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Big 4 Audit vs Insurance Company Grad Program (1 Viewer)

grad2088

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I'm currently a final year student with two graduate program offers. I'm looking for some advice on both positions in regards to learning/development, exit opportunities, what the job would entail (how interesting the work is), long term career prospects etc so I can make a decision as to which one is more appropriate for me.

Job 1: Big 4 Accounting - Audit. Worked here as an intern and was offered a grad role. People and culture seemed nice, chances to experience different clients and teams. However, work was quite boring when I was interning (I don't particularly like accounting and it's not something I see myself doing in the long term) and Seniors seemed pretty stressed (staying back till 7 or 8 pm on many days).

Job 2: Large Insurance Company (e.g IAG, Suncorp, Allianz etc). 18 month contract. Three 6 month rotations within transformation, change, strategy, business improvement roles. Kind of vague job descriptions, company hasn't yet introduced me to my team yet so uncertain as to what the job would entail. Heard hours are a lot better than Big 4 (standard 9-5). Pays about $10k more than Big 4.

Bit mixed between the two offers as they seem to be completely different career paths to take. Any input and advice would be much appreciated, thank you!
 

BLIT2014

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Exit opportunities would be better for the first option,especially after you have completed your CA.

Would you be doing your CA/other qualification for the second one?

Do you have mates who work in the insurance firm who can give you the low down?
 

BLIT2014

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Audit typically has two busy periods :Jan to Feb and July to September.Most clients that you get put on between these two periods are much more reasonable.
 

grad2088

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Exit opportunities would be better for the first option,especially after you have completed your CA.

Would you be doing your CA/other qualification for the second one?

Do you have mates who work in the insurance firm who can give you the low down?
Hey thanks for your reply. Qualifications would largely depend on what streams I get assigned to - no guarentee if there will be any. Don't currently have anyone I know working in that particular company (or insurance in general). I guess I'll see what streams I'll be assigned to, then make a decision from there.
 

seremify007

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The way I see it is one of those options is a well trodden and clearly defined career path with clear expectations, progression path, a CA qualification (you'll need it in audit), and a well recognised brand for your CV. The alternative is an easier job with more money (like most commercial vs big4 roles are) but without clearly defined progression or opportunities.

That being said, the insurance company does have the rotations which is essentially you doing 3 internships, and then usually going on to join one of those teams (typically the last one). You might want to do some research on insurance companies though because they will have their own corporate culture and it may or may not appeal to you.

If I was in your position, it's all about net present value. Thinking about where you want to be (or might want to be) in 5, 10, 15 years time... if you go down either of those paths, which one offers a better outcome? Which one has more certainty? Which one gives you the most options/opportunities if you want to change? etc...

Given you've done the internship at the big 4 firm, at least you have some idea of what you like/don't like and I guess that should also play into your decision but it sounds like you weren't too eager on it - so I guess thinking about exit opportunities (and when) would also be worth considering. For what it's worth though, longer hours and working under pressure does have some benefits around forcing you to push yourself and develop, etc... but that isn't for everyone.

But hey, I'm a bit biased but that's how I'd approach this decision.
 

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