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September 21, 2023

Choose between Big 4 or go the finance route?

I’m an accounting and finance double major at a top 10 undergrad business school in the northeast. Up until now, I was going the accounting route full force. I recruited heavily with the Big 4 my sophomore year and ended up doing summer leadership programs with EY and PwC, which led to internship offers for next summer. I’m on track to graduate with 150 credit hours and hopefully get my CPA the summer after I graduate. The Big 4 really know how to sell themselves, but looking at it now, I’m not so sure it’s what I want to do. I know it would be great experience, especially if I network within the firm and with clients. But it’s not very glamorous work for not so great pay. I know a lot of people, including family members, who did banking and love it (and their pay is significantly higher than what I would make…not a huge factor but still a factor for sure). Is the experience worth it for someone who isn’t 100% sure what they want to do? I know EY and PwC are great firms and I’m very grateful for offers, but what would be the consequences of accepting one but still looking for a finance internship during the fall? The deadline to accept or reject is early August of my junior year, so before IB recruitment starts. I know they do that on purpose to prevent you from looking elsewhere, but would it be in my best interest to do some other recruitment just in case? Which route would be better long term? I would love to get opinions from anyone in the accounting or finance field. Thanks!

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