Big-4 internships aimed at diverse candidates

I wanted to share unique internship opportunities in the “big 4” accounting firms for undergrad majors in accounting, finance, business analytics, data analytics, and more. I encourage students to get your resume ready, learn about what’s out there, and then apply.

PwC, EY, KPMG, Deloitte are known as “the big 4” because they are the four largest public accounting firms. I wrote a post about the big 4 here. The field of “public accounting” encompasses a range of client service (you can also think of it as consulting) opportunities that include:

  • tax services
  • audit services
  • advisory services

I am sharing about the big 4 (again) in part because I’m a big 4 alum and I view these firms as an excellent option for students who may qualify; but also, these firms have lots of opportunities because they are so large.

These firms have a strong need for accounting majors but accounting is not the only major they look for; they are inclusive of business and STEM (e.g. Deloitte refers to business, accounting, economics, STEM, or related field).   I encourage you to check out these firms’ internship landing pages and do not hesitate to apply if your major is a fit and you have a resume ready to share. When you apply, you are putting your name, resume, and skillset on record with the firm; this is an important first step because you want them to know that you not only exist, but that you are a strong candidate worth reaching out to! Recruiters are looking for talent on an ongoing basis. The higher your GPA, the stronger a first impression you’ll make (check out the GPA requirements in each firm’s job postings)

I’m sharing below links to the ‘starting out’ internships, but these are just examples of what is available. Some of these internships are uniquely targeting diverse candidates, i.e. these firms are trying to create space for as many applicants as possible to join them..and grow with them. I encourage students to check them out, and then look for other internships on each firm’s site and then…APPLY.

  1. Deloitte’s “Discovery” internship
  2. EY’s “Launch” internship
  3. KPMG’s “Rise“program
  4. PwC’s “Start” internship

Some final notes:

  • You must have a strong resume. I dedicate class time in all of my classes to this topic because of how important this is. You should be working with the SPU’s career center (CEEL) on the first floor of Dinneen Hall– they are an essential resource on campus in this job search process.
  • I have a resume article here that is geared towards anyone who may be applying to one of these big firms
  • Do not let any application deadlines keep you from applying. These firms need talent and some of them are opening their application process to year-round processes.
  • Go for it – apply. And if you ever need a word of encouragement from me, don’t hesitate to stop by on campus or message me on LinkedIn.

Why talented undergrads are in-demand in public accounting

Accounting firms are facing a supply shortage of strong talent driven in part by current professionals who are retiring or leaving the industry. This is creating very high demand for current students who have interest, aptitude, and perseverance to build quantitative and technology skills. There is particularly high demand for accounting students who are pursuing the CPA license. This December 2022 Wall Street Journal article summarizes the context very well (and, I’m happy to share that Saint Peter’s University is highlighted as well for its 30-credit CPA pilot program with PwC).

  • The long and short good news for accounting majors is: if you treat your studies seriously and keep your GPA high, remain open to constant skills-building particularly in areas of technology, and take the internship- and job-search process seriously, your job prospects will be strong.
  • If you are not an accounting major but still have strong quantitative and technology skills, you should also consider looking at these internships because these firms need your skillsets too.

Finally – I found this video about diversity internship programs from a recent participant. I thought it worth sharing after watching it, in relation to the information provided above. 

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