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Work Experience I Had to Get into a Big 4

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

I feel that there is no set formula for the "perfect work experience," and I think Big 4 firms (or any job for that matter) are primary looking for the key transferable skills rather than a specific role. That being said, I feel that quality trumps quantity on how many jobs or roles you have. For example, I feel that having one job where you worked for a long time and made a significant impact on is more impressive than having multiple jobs where your experience doesn't show for anything.

I've had my fair share of part time jobs, but I didn't account for them in my resume. In fact, my resume was limited to one letter sized page, so I had to be strategic in how I portrayed my work experiences and what sort of key skills I wanted to emphasize to the Big 4 recruiters.

Some of the skills I chose to highlight in my application were strength in time-management, analytical, and interpersonal skills. My resume also outlined my experiences to show I was results orientated. Looking into the future, I stated I was excited about jobs that require growth and opportunity to build my problem solving, quantitative analysis, and client services skills.

I won't be going into the specifics on resume writing but did want to talk about some of the past jobs I had wrote in my application to illustrate the diversity of work experiences and skills I was able to acquire. I had split up my "work" experience into two parts:

Professional (Compensated) Work Experience

- Intern at one of the national banks to implement new programs. One of the main roles was understanding the banks policies and the logic behind doing certain calculations, and making sure that is being properly conveyed in the system. I had made up my own excel file on reconciling the discrepancies and method of testing the data.

- Researcher at my university for 2 years on conducting surveys and recommending changes to improve the student experience, and I worked closely with a professor, Vice Dean, and a team of 4.

- President of a Business Program where you create a product, and do everything from marketing, to developing, to eventually selling the product. My venture and team of 20 was chosen as top two business ideas in my province.

- Student Worker for my Higher School for 3 years, where I worked with with the vice principal of the school on managing the after school and summer programs.

Extracurricular Activities & Community Leadership

Finance and Logistics Director for a annual, large scale Branding Conference that is funded by the Undergraduate Society. This role enabled to manage a budget exceeding $20k as well as communicate and negotiate with key stakeholders, such as the Hotel manager and delegates, to ensure day of the conference was running smoothly.

I also volunteer at the Tax Assistance Clinic for 2 years where I advised and prepared tax returns for low income families and individuals

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that I did go to business school so maybe some of my experiences are more business/finance centered. However, whatever your work experience consists of, you can build transferable skills across the board. For example, you can show your time management skills in almost any job, it doesn't need to be from just purely business related experiences.


Check out my video for more info!

#Big4accountant #workexperienceneededforbig4 #skillsneededtobeanaccountant #howtogetintoabig4

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