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The Professional Services Career Path: A Big Four Employee Perspective What is it like to work on the advisory side of a Big 4 firm? Typically, if there’s time to discuss and there’s mutual interest in the exchange, I’m immediately bombarded with a slew of follow-up questions like: What do you do exactly? I respect all of the Big Four firms, especially mine, a great deal but feel that the only way to offer up a truly unbiased perspective on the lifestyle is to provide genuinely candid insight.
Click to learn more I’m frequently asked by friends, family, clients, job candidates and random people I encounter on my travels what it’s like to work on the advisory side of a Big 4 firm. Its goal is not to solicit top talent or self-promote services offered or whatever other angles you might have running through your head right now.
As advisors to industry, we provide a valuable benefit, since large businesses are regularly confronted with a bevy of challenges that range from the commonplace, such as not having the internal subject matter experience needed in order to execute upon critical initiatives, to the less mundane, such as perhaps a regulatory mandate to leverage independent third-party consultation.
At its simplest form, “professional services” is an industry where firms like Ernst & Young provide clients with the right subject matter experience via resources at the right time and place and, of course, at the right price.
After some time contemplating the potential challenges that such a job would offer, I decided to pursue a chance opportunity to join the ranks of Ernst & Young LLP. Looking back, I feel as though the six years of professional experience I had accumulated prior to joining E&Y, although invaluable on many levels, simply did not hold a candle to the client exposure, professional networks and shear rapid-fire experiences afforded to me in my present capacity.
When I received answers to my inquiries from people in the profession, many of whom continue to this day to be my friends, I was intrigued.
This section is specific to Ernst & Young, but more than likely holds true for other firms in the Big Four.
The content intentionally touches on only two of the four divisions, since its purpose is to help further distinguish the concept of organizational groupings used in major professional services firms and to provide some practical perspective on their differences.