Is a big 4 internship a complete joke?

Tallfinanceguy's picture
Rank: Baboon | 139

I am currently interning at a bank the summer before my final year of undergrad, and have many peers working internships for the big 4. I have heard stories of them getting paid 30/hr for doing absolutley no work, getting to "work" from home whenever they want, and some even got this entire week off for July 4th. Do these companies just baby their kids? Is there any value of these students in spending their summers doing this. Looing for confirmation that I am spending my time more wisely then them lol. Thanks yall

Comments (39)

Jul 2, 2019

Whole point of a big 4 internship is for the company to make themselves look good, then offer the interns jobs before going back to school. Essentially lock them up to replenish their audit ranks.

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Jul 3, 2019

No joke, when I started there, out of 30 people in my class, only 2 of us (myself included) weren't interns there.

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Jul 2, 2019

large % of big 4 employees in the 1st 3 years quit...these companies have over 200k employees each..and maybe 5% quit every year....so they need to hire A LOT of people...they need to hire 10k people every year. That's a lot of people. The BBs all combined hire less than that.

just google it...you're welcome

Jul 4, 2019

5%? Come on, that is not even the drain that a big corporation faces.
At the Big 4 I used to work at, 17% quit during the last year I was there, and that was the lowest ratios of the other Big 4 (in my country)

Jul 2, 2019

So is there any point in even trying to pursue a career at a big 4 firm if there is just going to be such a high turnover rate that you may just end up leaving the job after a year or two? seems crazy to me

Jul 2, 2019

You actually get pretty good training there; more importantly, everyone knows you get good training there, so you're easier to hire.

Its also "not" a bad job right out of college. You get to do some traveling, be with people your own age, and see some stuff. Once you get a grander view of the landscape its not as great, but it sets a firm foundation. It is IB/PE/ER/AS, no, but its better than most other jobs. For some its actually their best option. All in all, definitely better for a 22 year old than other options on the lower side of the range.

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Jul 4, 2019

you said it all.
I came in as a Senior Manager and thought it was quite a shitty place and left after two years. But as a junior I would have enjoyed it much more.

Also take into considerations that Audit is probably the best way to get good accounting knowledge quickly, on top of the training you get there.

Jul 2, 2019

If you get a masters in accounting (takes 1 year) your big 4 starting salary is about 10k higher (60k vs 70k)...so that pays for itself in 2 years. You get regular raises in accounting...in 10 years, if you stay at the big 4, you'll be making around 250k..another 5 years to make partner where you'll make around 500k+....and then eventually you retire with a partner pension (assume half your avg salary...so 300k for life). Its a longer road to make the big money vs IB...but lots of people don't get a shot to do banking because there are only so many open positions every year...and so big 4 accounting is a viable alternative to make a good living for a lot of people.

just google it...you're welcome

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Jul 2, 2019

That's pretty much the trade off, stay at the big 4 long enough you can make partner, but most don't, its a tough road. I think only about 2% of people who start there make partner.

Jul 2, 2019

yes, but that's not because they can't...its because a majority leave after 1, 2, 3, 4+ years to go into industry....which is an easier life (no busy season with 18 hour days...etc..). Just about anybody who is at a big 4 in NYC for ~10 years can move to a lower tier city and make partner immediately, and then retire in 5 years for the pension. Most don't choose that path, which is why its available.

just google it...you're welcome

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Jul 2, 2019

My friend got HOOKED UP working as an Intern at EY this summer... he has the glamorous position of taking paperclips out of files all week long

Jul 2, 2019

who cares... worry about yourself... count your bank account in 10 years if you need a pat on the back... the person not in finance may have more...

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Jul 2, 2019

BIG4 TAS internship is for example in Germany a starting point for IB career. There are no real targets and it is almost impossible to get BB/EB as your first internship.

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Jul 4, 2019

Similar down under in Australia. Big 4 internships pre-BB are incredibly common. Very rare to land BB SA roles without having Big 4 and/or boutique internships to leverage.

Jul 2, 2019

From what I understand, Big 4 interns work 12+ hours a day, including on Saturdays, and get $30+ and hour base, plus overtime. Pretty good for BS work.

  • topboy
  •  Jul 3, 2019

Nobody summering at my B4 worked anywhere near 12 hours a day.

In at 9, out at 6 (latest). This was in Deals/TAS/M&A NYC.

Jul 3, 2019

sounds awesome tbh. can see why you'd want to move eventually but those hours are great. I think its crazy how collapsing isn't unusual at some other places.

Jul 3, 2019

summers are what you make of them....

Summer 1 Wealth Management
Summer 2 Credit Analyst
Summer 3 Sales/Trading

Started in a s/t at a bb post college

Summer 1 - learned what i didn't want to do and also learned a lot about our clients and that you can make money in a number of ways

Summer 2 - i actually learned a ton and developed the work ethic that i would need to excel in the corp world.. i also learned that office politics are real and getting ahead is not only how good you are but what track management wants you to be on

Summer 3 - knew first week this is what i wanted to do with my life or until someone told me to go home

so every journey is different but worry more about yours than your classmates

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Most Helpful
Jul 3, 2019

Oh look at this summer intern at a bank shitting on Big 4 summer interns. Kid, you are nothing and whatever work you are doing means nothing. You are a glorified secretary until you are VP and actually selling. Get off your high horse.

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Jul 3, 2019

Another important component of B4 internship and 1st yr is you are put on a client team and are client facing very early in your career. That's a big deal. Assuming most leave (just like most leave IB in a few yrs), you have lots of client exposure during your brief stint. Very common exit is to industry at a client but at a higher level had you spent the same time at that client directly out of UG.

Know many who have done quite well within corp fin groups (including some CFOs) . Most credit their B4 experience as a great launching pad.

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Jul 3, 2019

my thoughts exactly during the past few weeks. I don't think I'll be able to get into IB straight after grad so Audit seems like a decent place to be. Virtually every other option is sitting at a desk and doing mundane work (too mundane, even for entry level). They will pay for your CPA/ACCA/ACA or whatever, which is quite valuable. I assume you would learn a lot and every CFO I've met has the qualification. Combined with CFA, you could be in a great position when you're 25-26 years old. Add a masters and a 9-5 has you set for life..

People shit on Big 4 and other opportunities like wealth management because of the chasing prestige mentality in WSO. And the fact that a large portion of members come from families that are very well-off, hence such opportunities don't appeal to them.

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Jul 3, 2019

Has there ever been a demographics poll of this site? Are most members well-off?

Jul 4, 2019

I'd add a different perspective to your last point. Big 4 and PWM are like death sentences to me, and I resent the hell out the prestige rat race. Those areas just simply aren't at all why I came to the industry. I'd rather do something in another industry that's more relevant to my taste in job function than do Big 4 or PWM or even CF for that matter. Plenty of other people prefer it, and that's great for them. We're all a bit different. But yeah, fuck those prestige people.

JUST DO IT. Don't let your memes be dreams.

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Jul 3, 2019

OP, welcome to the start of the cycle of abuse you are being indoctrinated with in IB.

Intern: "Look at those guys over there: Having a life outside of work, not being fearful of their manager, actually taking time off" "What losers!"

First Yr Analyst: "Yo, our intern just asked to take time off during their internship, I never did that as an intern" "What a loser"

2nd Yr Analyst: "Yo, our first year analyst just took a vacation, I didn't do that my whole first year. I guess these analysts don't know work ethic" "What a loser"

Years down the road Existential Crisis Banker: "I was the loser"

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Jul 3, 2019
Tallfinanceguy:

I am currently interning at a bank the summer before my final year of undergrad, and have many peers working internships for the big 4. I have heard stories of them getting paid 30/hr for doing absolutley no work, getting to "work" from home whenever they want, and some even got this entire week off for July 4th. Do these companies just baby their kids? Is there any value of these students in spending their summers doing this. Looing for confirmation that I am spending my time more wisely then them lol. Thanks yall

you sound salty af lol

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Funniest
Jul 4, 2019

"Is there any value of these students in spending their summers doing this." pls fix grammar errors in this sentence, enlightened one. i expect to have your revisions on my desk by the morning, but don't work too hard.

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Jul 5, 2019

The busy season ends in June so they don't have much work for interns to do . Also a lot of the workers go on vacation during that time as well. I have had an internship in Big 4 for a few summers now, I work in Financial Advisory luckily we have work all year around. I feel like I have learnt a lot about finance. I do however hear a lot of the interns who work in Audit always saying they dont have any work to do most of the time. It would be more useful to have interns work during the busy seasons but we are in school.
They do have some programs were they will take on students who are graduating, during the busy season to help out with work. Also we dont get any weeks or days off besides public holidays. And you are not allowed to work from home. If you take vacation or sick days it is unpaid so it is not worth taking a sick day every Monday. I have had a completely different experience and I wouldn't say they baby us at all. They have like one or two team building days just for the interns but that is about it.

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Jul 5, 2019

technically..."busy season" for the big 4 tax
is from Feb 15-->April 15 (initial returns)
and then from Aug 15-->Sept 15 (extensions) (some go as late at Oct 15...but this is rare).

So, thats 3 months out of the year that you work 18hr days, and sleep 6 hrs, and thats ALL you do...period, 7 days a week.

Then another 3 months of the year you work 12-14 hour days (8am-8/10pm)...and then another 3 months where work is slow and you have a more "normal" 9-5...and then 3 months where it is super slow and lots of people take vacation, goto conferences, etc.... Its not that structured....but if you measure how busy people are on a day by day basis...this is how it averages out at the big 4.

just google it...you're welcome

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Jul 6, 2019

Summers are very laid back in big four, unless you're on a 6/30 YE client. I feel bad for the interns because they're just a burden to the team as we don't have work for them (and we don't have much work to do ourselves).
On the other hand, doing a Big 4 internship in the winter is much more representative of what the job is like, plus interns get overtime pay.
So, I don't think it's more of a joke than other types of internships, but summer just isn't the best time for a big four internship if you want to be busy.

Jul 7, 2019

why do you care what other people are doing? worry about yourself

Jul 7, 2019

I bring my interns to client meetings and give them work that would otherwise be sent to India or I would be doing myself. The only value-add to the firm is that we get 7 weeks to figure out if someone sucks and not give that person who put on a great facade in an interview a job.

Jul 7, 2019
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Jul 7, 2019