Does MSc Finance and Econometrics will help me to land in big 4?


Let me give some info about me

  1. BSc Financial Economics, London Metropolitan University, 2:1
  2. MSc Finance and Econometrics, Queen Mary- UOL, Exam results 66%, writing dissertation.
  3. International student just got HSMP.
    Both of my degrees have lot of economics and financial markets plus lot of statistic and mathmetical courses. Now I want to go for ACA and want to work in Middle East. I am planning to join Assurance graduate program in big 4. (PWC top on the list as it is more active in middle east). I really need some advice. Please give me some tips; I am going through webs of companies and wiki as well. Thanks


apply for graduate scheme at BIG4 now. I am sure you will be alright. ACA might take longer to finish. good luck


But quicker than PhD(no way hehehe) which is my second option in case.


you might want to get into investment banking? that should be your third option if you do PhD. good luck. do it in math or stat/econometrics. good luck


Hate IB, plus you can be sacked any time, if traders done some mistake.


My experience of doing graduate recruitment within a Big4 firm - no need to have an MSc or PhD, or even a finance-related degree. They just want a 2:1 in any discipline then it’s getting through the tests and interviews. They are careful to recruit diverse workforce these days, not a bunch of finance-clones (who might be great but potentially all similarly-minded).


What if you did your degree outside EU and did MSc in the UK. will they still be looking for undergrad results or will they focus on UK MSc?
They need people who fit in their learning environment. Yes you are spot on about Finance-clones. Even investment banks have the same requirement.


What if you did your degree outside EU and did MSc in the UK. will they still be looking for undergrad results or will they focus on UK MSc?
They need people who fit in their learning environment. Yes you are spot on about Finance-clones. Even investment banks have the same requirement.


If you need a work permit, they are limited and you should apply early. If you worried about places being full up, I would also advise being flexible as my experience is that it’s easy to transfer departments and do secondments once you’re in, though the credit crunch is affecting some advisory departments. As far as I know they look at the UK equivalent if you have a non-UK degree, but I’m sure that specific point is addressed on the company websites. If not, just email graduate recruitment and ask them. There should be an email address on the websites - they give out the graduate recruitment email address at all the events they do. Whoever answers the email will simply know about KPMG/EY/Pwc/Deloitte recruitment policy (i.e. your question wouldn’t be linked to your application or interviewer later down the line, ask all the ‘stupid’ questions you want. If you ask something job specific they might forward it on to someone in that department.) But anyway, you’re already doing your MSc - they won’t need you to wait till you’ve completed it to apply.


Apply early. Without a doubt. Apply now and get it out of the way. It can take 6-8 months to go from application form to starting day, so it’s important to make sure you get the ball rolling ASAP.

Do you want to work in the Middle East now, or do you want to qualify here (i.e. spend at least 3 years working in the UK doing your [[ACA]])?


I want to get qualified in UK. I have an interview coming up with Mazars Dubai. Problems am facing are

  1. No ACA (ICAEW) tuition provider in UAE.
  2. Have some debt in UK, and am sure will be not able to clear in 3 or 4 months.
  3. Accounting firms in UK have much bigger client than Middle east. e.g. If i work on LTSB or Barclay audit with PWC then I can handle any firm in UAE.
    So will see and now as the date for 2008 work permit application are closed (I successfully got an HSMP which I requested to be stamped in end of September, may be give me an edge, Used my previous work experience from Back home as Financial analyst). The only option I can see is 2009 session. Already prepared answers for online application so, will submit my application on 1st day (mean 1st OCt)


I’d be very interested in hear how your Mazars Dubair interview goes! …I wonder if it will be the same as their UK interview process…


Don’t think so, may be some competency based but interviews in that part are completely. But will give details tomorrow.


I’ve heard some funny things about interviews given by firms from the Middle East. And also about working over there… I’m sure Mazars is different though, as it’s actually a French firm. Good luck anyhow…!


Mazars Dubai offered position as Junior Auditor, No stupid question just team work leadership one question each. Number of questions about Education degree. Why ACA. Age is factor in Middle east and South east Asia question raised am 25 but when talked about my financial analyst role back home sorted. Offer will be with me in 2-3 days . Person who interviewed me is Managing director (was a nice guy, eased me a lot, due to above remarks I was confused, but he started with London weather, then Oman’s and Dubai) he worked for deloitee, he explained me some benefits of working out side big 4. Didn’t asked about salary as he didn’t spoked about that (let wait for contract). So thats all guys. I didn’t knew Mazars in UAE are the 2nd biggest accounting firm there. He told me and asked me check on Gulf time (was not a question just came when chatting about Mazars is). So know some of you can give me some good advise as you always do, what to do next to take accept there offer do ACA then join PWC, EY, KPMG or deloitee in Dubai as start date is set to 15th of September on my request. Now your comments are welcomed.


Seems to me (at a Big4) a lot of people leave when they’re qualified and a lot of new people are therefore recruited from smaller firms (even much smaller than Mazaars) so you shouldn’t have a problem… but I’m just a newly qualified so not sure how reliable my empirical evidence is.


This quote is somewhat relevant to the thread and I thought I’d paste it here:
In 2008, for those AGR employers who are prepared to pay an education premium for a postgraduate qualification, around two-thirds would pay a premium for PhD graduates, offering a median amount of around £6,500, whereas a Masters degree would attract a median premium of £3,508, and an MBA is worth £12,000 to some employers.

This quote is from Prospects. AGR employers are the big boys (Association of Graduate Recuiters).