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Summer 2017

Summer Diaries: PwC

July 1, 2017
- Soumya Ranjan

Making it there


Well, I wanted to get an internship as soon as possible, so that I wouldn’t have to rush to the TPO in borrowed formals for a whole semester, or possibly two. At the same time, I didn’t want to compromise on my interest areas. I became choosy and PwC was only the 4th company I applied to, after a long hiatus of two months following American Express, Goldman Sachs and ITC, three of which I botched on the 1st day itself after getting shortlisted. The company requires you to submit your CV (did I forget passport size photographs?) via the TPO and conducts a written test that is pretty “CAT-like”, consisting of Aptitude, Reasoning, and Verbal Sections. Thereafter, selected candidates are called for an interview. The main point is to focus on your CV. They will grill you on your CV, much like Gordon Ramsey in Hell’s Kitchen, and you need to justify everything that’s on it. Your interests are another area of focus as the field of work that will be assigned to you will depend on it. After this technical interview, there will be an HR interview, in which you just have to be yourself for some questions and lie with a straight face for others. As they recruit through official channels, you are not allowed to apply off campus. BUT, PwC does allow, in fact, encourages its employees to refer persons known to them. So if you have relatives in PwC, it’s probably time to renew old family ties. At the same time, do look for opportunities on their official website (https://www.pwc.in/).

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Work


A few insights into PwC as a firm. PwC is one of the “Big Four” accounting firms in the world and the biggest amongst them in terms of revenue and services provided. PwC India provides industry-focussed audit and assurance, consulting and tax services to public, private and government clients in all markets. Now, as you can imagine, such a diverse business model promises you a lot of exciting fields in every domain possible. I was selected for Technology Consulting which comes under Advisory group. As the name suggests, it provides solutions to various challenges faced by the clients in terms of adoption, acclimatization, and troubleshooting associated with new technology.

I was assigned to Enterprising Applications division. My work was to develop a mobile app. The app was based on the general safety of the user. I was asked to study the market dynamics of various safety apps currently present in the market and devise a frame for a fool-proof application that can be easily used on all mobile platforms. After that, I would have to use the phone’s sensors, without any add-on devices, to realize my ideas. Also, I had to work on a business strategy to pitch the unique features incorporated into my app.

A big misconception that people carry about working in a corporate world is the monotonous nature of the work. But believe me, with the right company and work culture you do not need to fear about that. The daily working hours were fixed and there were no rigid timings unless you had to face a client. My Project Manager was a chilled-out person and gave me a free hand on imagining and designing my app. Colleagues were super awesome with no air of superiority and you could even stroll into a Partner’s cabin for a small chat. So yes, the work environment was relaxed and you could seek anyone’s help without hesitation. Apart from regular work, you could participate in CSR initiatives to gain a broader perspective on life. Or you could just spend a day at the gym or challenge anyone for a game of table tennis or football. We also had a buddy attached to us who was supposed to take care of our daily problems and most importantly, take us out on a grand lunch. We had a CCD Coffee machine and unlimited snacks on each floor, so you would probably be caffeine addicted by the time you leave the internship. All in all, if you are looking forward to challenging yourself, you wouldn’t regret interning at PwC.

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What’s to love about the place?


Coming to the most important part of your internship program, the location. Honestly, I had applied for Bangalore and Hyderabad as my preferred locations but I received Kolkata, which by the way, houses the headquarters of PwC India. Let me assure you, Kolkata is absolutely the worst place to be in during summers. But as you will be in Air Conditioned rooms either at office or at home, you wouldn’t really mind that. Daily transportation was by auto rickshaws and if you feel like going to gym, but don’t have time, you can always hop onto a local bus. Kolkata, compared to other metros, is not an expensive city to live in. Being the erstwhile capital of British India, it houses lots of monuments, amusement parks, temples, museums and some amazing restaurants. The Bengali cuisine takes some time getting used to, especially if you are from North India, but you can expect a variety of cuisines in any metro city. You have amazing opportunities to visit Darjeeling, the Sunderbans and if you are feeling a bit adventurous, you can always pay a visit to Northeast India and Bhutan. I can guarantee you a fun stay in Kolkata at dirt cheap price.

Summing up


The greatest skill I learned from this internship is how to reinvent yourself as the situation demands. Summing up, internships are all about getting your hands dirty and meeting amazing people, who are considered giants in their field of work, and expanding your network. You should always approach them with an open mind and prepare yourself for the surprises and amazing challenges thrown your way. The best way to create an impression during an internship is to showcase your efforts and “never say die” attitude. Don’t bother slogging off extra hours but be prepared to justify every minute of your work. For people striving for such an internship, maintain a decent CGPA (> 7 will do in most cases) and have a life outside regular academics. Be involved in issues and fields you are interested in. After all, it’s not just about spending a summer and earning a stipend, it’s all about providing your life a direction.