A Day In The Life Of A PwC Associate – Part 1: At Work


Helen Kirvan grew up in a small town in northern Alberta and attended the University of Alberta in Edmonton to get her Bachelor of Commerce degree.

In her final year, she went through the accounting recruitment process – she attended events, networked with lots of different people and went through the interview process with a number of different firms.

She says PwC really went above and beyond to make sure that, as someone who was visiting Calgary from out of town, she had a place to stay, and was comfortable throughout the firm’s events and interview process. She was able to learn about the firm and the wide range of clients it works with in Calgary.

She was hired by PwC to be an Associate in October 2010! Find out what it’s like to start your career with PwC:

A day in the life of a PwC Associate

Helen says the great thing about working at PwC (and in accounting in general) is that every day is different. She and other associates frequently have the opportunity to do new and exciting things. But, for the most part, they’re typically auditing financial statements and travelling to local client sites to meet and work with clients.

How PwC helps new Associates work toward their CA designation

Like a lot of new commerce grads, Helen is working toward her CA designation. She says the support offered by PwC is excellent: she was paired up with a mentor – a senior manager – when she first started. He’s also the manager on one of her clients, so he exposes her to new areas of the client file on a regular basis. The experience and continuity is preparing her for the Uniform Final Examination (UFE).

To learn more about PwC’s UFE Preparation Program, please visit PwC’s website.

The best part of being an Associate at PwC

Helen says the best part of her job is the learning environment at PwC: “I knew we would be learning on the job and learning through different types of seminars, but I had no idea the scope of what we call ‘enhanced learning practices’.”

These are different things Associates do on a day-to-day basis to learn from each other and get a strong foundation on their knowledge. One of PwC’s main philosophies is “teach don’t tell.” For example, a senior employee will ask an Associate, like Helen, questions about a client file and, in finding the answers and responding, the Associate can develop a broad knowledge of the topic instead of just completing tasks. Now she’s starting to pass on that knowledge to more junior employees!

Helen’s advice for students who want to work at PwC

Helen’s advice for future PwC Associates is to get involved in your community or school in order to demonstrate your leadership skills – that will help you stand out during the application and interview process.

She also recommends that you get to know the firms – who you’ll be working with and what kind of work you’ll be doing. Figure out what you’re interested in and passionate about, and align that with a firm that will help you achieve your goals.

At PwC, you’ll find exciting careers that offer limitless opportunities for growth. Join PwC for the opportunity of a lifetime.

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