It is exciting enough to work at one of the Big Four Banks as an accounting student, but four months ago I was lucky to be accepted into the China Industry Placement Program (IPP) to intern at PwC Beijing! This is where my journey began.
|At PwC office|
Before undertaking my placement people would tell me “you’ll work more than 100 hours every week as an auditor, during the year end in China when annual auditing commences.” Although this might be true for some people, it wasn’t for me.
My placement saw me working on a project where we performed annual auditing for the Agricultural Bank of China, one of the Big Five Banks there. When ‘The Big Four’ was now ‘The Big Five’, I thought there would be no time for me even to sleep. However, it turned out I was wrong. As interns we were not required to work overtime, we followed normal working schedule from 9 am to 6 pm. This meant I had time to explore Beijing, the capital of China.
With people everywhere, winter in Beijing is never cold, even though the temperature is less than zero degrees. The city still keeps its solemn veil when you are approaching the Forbidden City. I was shocked by these fabulous traditional palaces, which gave you the most real experience of ancient China. During my visit to the Forbidden City, I stood on top of Tian’anmen and it felt like I could communicate across-time with ancient emperors, feeling how they would have looking out over this great country, the honour, the power, the pride…
|PwC ABC team|
Nevertheless, working was still the main focus during my IPP. Eight-hour-long working days did not necessarily mean that you have more free time to relax. Instead, it meant that you had to deal with same amount of work load in shorter amount of time. This meant working more effectively and efficiently. With novice experience in Multinational Corporation, the fast approaching deadlines were something I had to get used to in my first few days. One of my projects was to data collection towards ‘deposits with central banks’ account, thereby I had to communicate with clients from hundreds of branches across China. I could still feel how exhausted I was after having made more than 150 phone calls in one day. Interestingly, when I talked to clients with strong accents, I began to understand how native English speakers felt when they talked to me. However, language is to help people communicate, there is no standard Mandarin or English - right?
Apart from intensive working load, I also received great friendships and colleagueship’s in PwC, which made me feel at home. I guess this is part of the reason why PwC is one of the leading firms in the world, because teamwork is being fostered everywhere. With no vicious competition but reciprocal collaboration, colleagues are more like friends, leading to an energetic team and further a thriving business as a whole.
Lastly, the best thing about China IPP for Chinese students is that you have the opportunity to celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year with your family. And for me as an intern, I also got many red packets from my colleagues, which is just another bonus of joining PwC the big family.
By Hao Fu, current student at the University of Sydney Business School and participant in the Industry Placement Program.