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PwC & Me

Updated: Jul 27, 2020

Here are some of my biggest takeaways from interning in the firm's Cyber Security & Privacy Advisory line.

Taking on Responsibility & Fast

When I first began my six month co-op at the firm, I knew that this internship would shed some light on what it meant to work as a consultant. I had not only interviewed with cyber consultants, but they also let me know I would be working side by side with a team of consultants. I was ecstatic and in my first month, I learned about taking on responsibilities.

Every person I had the opportunity to work with showed me the extraordinary level of individual responsibility they held. My team trusted each other and I think that was a direct result of this. People at PwC know that there's work to be done and that it will get done. Once I had gained the trust of my team through hard-work and demonstrated to them that I could take on the responsibility of the work, I felt that I myself could begin to accept more. Once that happened, the workload (and responsibility) picked up fast.

The experience showed me that a lot of what consulting is or at least what it requires are people who are willing to jump in, take on the responsibility of a project, get it done right, and take on the next.

Learn to Recover

Learning to recover may have been my most important lesson at PwC and something I still struggle with. No one likes to make mistakes or fail, but sometimes it's inevitable. While I was at the firm, I made mistakes and I remember feeling terrible when I did. Other people were relying on me, I was also acting as the face of the company and didn't want to let down our clients. However, a colleague of mine helped me to understand that, yes, I may have messed up, but the best thing I could do for myself and for everyone else was to accept and recover. That meant I had to own up to what I had done, and then take action to try and resolve it.

I understood that nothing good would come of my sulking or self-loathing. I had to quickly move on from failure in order to continue doing great work. This isn't as easy as it may sound and to this day it can be difficult, but the important lesson here is that we try to learn to recover.

Talking to Your Colleagues is Vital

I'm sure most of you have always been told that communication is key in any workplace or for that matter in any situation, but let me emphasize the importance of it. The greatest asset that this firm gave me was its people.

By talking to my co-workers every day and striking up a conversation about how our weekends went, or whatever was going on in our lives, I felt good about working with them. Knowing I could communicate with them well and connect with them made me want to help them, deliver good work, and overall be on good terms. I think that mutual respect and empathy result when you know someone better, and I also believe that a healthy work environment has to have those two qualities.

It's worth noting that communication is also the key to conflict resolution and problem-solving. If I ever had a question about anything, I knew that I could ask just about anyone on my team (or in my network) and that they would be more than willing to help me. This was key for me as an intern because I never felt lost or alone while working for PwC. My team was always in communication with me and that has made all the difference.

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