Huge congratulations to Azan who finished his vacation scheme with PwC this summer. We managed to catch up with him before he heads home to Canada for some much deserved rest! In our catch up Azan told us all about his vacation scheme, what he had to do to get it and how he enjoyed the Bright Network FESTIVAL.
Why did you apply to PwC internship?
PwC are one of the Big Four and boast one of the largest legal networks in the world. The opportunity to have access to that magnitude of resources ensures an unparalleled level of support for the firms’ clients and employees alike. Additionally, the firm applies a multidisciplinary approach to legal matters, drawing on its accounting and tax departments to present a well-rounded solution to address both the commercial and legal needs of the client. This approach allows me to gain experience in multiple legal areas and develop my commercial understanding of client issues.
Did you find our Bright Network FESTIVAL useful?
If I’m being honest I probably would have never found out PwC had a legal vacation scheme if I hadn’t gone to your festival. I had visited all the law firms on the top floor and then decided to visit other booths afterwards. In doing so I got speaking to a PwC representative and when I mentioned I was an LLB student he told me about the PwC vacation scheme. Obviously, then for me the Festival was extremely useful, I also got to make a bunch of different contacts there who I still have on LinkedIn today. One of them was Sam Unsworth who gave a talk and was working for Skadden, he gave me a lot of great advice in particular!
What was the application process like?
There was an initial application form I had to fill out. After this, I had to fill out a verbal reasoning test followed by an inductive reasoning test. I then got invited to an assessment centre which had three stages. Firstly, we had to complete longer written versions of the two tests we had to do in the last stage. Next, we were assigned a case study. We were given 15/20 minutes to read over a package of information. We then had to write a response to the case study arguing why we think the company should take a certain course of action in this particular situation. Next, we had to carry out a group exercise. For those that successfully completed the assessment centre, progressed onto the next stage of the application process. The final stage consisted of two interviews, one with a manager and one with an associate.
What did you get up to on your vacation scheme with PwC?
The scheme was three weeks long and was rather challenging at times but extremely educational. I got the opportunity to work with lots of different teams and meet a bunch of the different departments at PwC. The first week I spent at the firm was with the Corporate team, where my duties were composed of drafting documents for a demerger, taking minutes in department meetings and carrying out due diligence for a potential acquisition. My second week was spent sat with the Banking & Finance team, where I was tasked with more drafting duties. I also had to review loan purchase agreements and debentures, proofreading initial drafts of the documents. In my final week, I was sat in the pensions department. This seat was more research intensive, and I compiled a report on index-linked gilts. I also researched different pension structures that a client could adopt and the legislative requirements they would need to satisfy to change the company’s defined benefit structure to a defined contribution structure. Throughout the scheme we were assessed on three different occasions too.
What three tips would you give to your fellow Bright Network members?
- Research thoroughly where you’re applying and what the firm’s role in the market is. If possible try and get a sense of where the firm is heading, what position will they be in in a few years time?
- Network, connect and interact with any professional out there who you can. Get people on LinkedIn, meet them at events like the Bright Network Festival get in touch with old friends or acquaintances who may already have jobs in firms, use all these resources as much as possible.
- Be optimistic and persistent, take feedback on board whenever you can and don’t feel too down if you get rejected because it is a really, very competitive field.
What was the hardest interview question you faced?
What are the skills a successful PwC lawyer has?