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Big 4 v F500

First a Disclaimer:  I realize this question has been asked a thousand times with varying circumstances and similar conclusions but I would appreciate some help from those who have experienced different accounting career paths and can help me make the best decision.

I graduate in May and have two job offers to choose from.  The first is as a staff general accountant (funtional accounting department) at a middle of the pack in terms of size F500 company.  I have interned at this company for two semesters and enjoy the work and workplace environment.  The second is an entry level position in audit/assurance with a big 4 firm in a larger city nearby.  My dilemma is that while I have enjoyed my time at the F500 company I have seen that most if not all managers/directors in the accounting and even most finance departments have big 4 experience (most only a couple years) and don't want to be stuck in the same role for years due to lack of public experience.  At the same time, I am married and have two small children and have heard horror stories about big 4 hours and although I am willing to work hard and long hours would like to occasionally see my family and help my wife with our kids.

I understand this is ultimately my decision  and I will just have to weigh the pros and cons and I don't expect anyone to make it for me but any helpful advice would be much appreciated.  Thanks!

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