Winter vs Summer Big 4 Internships (Deloitte, KPMG, EY, & PwC)
What are the differences between a summer and winter internship?
The biggest distinction between the two periods of time is that in the summer, there is really not a huge demand for interns. Most of the work for audit and tax is around the winter, though there are exceptions. The winter interns (January-March) will be the busiest and will have more than the summer interns due to the client workload. We work crazy hours during busy season, and usually (hopefully) it gets to a more normal schedule in the summer, where we are planning the year end audits and doing quarterly reviews. For audit are plenty of clients that have a 6/30/12 “year end” (instead of 12/31/12, which is what makes us make us busy January-March) which will keep you busy, and tax has several reporting deadlines approaching and special tasks they will be working on.
Ok so you will be busier in the winter – what does that mean. Put simply – it means you could get a ton of overtime (hours over 40). Big 4 Interns get paid $20-$30 an hour with the intention of matching the full time salary of a first year, assuming a 40 hour week. Except they frequently work 60 or more hours a week during busy season and end up making more than the managers during this time. For this reason alone, I think it is worth doing a winter internship rather than a summer. On the other hand they may only work you 40 hours a week, so there is that to consider.
Another reason I think winter is better than summer is that since you will usually be working longer, you will naturally get more experience. I’ve seen it and also heard from other seniors that those who have done a winter internship compared with a summer internship start off as a 1st year pick up things quicker and are better at their jobs. In addition to working longer, you may actually add some value to the engagement and pitch in and perform some actual testwork. I frequently see summer interns working on things that are not time sensitive like rolling forward documents.** I don’t say this to discourage summer interns like they aren’t helpful, because that isn’t the case, it’s just that when we’re busy we utilize the interns more. If you are a summer intern and you are on a busy client, you will have the same experience.
What are the downsides?
The downside to working a winter big 4 internship is that you will have to take a semester off from school. I think this tradeoff is well worth it. Yeah, you could finish a semester earlier, but college isn’t the worst thing ever to stick around in. If you are deciding between no internship and a winter internship, absolutely take the winter internship, even if it means an extra semester.
* A 60 hour workweek would probably look like M-Th 9am to 10pm, and Friday probably leave at 6. I haven’t seen interns work weekends before but it is possible. This is assuming the team has a “working” lunch and dinner, by (interns) bringing in food so the audit/tax fest can go uninterrupted.
** “Rolling forward” documents and files mean that you take the testwork or memos ect, and update it for the current year so that we don’t have to “re-invent” the wheel and we can leverage our testwork from the prior year. Usually things haven’t changed from year to year and all that is needed is updating the dates and names on the workpaper. Do use caution here because situations will change, so read through whatever you’re rolling forward and try and pick up on if anything has changed.
Do you know if it is easier or harder to get a winter internship than a summer internship
Winter is probably easier, due to the fact that we have more work to be done as well as less candidates who are willing to take a semester off.
It is good next winter inform me am ready to to work with you
If I’m starting first-year in uni. What is the criteria and how hard is it to get a summer/winter internship at the Big Four?
Hi Raghav – congrats on starting at UNI.
Both summer and winter internships at Big 4 firms are competitive. Beyond looking through big4bound.com and going through each firm’s website, I would focus on the following (assuming you are a freshman):
1. GPA – there is usually a cut-off (varies by school) so make sure you focus on keeping your GPA as high as possible.
2. Internships / work experience – even as a freshman, you can articulate how skills learned from part time / summer jobs would apply to a Big 4 internship.
3. Join and take on a LEADERSHIP role in business clubs / groups… I did a quick search and found some good ones here: http://uni.edu/majors/accounting. Make sure you are not just someone who sits in the back and never speaks up or participates – try to take an active role and contribute to the group. This goes for any other group / club you join.
4. Network – go to career fairs, Big-4 hosted events, etc… and come prepared with 3-5 questions to ask each recruiter. They should be firm specific for bonus points (e.g. you could ask a PwC Advisory recruiter how things have changed since their acquisition on Booz / Stragety&).
Feel free to shoot us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any other questions / comments. Thanks and best of luck to you!
Thanks! I emailed ya’ll already!
When will the application process starts for getting an internship at big 4 for this coming winter and what is the process of applying it into ?
Hi Ankit – what location are you in, what firm are you looking for, and if you’re in school what University are you attending?
I am pursuing B.com(H) from Hindu College, University Of Delhi and in IInd year. I am looking to get placed as an intern in any of the big4 firms having offices at Delhi/NCR branch of India,say, Gurgaon or Noida.
I’ve tried to find some good resources for your internship search. Please refer to the websites below for each firm. I would start trying to get your resume / cover letter prepared and practice mock interviews.
We have several blog posts on those topics (big4bound.com/blog), and you may also find it useful to download our free resume / cover letter guide (big4bound.com).
Hope these help but let us know if you have any other questions:
helpful Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PwCIndia/app/128953167177144/
And application page: https://consultants.pwc.co.in/career/default.aspx
Thank you! These information were of a great help.
how can I apply for internship in big 4. please let me know ASAP.
Where are you located and what school are you attending?
How long does E&Y usually take to respond to the winter internship application?
Usually no more than ~2 weeks. If you haven’t heard by then you can politely follow up with your recruiter. Good luck!
Thank you very much for your response. I applied for the winter internship at E&Y Singapore from Australia. I guess I will try sending an email to their career team then.
Hello! Just finding out how many words is necessary to answer the questions asked in the application process? Eg. Explain a time when you had to solve…Thanks! 🙂
Hey ! I am from chandigarh. I need to know the application process for this winter application at big 4 ?
Hey ! I am from chandigarh. I need to know the application process for this winter internship at big 4 ?
Hey! am a student in Kenya doing Bachelor in B.A Specializing in finance in a university called Kenya Methodist University
how can i work with the BIG FOUR COMPANIES HERE IN KENYA?
Hey, am studying in Cameroon, accounting to be precise, level 200,but in Nigeria currently how do I get to intern with the big4 this summer pls reply asap
Hello, I am from Cleveland Ohio and go to John Carroll. I am interested in the 2019 winter internships at the big four. When should I begin applying? When do they usually select interns?
Hi! I am freshman at University Of Michigan, Ross school of Business. Can you please guide me on what I should focus in order to get an internship at Big 4?