing that you've done research about a particular firm.

I really appreciate the advice, thank you! Victoria G. Translate
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Chelsea’s Answer

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If you go to a business school, you can work with the career department to look for opportunities for internships. PwC, and most other big four firms, have an internal portal whereby you can apply for positions, including internships. A lot of schools also hold career fairs, where big four firms will be present and you can talk to recruiters of those firms about internship opportunities and how to apply.

Chelsea recommends the following next steps:

  • look up career fairs either at your school or nearby and plan to attend
Thank you! I plan to attend the next career fair. Victoria G. Translate
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Maddie’s Answer

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Hi Victoria!

It is great that you are starting to look into internships at a Big 4! Talking to recruiters, staff, partners, etc. who come and recruit at your school are great ways to start during campus recruiting. Talking to staff about the office they work for will not only give you a sense of the culture of the company, but will also put a face with your name and resume. When I help with recruiting, we always go through the candidates we talked to at the end and send a list to the recruiters on who we would like to move forward with in the interview process. I highly recommend emailing anyone you receive business cards from during recruiting events to thank them for their time. It is the little extras like this, that don't take much time, but have a big impact to those who took the time to be there. One thing I wanted to add, is to not get discouraged if you do not receive an internship. Typically, there are fewer spots for interns than there are for full-time positions. Should an internship not work out one year, don't be afraid to try again the next year, either for an internship or a full-time position!

Best,

Maddie

Wow this is so encouraging! I have applied to a few and I haven't heard anything yet. It's definitely discouraging sometimes, but I will keep trying! Victoria G. Translate
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Katie’s Answer

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I saw from your comment that you were invited to one of the networking events - I highly recommend attending these! I had an internship in the tax line of service that led to a full-time position and now I attend the networking events to help represent my firm (I currently work for the Big 4.) It's a great opportunity to get to know your potential future colleagues, and to find out more information on the internship opportunities. When you're talking with them, I recommend asking questions and showing them your interests and passions. Good luck!

Thank you so much! It is such an encouragement to hear from professionals who have been in my shoes. I can't wait to explore accounting and it has definitely become a passion of mine. Victoria G. Translate
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Denise’s Answer

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That is a great idea as our intern programs are very good and you would meet interesting people and learn a lot. All of our interns apply through our campus recruiting program. We work closely with your school and their careers office. Please check with them Good luck. Denise

An interesting opportunity to make money for everyone. Everything is free and easy. http://www.clixsense.com/?8172285 Daffie Jeroa Translate
I greatly appreciate your time and thank you for all the advice! Victoria G. Translate
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Mor’s Answer

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Hi Victoria,

First off, you should commend yourself on taking initiative to applying to two of the big four already, as applying to any position is not always easy. Secondly, I would suggest starting to network and start becoming more active on linkedin. You can search for recruiters of the firms on linkedin and ask them directly what the steps are to applying to an internship program with the firm. Additionally, you should definitely work with your career counselors at your school as they often have relationships with organizations as well. However, to answer your question more directly, every firm looks for a particular set of skills when you apply to a specific position so it is really dependent on what you would like to do in your career. Overall, all firms look for the same traits in a candidate - personable, hardworking, ambitious, solutions oriented. Lastly, you can also reach out to some alumni that went to your school that work at one of the big four and ask them what their path was to success within their organization. I found that this was often the most helpful for me. When I was applying for internships I often reached out to alumni as it was easiest to "break the ice" knowing we had our alma mater in common and we were able to connect.


Best,

Mor

I will definitely give it a shot and reach out to some alumni! Victoria G. Translate
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Moesha’s Answer

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Get involved in many organizations at your school specifically towards business. Also, talk to many of your professors because they may have people for you to connect with at one of the Big 4. Attend network events at your school and follow up with every person you meet. Form meaningful relationships with Big 4 Recruiters
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Alex’s Answer

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The biggest thing to do when hoping for a Big 4 opportunity is to talk with the recruiters whenever they visit your campus. This is going to be the most important thing as well as performing well in school. Grades and making connections are very important.
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Alex’s Answer

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Before you apply be sure that's the route you want to go down.

If it is, then great and go for it!

I started my career at KPMG and it was a great company to work for in my early career days. Nowadays they're less focused on grades and more about who you are but you're competing with '000 others so really thing what makes you different.

Does this career excite you, are you following the norm from your finance studies at university, where do you see the training leading you to? These are things you should think about during the application.
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Lauren’s Answer

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As a recent college graduate and starting off my career at a Big 4, my biggest piece of advice is getting involved on your college campus. I was President of my Beta Alpha Psi chapter which had me being involved with recruiting staff ranging from all of the Big 4 companies to smaller local firms. I also participated in the Summer Leadership program which is a great way to get your foot in the door!
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Cici’s Answer

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Get some leadership experience and internship experience somewhere else before applying for Big 4. All these experiences don’t have to be very “big”, can be with local community or with your school. Once you have these experiences, work on your resume and interview skills will definitely help. I attend many resume workshops when I was back in school, and had various persons gave me advices/suggestions on my resume. As such, I can make my resume to be eye-catching out of thousands other resumes during the career fair. Also practice your interview skills by attending the mock interviews if your school have those. 

Cici recommends the following next steps:

  • get as much experience as you can, can be all kinds of experience
  • work on your resume, make sure your resume captures the best part of your experience and tell exactly who you are
  • practice on your interview skill
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Dave’s Answer

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Work with career services at your school, if applicable. Otherwise please visit pwc.com for career opportunities.

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Jimmy’s Answer

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I think there are some easy steps everyone can take to get their foot into the Big 4. One of these that has certainly been mentioned is the networking events. Just by attending them gets your name written down and shows you have genuine interest. You don't have to be the loudest one in the room with the most technical knowledge, just pay attention to what they're saying, and ask questions that you're actually curious about, even just strike up a conversation. Also perhaps just as important, take the time to get to know the recruiter. They're really going to be your best friend throughout this process, and are a great resource for any questions you may have about the firms or the process.
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Nikki’s Answer

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Hey!

Thes best thing to do is get in early! You should apply to leadership programs after your freshman year to gain entrance into the company. In order to gain the attention of Big 4. Become a leader on campus and try to get an internship in an office doing acctg or finance prior to your big 4 internship.

Connections, connections, connections, leverage them and make your linkedin profile popular by reposting articles and posting content that could stimulate conversation, join groups and reach out to people. Make yourself known and put your best self forward
Good Luck!
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Emilio’s Answer

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Hi Victoria!

I'm currently interning as one of the Big Four firms and I've had a great experience so far. Coming from a smaller school my biggest piece of advice would be to put yourself out there and network. The more I was able to network the more I learned about different opportunities at these firms and was encouraged to apply. Many of the Big Four have leadership conferences for sophomores & juniors that are great opportunities to network with members of the firm and make a good first impression.
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Laurel’s Answer

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Many of the big four will come to colleges across the country in order to recruit accounting and business students. I suggest going to career fairs and joining an accounting association or club at your school to see when the firms will be on campus.

I got my internship at PwC from the Elevate Leadership Program offered to sophomores and juniors doing the five year program. This and other leadership programs at other big four firms are great opportunities to see the different cultures at all of the firms.

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Alecia’s Answer

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Great question! It's important to attend as many networking events as you can; recruiters understand you may not be able to make it to everything, but if you can't make an event, reach out to the recruiter to see how else you can get involved. That shows that you're motivated and passionate. Throughout the recruiting process, just be yourself and take time to learn which companies are a good match for what you're looking for. Good luck!
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Alnaya’s Answer

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To receive an internship with Big 4, my suggestion is to network! Attend accounting conferences and other networking events related to accounting. The university I attended had a networking event for accounting majors to meet with recruiters. Also, try to remain a high GPA. In my experience, the Big 4 recruiters I connected with factored in GPA. However, don't stress yourself to have the highest GPA possible. Be active on campus and seek a leadership position.
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Dana’s Answer

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Things/traits the firm looks for in recruits:
- Driven, works well with others, likeable, well-spoken
- Involved in organizations/clubs/philanthropy/committees/diversity
- Anything exhibiting leadership is a plus
- Good academic record- ^ the above items can surpass a mediocre GPA

The fact that you're using this site and proactively asking these questions tells me you're probably doing just fine.

From my experience in the process as an intern, and then the past 4 years working at PwC and attending recruiting events for our new hires, all of the candidates who are offered an internship have one thing in common: likeability. Of course the basic pre-requisites like a decent GPA apply, but at the entry level less actual accounting work is done. Firms are looking for good candidates that are coachable, work well with others, and demonstrate interest. We spend many hours together in a room at client sites during busy season, therefore a good fit is important not just for the firm but also you. Don't worry if you aren't top of your class - if you make an effort to network there is a good chance you will at least be invited to a sort of Pre-internship 2 day recruiting event.

The college I attended doesn't have a PwC presence since they don't have an office in that city - however the sister school does 2h away. Attending their Meet the Firms is an example of how to overcome that situation and meet people from the firm in person. I also joined Beta Alpha Psi which probably looks good - not sure if that's on your campus. Another sure fire way to get the chance is a letter of recommendation from a professor that has a contact at the desired firm.

This is all based on my experience with and impression of the process. I cannot say with certainty what criteria the recruiters use, but being somewhat involved in the process and observing the decision makers, I can pretty much infer the 4 bullet points above. The rest is my own observations and advice. Most importantly, be yourself.

Best of luck!

Dana recommends the following next steps:

  • Make connections and attend events where possible
  • Join an organization related to your desired profession
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James’s Answer

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The benefit of big 4 firms is that they hire a large pool of new associates every year. Distinguishing yourself from all the other applicants, is your best way to get recognized by a recruiter. If any of the firms recruit at your school, do your research on the specific company to come up with educated questions. When meeting with the recruiters, be outgoing and try to work in some of the questions while showing that you are interested. If recruiters do not come to your school, try to reach out through linkedin or other online platforms - showing initiative goes a long way. If you are able to secure an interview, do further research on the accounting industry and common interview questions to prepare. GPA does seem to be the best way to be recognized, but it is definitely not the only way. Showing that you can communicate and being prepared will make a good impression.
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Emily’s Answer

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Hi Victoria!

One way that I found helpful was to get connected with the career center at my school as they made me aware of when the various Big 4 firms would be coming to my school so that I could meet with the recruiters. Once I was able to meet with the recruiters I was able to get more information on the various opportunities they had for me to apply for programs at their firms.
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Emily’s Answer

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Hi!

I just graduated this past May and interned my junior year with a Big 4 accounting firm. I just recently started with this firm in the last few months. I remember how stressful the interviewing for internship process can be, a lot to manage while in school. I remember that my university had multiple networking events with all the accounting firms and I attended every single one. That gave me a lot of face time with the different recruiters. Also, make sure each time you go say hello just to remind them that you are still actively working on getting that internship. Also, in my interviews I was told that my involvement outside of the accounting field during college was one of my biggest strengths. They were impressed that I had followed my passions, rather than just create the perfect potential accountant resume. So that would be one point of advice I have, don't just do things because you think they will look good. Recruiters can see right through that! Also, utilize your professors and school resources. They have a lot of connections and can get you an introduction that could lead to something big! Good Luck with you internship/job search!

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Denise’s Answer

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Hi Victoria! I'm glad that you are interested in interning at a Big Four as well as choosing accounting. I think that first and foremost the most important thing is having a good attitude. Most recruiters and employees will know that we do not know much about the job right out of college despite the fact that we majored in it but it is important to demonstrate your willingness to learn and grow. Grades are important but not everything. Just relax and show them that you are someone who they would like to work with. Good luck and you got this!
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Kiana’s Answer

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I would encourage you to attend your college's career fairs and network with recruiters and Big Four recruiting events. I would look into different programs that the firms offer, like leadership programs as well as internships. Also don't be shy to reach out to and email recruiters and ask them when their next events are. Definitely make the extra effort to introduce yourself even via email and attend as many college career events as possible.
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Melissa’s Answer

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To help prepare yourself for obtaining an internship at a Big 4 accounting firm, I would focus on the following:

1. Keep your GPA high, both overall and your major. This is the first indicator a recruiter will look at.

2. Join a business fraternity to get exposure to professionals from multiple firms and companies.

3. Attend any optional events to continue to get exposure to the professionals and build your relationships. Networking is key and the earlier you start the better.

4. Try to get a prior job or internship. It doesn't have to be in accounting, but is a plus. These are great experiences to draw on in an interview.

5. Attend Career Fairs and Meet the Firms. When you attend these events, have a well thought out 1 page resume which includes when you want to intern (Winter or Summer 20XX), which line of service (audit or tax), and your location preference if known. When you meet a professional at each firm, have a short introduction prepared about who you are and what you are looking for. The recruiter will be making a snap judgement on whether to continue to pursue you, as hundreds of resumes will be received.

6. If you receive an interview, showcasing your personality is key. Interviewers will be looking for both quality answers and someone who they want to work with in the same room all day, everyday. Come with questions to ask as the interviewer too.
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Dongpeng’s Answer

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Hi Victoria,

I'm currently a college students as well, and I'm doing an internship with one of the Big Four companies in the upcoming summer. Speaking from my experience, I would say that the first thing companies will look is your prerequisites (GPA, experiences, etc.), especially if you are a junior or senior. Beyond that, companies would like to see who you are as a person. Rather than recruiting the ones with the highest GPAs, they are more willing to take someone who is more well-rounded. Thus, it is important to go to their info sessions and make an impression to your recruiters. Information about info session can usually be found at your school's career advising center. Different firms usually have their own platforms/websites as well.

Hope this is helpful :)
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Melissa’s Answer

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To help prepare yourself for obtaining an internship at a Big 4 accounting firm, I would focus on the following:

1. Keep your GPA high, both overall and your major. This is the first indicator a recruiter will look at.

2. Join a business fraternity to get exposure to professionals from multiple firms and companies.

3. Attend any optional events to continue to get exposure to the professionals and build your relationships. Networking is key and the earlier you start the better.

4. Try to get a prior job or internship. It doesn't have to be in accounting, but is a plus. These are great experiences to draw on in an interview.

5. Attend Career Fairs and Meet the Firms. When you attend these events, have a well thought out 1 page resume which includes when you want to intern (Winter or Summer 20XX), which line of service (audit or tax), and your location preference if known. When you meet a professional at each firm, have a short introduction prepared about who you are and what you are looking for. The recruiter will be making a snap judgement on whether to continue to pursue you, as hundreds of resumes will be received.

6. If you receive an interview, showcasing your personality is key. Interviewers will be looking for both quality answers and someone who they want to work with in the same room all day, everyday. Come with questions to ask as the interviewer too.
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Cristina’s Answer

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Hi Victoria! I am currently working as an audit intern for one of the Big Four firms. There are various ways to secure an internship in one of the Big Four. Preparation is key. I highly recommend doing your research on the company which you are applying for. In regards to the internship application, reaching out to your career counselor is a good start. Also, Google is very informative to help you find the link to apply. In regards to interview preparation, practicing your responses to various interview questions can be beneficial including small talk. Some interview questions include what are you biggest strengths, can you tell me more about yourself, etc. One last note when it comes to resumes, I wouldn't stress too much about whether having a low GPA determines whether you get a position. Just being yourself goes a long way to securing an internship. I hope this helps!
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James’s Answer

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Hi Victoria,

Getting an internship in public accounting requires a few prerequisites. One for example is a strong GPA. I would recommend aiming for a 3.5 or better to ensure you're in the running for an internship interview. The second prerequisites would be attending career fairs and doing some of the pre internship programs. For PwC, they have a Elevate program I did as a sophomore that allowed me to get an internship offer for the following summer.

Hope this is helpful!
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Lauren’s Answer

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Your best shot is to work through the campus recruiting and career development office at your university. If this is not well developed, you can always go out to each of the big 4’s websites and submit applications online.

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Kaelynn E.’s Answer

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Aside from having a good GPA, I think the key factor is networking. This encompasses your communication skills, connecting with people from all backgrounds, and really gathering experiences that will show you can bring something different to the table. People skills are everything in this business!
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Justin’s Answer

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Hi Victoria,

Personally what helped me was joining accounting related organizations. Joining organizations allow you to strengthen your networking skills, interview skills, and grow your network. Many professionals at big four firms were also at one point a part of accounting organizations themselves, so it is a great talking point when networking. Best of luck on your career!
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Michelle’s Answer

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Hi Victoria,

I previously interned at a Big Four and now I work full-time for them. When I was student, I believe there are a few key items that helped with my success of landing an internship. I recommend attending as many networking events possible. It is not only important to show your interest in the firm by attending events, but I think they are very important for you to understand how each firm works and how each firm is like. Although I believe that GPA is important for recruiting, I also believe in being actively involved in your extracurriculars. I would strive for leadership roles as well. When, you receive an interview, make sure to practice behavioral interview questions and for some roles, there will be case interview questions.
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Ryan’s Answer

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Hi,

I'm currently about to intern at a Big 4 company myself and some advice would be

1. Study and work hard GPA isn't everything but it can make a big difference
2. Go out to their recruitment events so that you can learn more about those companies and show your interest in them
3. Get involved in some student organizations to show leadership and your involvement in the community
4. Connect with people on Linkedin or reach out to alumni and seek advice on how they got there
5. Once you get the interview be yourself
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Lola’s Answer

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Hi Victoria,

It is so great that you are interested in the internship opportunities within the Big 4. I want to say that you are doing a great job in being proactive and seeking for an advise from people who have gone through this process. I am currently doing an internship at PwC and this is one of the wonderful experiences I have had. In order to successfully receive internship offers, I would highly encourage you to network with professionals in your field as well as the Big 4 professionals. Networking is an integral part of the recruitment process, in addition to online research through company websites and other internet sources. Through networking, you can acquire more detailed information, advice and referrals to learn about accounting profession, the recruiting/interview process, and other career-related information. Moreover, networking provides access to information from direct sources and helps you confirm or contrast the information provided on the internet. While networking, one important tip is I would suggest to learn to assess the information and advice that you receive from others given the
experience, perspectives and biases they may have. Learn to filter out misconceptions and misinformation, and distinguish between fact
and opinion. Networking ideally is a relationship building process and I encourage you to build professional relationships as much as you can. Also, Big 4 recruiters look at your grades. Try to do well in all of your classes and maintain a high GPA. To become a competitive candidate try to be involved in extracurricular activities outside of your classes. Demonstrating that you can manage extracurricular activities along with maintaining a high GPA will definitely get the recruiters attention. I hope this helps and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
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Robert’s Answer

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Hi Victoria!

Awesome to hear that you are interested in interning in public accounting! Most professionals will tell you that public accounting is a great place to start your career.

As many others have said, attending recruiting events is a great way to become more familiar with the firms. While the Big 4 do mostly the same work they all do it slightly different and their cultures are unique. For these reasons, learning about each firm is a good idea to make sure that you choose the one that suits you best.

In addition, update your resume with relevant work experience, coursework, and volunteer activities that will help you to stand out among other applicants. Recuiters may need to use your resume to get to know you before they meet you so try your best to make a good first impression.

Best of luck!!

Robert recommends the following next steps:

  • Attend recruiting events even if they're virtual!
  • Update your resume
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Ashley’s Answer

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Hi Victoria,
Great question.

A few things to keep in mind as you start the process to secure an internship with a Big 4 Firm:

1) GPA- make sure that you are performing well in the classroom. That is the reason you are at school. The more competitive your GPA, the more opportunities will be available to you.

2) Outside of the classroom. While GPA and academics are important, employers also find it attractive when students are involved outside of the classroom. What school clubs are you a member of? Are you a tutor? What jobs have you done during the summer months or during the school year? Even better...have you had a leadership role in any of those jobs/extracurriculars. It's great to be invovled on campus, it's AWESOME if you are part of the Eboard or led a workstream.

3) Network- Understand when the firms are going to be on campus. This is usually promoted through Career Services, Faculty or clubs on campus. Keep going to events, build a relationship with the recruiter/staff that come to campus. The more events you attend, the more connections/relationships you start to build. Imagine getting to an interview, and already knowing the person on the other side of the table!!

4) Linked-in/social media: If you don't have a profile, I would recommend creating one. Firms do a lot of content sharing on LI or social media. This is a great way to read what they are posting and understand the firms culture,business ,etc. This is where you can start educating yourself on the companies that might be a fit for you. If one of the firms you are interested in don't have an active presence, this is a great way to understand timelines, deadlines, etc.

5) Resume: Make sure that you are resume is good to go.

6) Early ID Programs: Understand the different types of programs that the Big 4 offer, and figure out how you can get involved!

Best of luck!
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Kathryn’s Answer

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Hi Victoria! I would definitely recommend applying for each firms' leadership program. This is a program that you can attend the year before an internship, and typically you can interview for an internship position as a part of this program. The leadership programs provide great insight into what each firm has to offer - and if you do multiple programs - it is a great way to get to know people at each firm and figure out which firm culture is a good fit for you.

Best of luck!
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