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January 29, 2023

regrets

Do You Regret Quitting Your Job During the Great Resignation?

We’ve written about the Great Resignation ad nauseam over the past two years, but one topic we really haven’t talked about is Great Resignation regrets, or the Great Regret. The grass hasn’t been greener for many people who quit their jobs recently, like this senior associate: There’s actually quite a few people in similar situations. […]

Letters to the Editor: CPAs Give Their Perspectives on Why No One Wants to Be an Accountant Anymore

Last week, we published a letter written to Fortune by a former CPA who pivoted to driving 18-wheelers and found far more career happiness than he ever would have in accounting (good for him). It seems his words resonated with a few people who felt compelled to reach out and offer their own perspectives. Here […]

Is Turning Down a Big 4 Internship a Mistake?

Welcome to the Cairo-is-burning edition of Accounting Career Emergencies. In today’s edition, a midtier intern-to-be is having second thoughts about their decision to turn down an offer from a Big 4 firm. Was the move a mistake? Can they go back, begging, crawling on hands and knees for a second chance?

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Meanwhile, back on campus:

I accepted an audit internship offer awhile back with a midtier firm for next winter. In doing so, I turned down an offer from one of the Big 4 for the same period. Now, I’m wondering if I’ve really given enough thought to the Big 4 route.

I am aware that my life will be non-existent outside of work no matter where I go, but the exit ops with the Big 4 seem worth it. I’m wondering if it would be advisable to contact the recruiter I previously worked with and see if I could interview again, this time for a summer internship. Would this make me seem too indecisive, or should I at least try for it? If not, could I still ask him to keep me in mind for full time positions?

Sincerely,

Confused and soon to be abused

Dear Confused and soon to be Abused,

You didn’t really give me a lot to go on (we do however, appreciate the brevity) but we’ll make something out of this.

In general, I think your first instinct is always best and it sounds like you might be second-guessing your decision. You chose the firm you chose for a reason, didn’t you? You probably had reasons for not choosing the Big 4 firm, right? Did the “exit ops” occur to you only after the decision had been made and all your previous considerations were deemed inconsequential? I’m doubtful.

As for contacting the Big 4 recruiter, I don’t see any problem but take the angle that the decision you made was extremely difficult, you want to have various experiences to make the best choice for your long-term career and you’d be interested to know if summer internships will be offered. If you play the “I made a mistake, please, please, please give me a second chance” angle, you’ll come off desperate and wishy-washy. As for the full-time possibility, most of those positions will be offered to their interns, so it will be tough to sneak in once you’re ready to go full-time and you haven’t interned with that firm.

Keep in mind – just because you’re interning with a particular firm, that doesn’t mean you’ll be with the firm your entire public accounting career. Many people bounce around to various firms for one reason or another and your experience will be valuable no matter where you work. So, feel free inquire about the Big 4 firm’s summer internship but don’t give up on your mid-tier possibility. Good luck.