My favorite educational aspect of this abroad experience has been the weekly site visits organized by the professor of my International Business Issues course. Each Wednesday, my Pitt-led class has been able to take a trip out to a prominent organization, often a global industry powerhouse, and absorb information about the company, its operations and gain an overall vision of what its like to be an established player in the business world. The ability to converse and pick the brains of top-level executives has been invaluable to my education and the development of my career path, and truly grants me insight regarding the direction for which I wish my future to embark.
This past week’s visit was to PwC London. A Goliath in the accounting industry, PwC has served thousands of clients since its inception in 1998, providing professional services such as auditing, tax returns, and international tax reviews. Our visit consisted of two parts: a sit down meeting with two American directors working a temporary role here in London, and a tour of the office facilities.
I found our sit down meeting to be incredibly productive and beneficial. Being an accounting major myself, I was able to learn about what these particular directors deal with on a daily basis which allows me to ponder both areas I wish to pursue and areas I want to avoid, an enormously valuable experience in my stage of life and education. By sitting back and immersing myself in the abundance of information discussed and presented, I was able to receive hands-on, professional involvement in a big four accounting firm, which not many of my peers have the ability to say.
The office space itself was mesmerizing and unconventional; not what one would typically envision when picturing a globally iconic organization. It was incredibly modern and progressive as far as offices go, with top of the line amenities filling every corner and technological efficiencies allowing the space to run smoothly and productively. The amount of resources available to employees was mind-boggling. Countless private and collaborative spaces were available to book for both individuals and teams, and monstrous screens with up-to-date communications and analytical technology embodied a sense of pride that the corporation takes in their clients and in the productivity of their employees.
The overall sense I received from PwC is that they place tremendous emphasis on innovating and growing, and that it is a wonderful, though understandably challenging, environment to work in. Those that took the time to meet with us expressed how hard work and performance is rewarded, which is a perfect incentive-based system for an organization of this size whose livelihood relies on results. After this visit, I got the sense that this is the type of company that I wish to work for and truly provides a personal motivation for my next few years of undergraduate school. In reiteration, these site visits have been the most interesting and helpful facet of my education thus far and has assisted tremendously in preparing myself for my future career.