Updating Results

PwC

4.0
  • > 100,000 employees

Tony Cui

We get to learn about new clients, understand how different sectors operate and what people in different organisations do.

Where did you grow up? Important stages of your life (school, education, experience abroad, jobs etc.)

I grew up in China, completed my early education in Singapore and came to Australia to pursue my tertiary education. Over the years, I’ve lived in different cities which have been an absolutely amazing experience. While studying, I’ve also actively participated in various volunteer opportunities, clubs and societies, exchange programs and a diverse range of part-time jobs.

How did you get to your current job position? For how long have you had it?

I applied through the Graduate program in 2018 and joined the firm in January 2019.

How did you choose your specialisation (compared to others)? / Were you weighing up any other alternatives before choosing this specialisation?

I actually started to pay close attention to PwC since the early days of my Bachelor’s degree. Since then, I’ve always been drawn towards the firm for its reputation and culture. I often followed news about PwC and read through recent publications and reports by the firm. I actually passed by the PwC building every day when travelling to university on the Cragainburn line when I was studying in Melbourne. Really loved the gorgeous building :)

I joined Assurance in PwC for various reasons. One of them being that it allowed me to gain exposure to various industries and companies, and insights about their operations. Personally, I like to think critically and pay close attention to detail, which I believe, are attributes that aligned perfectly to this role as well. 

What was your interview process like? What kind of questions were you asked?

The process started with an online application, where I had to submit some basic information about myself, such as my education background, employment history, interests and hobbies and so on. I then received an invite to take the online assessment. After this, the next step was the digital interview, where I’d like to respond to three pre-recorded questions. The questions were pretty general, such as why I applied to the firm and why this specific role. After successfully completing my digital interview, I was then invited to a Career Jam - an immersive assessment day with two components. In the morning, we took part in a group activity, then in the afternoon, we had a one-on-one interview with a partner. 

What does your employer do?

PwC is one of the world’s leading professional services organisations, often referred to as one of the “Big Four”. PwC works with various clients from different sectors, such as business, government agencies and communities, and industries such as real estate, telco, utilities. We build trust in society by working together to solve important problems. The firm provides different lines of services such as assurance, consulting, deals, tax and more to be able to holistically assist businesses and clients.

What are your areas of responsibility?

I actually started in our Adelaide office where I’d the opportunity to work on a diverse range of projects in financial assurance, risk assurance, digital trust and so on. We’re usually brought onto a project as part of a bigger team, varying from three to six team members. My role varies a lot depending on the project I’m assigned to and as a consultant one of my key roles is to support the team with audit tasks.

Can you describe a typical workday? What was the last thing you worked on?

Here at PwC, we embrace flexible working. For example, depending on the nature of work and client we’re working on, we have the flexibility to choose our working hours and can work from home if it suits for the day. What a typical day looks like depends entirely on the project and the stage of that project. For example, the last project I worked on was an internal audit where I looked at internal controls implemented by an organisation and assessed how the risks were recognized and mitigated by the organisation. This involved doing walkthroughs with clients, understanding documents including policies and procedures, performing tests and so on.

What are the career prospects with your job? / Where could you or others in your position go from here?

One of the greatest things about working at PwC is that we gain exposure to various industries and expertise. This is not only because we work with clients from diverse industries, but also because the firm really invests in its people and their growth. For example, I am extremely passionate about digital innovation and disruption and PwC also recognizes “digitise our core” as one of the firm's strategic pillars. We recently launched the Digital Accelerator Program, is the first in the industry, aiming at upskilling our digital skills and I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the first cohorts of digital accelerators. I am given the gift of time, training, support and flexibility to implement digital solutions to streamline our audit tasks and improve the efficiency of our current practices. I feel truly excited about this program as it empowers me to embrace new technology and the digital revolution that lies ahead.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Absolutely. This is another great thing about working at PwC because we embrace diversity in all forms. My team members come from various backgrounds such as law, engineering, data scientists, arts and so much more. It is lovely to work with a group of remarkable people from different backgrounds, to share our insights and to learn how different people think and approach a problem.

What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?

Really not so sure about this one. I might be working in the finance industry or a technology firm given my background.

What do you love the most about your job? Which kind of task do you enjoy the most?

It is really the opportunity to work on something new every day that I enjoy the most. We get to learn about new clients, understand how different sectors operate and what people in different organisations do. For example, my most recent client was a government organisation and I am truly touched by the passion people share to help the less fortunate people in our society. I see how my colleagues work hard to assist clients and provide the help that they need. 

What’s the biggest limitation of your job? Do you bear a lot of responsibility? Do you have to work on weekends? Are stress levels high?

Given the nature of my work, there are inevitably busy seasons, which means that we can get busy during those periods. I’ve occasionally put in some extra hours outside normal working hours. Especially during this time, I may find myself juggling with different jobs, which I find particularly challenging. But I am e getting better at multitasking, which I believe is an important skill.

PwC does provide strong support in various ways, especially during busy periods. What I appreciate most is the care and thoughtfulness, such as the initiative on R U OK day, where dogs were brought into our office to help us reduce stress levels. 

Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current university student? They don’t necessarily have to be related to your role or even be career-focused.

  • Study hard. Just not too hard.
  • I truly benefited a lot from the diverse range of activities I participated in, such as volunteering, travelling, starting a student association and doing part-time jobs. These broadened my horizons and the skills I learnt are also relevant in the workplace.
  • Get as much work experience as possible because spending a few weeks with a company through an internship or part-time work is a really good way to get an idea of what it is like to work in a certain industry. It also helps you consider if that’s something you see yourself doing in the long term.