‘Just go for it’ - Starting a graduate career at PwC

  • Every year, PwC gives thousands of newly graduated students the chance to start their professional career within the company. With over 24,000 employees throughout PwC’s various UK offices, what is it really like to start out a professional career at one of the ‘Big Four’ companies in the UK?

    Three months after graduating from his Business Management Degree at Queen’s University Belfast in July 2019, Matthew Bell started his career with PwC. Nearly two years later, Matthew is now a Senior Associate in Technology Consulting within the company.

    Matthew first applied to PwC in the final year of his degree. After going through the application process and interview stage he was offered his first role in the company, starting a few months after his graduation.

    Although Matthew’s degree background in Business Management isn’t directly linked to his current Associate position, he tells us that there are a number of skills from his degree that are useful in his role now.

    Speaking to the Sync NI team, he says that the people management skills he learned during his time on his degree are really helpful in his current position, especially “when mixed with the technology related aspects” that he learned on the job at PwC.

    Matthew admits his degree was less relevant than some of his colleagues to his current technology role, with some of them having studied coding or science related degrees at university. However, he tells us this didn’t matter as “PwC trains you in the technology aspect” and the firm welcomes graduates from all degree disciplines.

    During his time at PwC, Matthew has had four different roles, all of which were with different clients and across different sectors. In the short space of 18 months, Matthew was promoted twice, which he says the company had already “mapped out” for him as part of their development framework.

    He tells us that as a graduate first starting off in the company, he knew that there was a good opportunity for career progression and “with each promotion, comes a pay rise, more responsibility and more opportunities.”

    Matthew says the variety of roles across different positions, allowing him to work on different projects was “very beneficial” as he didn’t really know what he wanted to do after graduating.

    Commenting on his career progression through the company, Matthew tells the team that with each new promotion he gained “experience and knowledge.”


    Matthew believes that PwC is a great place for new graduates to start their careers for a number of different reasons. Firstly, he focuses on the social aspect. He explains that a lot of people that join the graduate programme “are all similar in age” and that “you get a really good group of friends that you’ve joined with and you work with and then you come onto different projects with them.”

    Matthew also says PwC is a great place to work because there are opportunities for graduates no matter what degree background they come from. He tells the team: “I have a Business Management degree, there's people who have degrees in various languages, Computer Science, Geography, there's everything really.”

    However, Matthew says that no matter what background graduates come from, PwC is there to help guide and train them for their chosen role. He tells us: “I think that as a graduate it can be really daunting to look at the marketplace and decide where you want to go within that.” However, he says that at PwC, employees are trained in a variety of soft skills such as “ interacting with people and learning how to speak to clients.”

    Commenting on the extensive training that PwC provides for their graduates, Matthew says: “With graduates, you can get ten weeks training in a range of sectors, having come from a completely random degree, which gives you the ability to be able to go and speak to some of the top leading firms about their requirements and how you’re going to deliver solutions for them. I think that’s a really good place to be and I doubt very many other companies get the same amount of exposure to clients as well as experience to work with them that you get here.”

    Matthew's advice to other graduates thinking about applying to PwC is: “don't be intimidated by it.” As he explains: “ it can be very easy to look at one of the Big Four companies, one of the biggest accounting firms in the UK and think, am I good enough for that? And I know personally when I joined I was with people who have incredible backgrounds. You have people who went to Oxford or Cambridge and you have people that have done degrees focusing specifically on technology or coding, and so it’s very easy to compare yourself to them. But the thing is you come in and everyone gets given a blank slate, you get trained and you get the exposure and you work your way through it.”

    He also adds that PwC “don’t expect you to know everything and they do take the time to train you. You'll have all that training behind you and will be well equipped to go and work with clients.”

    Matthew concludes by encouraging other new graduates considering PwC after university to “just go for it.”

    To find out more about PwC’s graduate opportunities in Consulting, click here.

    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

    Got a news-related tip you’d like to see covered on Sync NI? Email the editorial team for our consideration.

    Sign up now for a FREE weekly newsletter showcasing the latest news, jobs and events in NI’s tech sector.

Share this story