Any advantages for graduate PwC April Start?

Headstart
#1

Ok I have finished my degree and am available for either April or Sept start (London). I applied for Sept as April was approaching fast and there were fewer vacancies at the time on website, didn’t want to compromise my chances. Anyway, at my first interview I was asked if I would be interested in the April start, I agreed that would be fine if the choice was available (just incase they turn around and say no Sept places left!).

My question is… apart from simply getting on with it, are there any advantages for starting in April? will I get a headstart at attending College or doing the ACA exams? any people with experience starting in April?

Wouldn’t mind doing some traveling instead but if the April start would be beneficial to my career am happy to do that.

#2

so sorry for creating this post so many times… computer messed up:(

#3

Hello,

I was in a similar position to you, so there are a few things that I would say. Like you I was told at my first interview that the April start was a possibility, but at the time was planning to go travelling if and when I secured a job. I was eventually offered the job, and have now decided to change my plans and start work next month. I had been considering the issue for a week, and finally made the decision today. I had quite a long conversation with a recruitment officer this afternoon, so the issues are still fresh in my mind.

I have to say that the main reason for the switch was my personal finances: in the end I worked out that travelling would work out as too expensive, and that I wouldn’t be able to earn enough in a short enough space of time to make a trip worthwhile. Saddling myself with a loan was unappealing, and in the end unrealistic (unsecured personal loans for travelling are not so hot with banks right now). My decision was made in part by circumstances.

On the other hand there are a few factors that may impact on your experience. The first one is that you’re limited in your choice of divisions: the reason they’re desperate for people to start in April is that their Banking and Capital Markets (BCM) division is understaffed due to all the administration work they have on at the moment. There’re no other oppotunities on the table, so you need to weigh up whether you want to go into BCM.

Personally I think it’ll be an interesting division for the next few years, but you might not… That’s an argument to do with your overall business acumen, and what you want from the job. On top of this the hours in BCM are long when things are busy, and there is less variety than in the Top (LTT) and Middle (LMT) divisions. That said, though, if you want top tier you need to remember that it’s massively competitive, and I was told that because my application was relatively late in the cycle I probably wouldn’t get into LTT in September.

In terms of ACA and studying, the recruitment officer I spoke to said she thought April starters were better placed for performance in their exams. The structure of the cycle is exactly the same so you would be sitting exams within the first month of starting there. The difference is that when you start in September your exams get going right in the middle of busy season (the few months around Christmas) which makes it harder to focus on the task in hand. By contrast April starters get going on theirs during the summer, when things are a bit more chilled out.

The places in PwC are apparently filling up quickly. They’re now in the process of closing off their September recruitment, but if you’re now through to an Assessment centre you should be OK: I was told the decisions made at that stage are not made according to supply and demand but on merit (although I took this with a pinch of salt - at some point they surely have to be…). That said if you’re good enough they’ll make the decision on the basis of your merit, and try to fit you in where possible.

I don’t think there’s a huge amount in it, you pretty much end up doing the same thing. Most of my circumstances pointed towards the decision I made, which made my choice easier. Ultimately I don’t think your should worry about affecting your chances of getting in, and more on what your circumstances are at the moment. I’m doing a shit job, not earning enough to fund my travels and have been itching to get stuck in; you might feel that you need to blow out for a few months before committing to three years of pretty hard work.

Either way I hope the information above is useful, let me know if there’s anything else I can help with.

Tony

#4

Do u guys know when the exact start date is for the April intake?

#5

Yeah the start date is the 6th April.

#6

Hi rawlinsa,

Thank you for letting me know. Is 6th April the only option? I know that there are 3 choices for Sep intake.

#7

It’s the only option I’ve been given. Apparently there are about 90 people starting in April, compared to 200 or so who start in September in London; it’s possible that there’s more than one start if their reason is just the logistics of getting a load of people started at the same time. If you’re considering bringing your contract forward, however, I’d say you’re limited to the one. Hope this helps…

#8

Thank you rawlinsa.

#9

Thanks Tony for the detailed response, it was most helpful! Yup I believe new applications are now closed for Sept intake… I have my assessment day on 4th March and just been considering the start dates outlined in first interview, if i’m fortunate enough to get the offer that is.

I think I would probably be interested in B&CM anyway. 90! thats a pretty good number starting in April, didn’t realise it was that high, or that there were 200 in sept for that matter. Anyone got any idea what the dates for Sept start are?

Pretty nervous for the partner interview! thankfully its PwC and they seem always friendly.

#10

I think there are 3 options for Sep intake: beginning of Sep, middle of Sep and one in Oct.

#11

I am going into B&CM too! Do you think is a good division? What are the career prospects?

#12

@missnewby: Great - look forward to meeting you in April. As I understand it BCM is PwC’s strongest division within the assurance l.o.s, and as I said above apparently the hours are long. If by career prospects you mean “is it particularly suited to a move into IB later in life” i think you could argue the toss, but the difference is probably marginal. it’ll be good from point of view of getting an understanding of the credit crunch from beyond the headlines, but the ACA qualification is more important than particular specialism. I don’t know, though, people with experience would be better placed to answer that one.

@Splinter: Don’t worry too much about the partner interview. mine was actually enjoyable and interesting, just make sure you really nail two examples for each of the competencies they outline in the assessment centre guidelines. and be relaxed, one of the things they’re looking for is whether they think you could do client facing work if you started tomorrow, a bit part of this is coming across a normal human being! you’ll find you’re more relaxed than you think you’ll be, as you start with the tests which I found disposed with most of my nerves. Good luck, get in touch i can help any more…

#13

@rawlinsa - looking forward to meeting you too! I think B&CM will be a really interesting place to work at the moment. Out of interest, have you received your joining instructions in the post? Mine haven’t arrived yet and I am a little worried…

#14

Yeah I have, they’ve been pretty efficient about it all. I got mine a couple of days after I said I’d change start dates over the phone. Do you know who your recruitment officer is (i was sent mine in an e-mail by the person who hosted my assessment centre)? If so get in touch with them and ask when they were sent. If you don’t know (as I didn’t for a while)who it is call the careers number (0808 100 1500) and they’ll arrange for someone to get in touch. Are you going to a joiners’ open day?

#15

ok thanks, i might get in touch with them. So does it tell us where to go on our first day and stuff? I think we have an event with grads from all over the country which sounds quite cool.

Yep, i went to one a couple of weeks ago. It was quite good…they just told us more about the ACA and other general info. Some recent grads came and spoke to us and everyone seemed really nice.

#16

guys get an offer first!! even at AC i remember someonoe saying only 1/3 people end up getting an offer! Places for audit in september are gone, however there are still many other vacancies open e.g. public sector audit etc, more so outside london. I hav my first interview in lndon nxt week!

#17

Hey all,
I’m starting PwC in April but still haven’t had the start date confirmed…it was suggested that it might be the 6th but because of easter they weren’t sure. I saw on here that rawlinska said this was definate…have you recieved paperwork to state this?? I’m worried about why I haven’t yet!
Anyone going to the meet and greet on the 31st March?

#18

Hi Embee16, I’m pretty sure we are starting on 6th April. At the open day they said that was definite.

I haven’t heard anything about the meet and greet. Did you receive information about that in the mail? I was sent an email last week saying that i would receive my joining instructions in the post shortly but I’ve not yet received them…

#19

ah might have got that wrong - I have my offer pack with the acceptance form + all the independence stuff as well. don’t have specific joining instructions i.e. on what to do on the first day, which is what you’re presumably on about.

RE the start date - I haven’t had the start date in writing, but equally hadn’t heard anything about it being uncertain. Everyone I’ve spoken to seems to think it’s the 6th, although we are supposed to be in college on the first Friday which is officially a bank holiday (Good Friday). I suppose we just wait and see - I’m going to the open day on the 3rd March so i’ll ask about it then and let you all know what they say.

@ missnewby: what’s the story with the dress code? it says business casual on the invite, but so did the interviews and obviously everyone turned up in suits. I suppose it’s the same for the open day…?

#20

splinter - check your personal messages for an answer to your question