Leveraging a Big 4 Internship


Hi guys.

I’ll try and keep this as brief as possible.
I’ve managed to secure an audit internship at a Big 4 firm for this summer and of as you can imagine, I’m over the moon about it. Now the plan is that I will enjoy my experience in audit and wish to take up a graduate position for the firm, assuming i was offered a full time place of course.

Now the thing that’s bothering me is that in the back of my mind, I’m still thinking about whether i should have applied for i-bank internships instead as i managed to get offers from all 3 of the Big 4 firms that I applied to. Now obviously, it would be silly to think that just because I secured audit offers from top PS firms, I would have a good chance at banks, but part of me seems to think that I might have had a shot. I had made the decision to only apply for accountancy and other professional service firms because I quite simply didn’t think i was was good enough. I’d never done any sort of interview before and had no application experience, and I guess i thought that accountancy would be alot easier to get into. I havn’t accepted the offer yet, but i don’t think there is going to be time to apply to banks now and i havn’t done much preparation for banking applications/interviews as i did for accounting.

So I guess my questions to you guys are all along the lines of what are the possible routes from here.

  • If I accepted the internship offer, and then turned down the firm’s graduate offer (again assuming i obtained an offer) in order to apply for i-banking graduate positions, would i be looked down upon by banks for choosing accounting first (or even at all) rather than a banking internship. ie: would they prefer me to have done no internship at all rather than accounting as it may show I am not fully decided.
  • At what point during/after the internship would I have to decide whether to accept a full time offer? I’m guessing it would be a bad idea to accept any such offer and then apply for graduate banking jobs in my final year, using the Big 4 offer as a back up and reneging on it if i got a full time banking offer.
  • If i accepted the internship offer, accepted the grad role (assuming i got it etc…) and then went on to complete my 3 year starting contract gaining the ACA, how hard would it be to then swich to the TAS or Corporate Finance servicelines of the firm? Obviously these areas are alot more closely related to banking and could possibly be used to show my interest in banking (if i still wanted to apply at that point).

I guess the overall point to this is that I’m worried that by doing this audit internship, I will set my future in stone as an accountant, which is something that I’m still not sure if i want to do.

Any advice, thoughts or similar experiences would be great.


Oh and a last question.

  • By accepting one of the Big 4 offers and therefore rejecting the other two, am i burning bridges and completely crossing off the chance to work for them in the future? I mean, they are going to know that I chose a different firm over them, so they probably won’t be able to trust my commitment to them in the future.