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Twin Brothers Not Identical in the Eyes of Public Accounting Firms

When everyone else has an offer and you don't, maybe you're feeling like a reject. It's OK, darling, we still love you. Reach out and let's try to puzzle this out together, we promise we'll be nice. Unless you are in fact a loser, in which case we'll mock you but hey, that's the risk you take for free advice from a bunch of assholes on the Internet.

Hey Adrienne,

I recently found the goingconcern site and enjoy reading it because it's pretty damn funny. Anyway, I saw that you write a few articles to give advice. Well here is my story.

I am a 4th year at the Ohio State University. It's by no means the best, but it is definitely good and recruited heavily by the Big 4. Last fall when I was a junior, I wanted nothing more than a summer internship with the Big 4. OSU requires you to do a mock interview to be certified to interview on campus, and of course they have about 5 or 6 people capable of certifying several thousand students. This means you must schedule early. The Big 4 have early resume submission deadlines, and the only one I was able to be certified in time for was PwC. I got the first round, but not the second. I did a bullshit industry internship at a small company where I was more temp employee than intern. Over the summer I looked at my resume and what else it was lacking and got involved in some volunteer organizations on campus. I came back with renewed vigor and determination this fall to find a busy season internship equipped with, what I thought, was a rock solid resume. High GPA (3.7), part time job on campus, a timeline showing I have been constantly employed since 2006, financing my own education, community service, extracurriculars, and community service [Ed. note: Double time?]. Landed interviews with several regionals and all the Big 4. Received office visits from PwC, KPMG in Chicago and Cincinnati (hometown) respectively, and several regional firms in Columbus. Of course the regional firms office visits were the same day as PwC and they refused to allow me to visit another time. I had no choice but to go with PwC. I would honestly say that the KPMG and PWC second round interviews were the best I've ever had. I didn't end up receiving an offer, but polite emails stating they were not sure I was a good cultural fit. What the fuck does that mean?

My twin brother, who also attend OSU, also interviewed with PwC. He was not selected either, but received an offer from Plante Moran. I was puzzled that I didn't even get a first round interview with them. We have very similar resumes while I claim the higher GPA. Needless to say, I feel like a huge loser. I feel lost. I can't afford to go for a MAcc to be around for another recruiting cycle. Any ideas on how to move forward?

I have to say, we get a lot of repeat questions around here and yours is certainly a first, I don't know that we've ever had a twin situation on our hands. Quick question: are you guys fraternal or identical?

As for not being a good "cultural fit," that usually means you are too smart, too weird or too annoying to fit in. It's a really difficult thing to quantify without knowing you personally.

Let me tell you a story. So once, I was taking one of those weird tests some employers give you to make sure you're not a psycho in an attempt to get a promotion. I studied up ahead of time and knew for a fact with my 151 IQ and bust-my-ass worth ethic I pretty much had this thing in the bag. I went into it feeling like a badass and prepared to beat this thing into submission. The questions came and my options were strongly agree, agree, indifferent, disagree and strongly disagree. Easy, right? I, of course, being a strong-willed young lady at the time, chose mostly "strongly" options because I wanted it to be known I wouldn't stand for any bullshit I didn't agree with in the workplace. Well I failed miserably on the test and actually got passed up by an… um… mentally challenged individual and did not get the promotion.

After the fact, the manager who liked me asked me how I answered some of the questions. I then told him I chose a lot of "strongly" options because, like I said, I'm a strong-willed sort of girl. Aha, he said, that was my problem. You see, the company wanted "indifferent" or "agree/disagree" answers. The mentally challenged guy who ended up getting the promotion instead of me probably answered most of his questions in the most vanilla way possible and I didn't. They didn't want to promote someone who had strong opinions because strong opinions are way harder to break – from a corporate perspective – than indifferent or mild ones. You with me on this?

So the point of my barely relevant story is that maybe something about you just stood out as undesirable to the firms you interviewed with. Maybe you think you know too much. Maybe you're too exuberant. Maybe you're just too happy. It's really hard to say as everything you wrote seems to paint you as the perfect little capital market slave.

Can your twin refer you to Plante Moran now that he's there? Maybe that's an option.

It's really hard to say what went wrong in your case and I'm sorry I can't be of more help. Were you just too strong of a candidate? Too smart for your own good? Too good-looking? Who knows. I'm wondering if the location thing is part of the issue; if you're that willing to move, maybe they think you'll move away from them? I'm really at a loss here.

Anyone have any ideas for this guy?