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Will I be considered a failure if I go into big4 audit watch

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    If I did, for example, a maths/economics degree somewhere really prestigious like LSE, Warwick or Cambridge and don't get into IB and get into big4 audit instead, will I be considered a failure? Since not many people from these top top unis go into big4 audit and most go into IB/trading/further study.

    Also, what are the exit opportunities from big4 audit and I there any way I can get a £100000 sometime if I choose the big4 audit path?
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    (Original post by Ladbants)
    If I did, for example, a maths/economics degree somewhere really prestigious like LSE, Warwick or Cambridge and don't get into IB and get into big4 audit instead, will I be considered a failure? Since not many people from these top top unis go into big4 audit and most go into IB/trading/further study.

    Also, what are the exit opportunities from big4 audit and I there any way I can get a £100000 sometime if I choose the big4 audit path?
    Do you honestly think the top grads who go to Big4 think of themselves as failures?! That's an arrogant assumption to make. Most don't go into high finance, only a small proportion of top grads do.

    Big4 Audit partners still make mid-high six figures (a fair amount make seven figures) it is by no means a 'crap' end-result. You would be mad to scoff at that.

    Big4 Audit --> Big4 CorpFin --> IB/PE/ER
    Big4 Audit --> Internal Audit/Finance at a corporation/Corporate Treasury/Financial Control
    Big4 Audit --> MBA

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    nah you won't
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    (Original post by Ladbants)
    If I did, for example, a maths/economics degree somewhere really prestigious like LSE, Warwick or Cambridge and don't get into IB and get into big4 audit instead, will I be considered a failure? Since not many people from these top top unis go into big4 audit and most go into IB/trading/further study.

    Also, what are the exit opportunities from big4 audit and I there any way I can get a £100000 sometime if I choose the big4 audit path?
    No - you're not a failure. Jheez.

    If you fail IB, I'd try Corporate Finance at Big 4 rather than Audit though.

    Yes, if you stay in Audit long enough, you can comfortably make six figures and some Partners in Audit make as much as some senior bankers.

    It's arguably an extremely good option if you're keen on carving out a career in audit, internal finance, treasury or becoming a Chief Financial Officer.

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    You will learn, with time, that there is a whole world even outside of Big 4 audit, Big 3 consulting, IB and global banks. I have friends who have done PPE at Oxford or Economics at Cambridge and LSE who ended up working for boutique consultancies and similar who are perfectly happy with their life and mid-30k salaries. Because they love what they do and they're fulfilled working in places that allow them to tackle economics and finance with greater freedom than at Tier 1 and 2 firms.
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    (Original post by Pucizza)
    You will learn, with time, that there is a whole world even outside of Big 4 audit, Big 3 consulting, IB and global banks.
    Hmm.

    I guess there's also high tech and the magic circle
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    (Original post by BizzStrut)
    Hmm.
    I guess there's also tech and the magic circle :wink:
    Why, of course! Anything that's considered 'prestigious', be it banking, consulting, law, tech

    My point is that it's just the tip of the iceberg and happiness may well lie somewhere else.

    And by the way, mine is not a case of sour grapes. I went to the LSE and I've been in corporate banking for 2 years. So, everything according to plan and frankly, I would have been happier with something less pompous but more fulfilling, as some of my Oxbridge and LSE friends did.
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    (Original post by Pucizza)
    You will learn, with time, that there is a whole world even outside of Big 4 audit, Big 3 consulting, IB and global banks. I have friends who have done PPE at Oxford or Economics at Cambridge and LSE who ended up working for boutique consultancies and similar who are perfectly happy with their life and mid-30k salaries. Because they love what they do and they're fulfilled working in places that allow them to tackle economics and finance with greater freedom than at Tier 1 and 2 firms.
    I'm assuming these boutiques were economic consulting firms? Can you expand a bit (or give examples) on these?

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    Maybe try advisory at the big4 or corporate finance if you want something more prestigious. Any role at the big4 is really good though- studying for an ACA with the big4 is highly respected by employers and you'll have very good exit opportunities- some of these do pay £100000. Your skills (as long as you have also have the right soft skills) will be highly valued in the business world. Job security st the big 4 is also a lot better than in banking (S&T) and you'll be working less than IBD analysts most of the time.
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    Oh and look at this guy:
    https://uk.linkedin.com/in/mir-moeen-mahmood-57a49140

    Looking at his extra curricular and academic achievements, he could easily have gone into IB if he wanted to, but he chose big4 assurance instead. Shows that big4 audit does attract a lot of talented people.
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    You've not lost your chance at ever getting into IB if you couldn't get in as a graduate, it should be perfectly easy to get in after a few years doing Big4 Audit and even easier if you managed to get Big4 Corporate Fiance straight away.
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    (Original post by Trapz99)
    Oh and look at this guy:
    https://uk.linkedin.com/in/mir-moeen-mahmood-57a49140

    Looking at his extra curricular and academic achievements, he could easily have gone into IB if he wanted to, but he chose big4 assurance instead. Shows that big4 audit does attract a lot of talented people.
    Or he got rejected.

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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    I'm assuming these boutiques were economic consulting firms? Can you expand a bit (or give examples) on these?

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    Economic and financial consulting, yes. I don't know the details of their work, but in broad strokes, economic consulting has strong ties to the public sector and a lot of their clients are public sector firms or HMG. The approach is very macro and somewhat academic, therefore fun if you're "nerdy"

    Finance is much more focused on the private sector, my friend's firm works mostly with mid-sized clients, start ups, fintech emerging companies.

    I can only wish I had such exposure in corporate banking. Our work is much more process-driven and micro. Rewarding in the short term, but eventually you feel just a small cog in the machine and it doesn't really help an inquisitive mind feel fulfilled.
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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    Or he got rejected.

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    Maybe, but it seems unlikely looking at how many achievements he's had. He probably had the skills to go into IB he wanted to.
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    (Original post by Pucizza)
    Why, of course! Anything that's considered 'prestigious', be it banking, consulting, law, tech

    My point is that it's just the tip of the iceberg and happiness may well lie somewhere else.
    You feel you made a pompous decision? Honestly, I thrive in high pressure, high risk, high reward environments and so since I think it's a good fit personally. It's even more sensible when you consider working 80 hour weeks through your twenties and early thirties, then having $2mm net worth in shares (certainly not unreasonable in those professions), then retire on say 7% returns, and live basically freely for the rest of your life.

    The thing is, they talk about the soul crushing work and devastating hours but I'm in my teens already doing school and working full time (that's 40 hours work and 8:30-4:30 every day in school), and I still have enough time to have a life, go out twice a week with friends, work on personal projects at home, goof around on forums, keep a good workout routine and play football for my team. So maybe I'm an anomaly because people always say that's too hard and you'd destroy yourself doing it but I just think they're weak and making excuses. I love it and I feel great.
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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    Do you honestly think the top grads who go to Big4 think of themselves as failures?! That's an arrogant assumption to make. Most don't go into high finance, only a small proportion of top grads do.

    Big4 Audit partners still make mid-high six figures (a fair amount make seven figures) it is by no means a 'crap' end-result. You would be mad to scoff at that.

    Big4 Audit --> Big4 CorpFin --> IB/PE/ER
    Big4 Audit --> Internal Audit/Finance at a corporation/Corporate Treasury/Financial Control
    Big4 Audit --> MBA

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    Ok thanks. But do you think that there are many people who would choose the big4 over IB or is it just people who got rejected from IB that go into big4 audit (from the top universities)? Because on LinkedIn if I search up LSE students it seems like they all work in banking or some sort of civil service/UN type work.
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    (Original post by Ladbants)
    most go into IB/trading/further study
    The idea that you'll be thought of as a failure if you don't go into one of the typical "city" (i.e. IB, consulting, or law) jobs is simply not correct. As a student at Cambridge, most of the people I know here are not planning to go into any of these areas.

    In fact, only 9% of Cambridge graduates go on to work in the "city".(source: http://www.careers.cam.ac.uk/podcast...ity2015-01.mp3)
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    (Original post by BizzStrut)
    You feel you made a pompous decision? Honestly, I thrive in high pressure, high risk, high reward environments and so since I think it's a good fit personally. It's even more sensible when you consider working 80 hour weeks through your twenties and early thirties, then having $2mm net worth in shares (certainly not unreasonable in those professions), then retire on say 7% returns, and live basically freely for the rest of your life.

    The thing is, they talk about the soul crushing work and devastating hours but I'm in my teens already doing school and working full time (that's 40 hours work and 8:30-4:30 every day in school), and I still have enough time to have a life, go out twice a week with friends, work on personal projects at home, goof around on forums, keep a good workout routine and play football for my team. So maybe I'm an anomaly because people always say that's too hard and you'd destroy yourself doing it but I just think they're weak and making excuses. I love it and I feel great.
    Frankly, all you just mentioned is what I like about my career. It's a very liquid situation (and let's not pretend it doesn't matter, for instance: I love travelling and on my salary I could travel transcontinentally every month if I chose and could take the days off), and the high pressure keeps a workaholic like me happy...

    But all this is in the somewhat short term. I know this sounds silly, but when I go home and sit in bed, I don't feel I've really advanced as a person. I feel that today I've just carried out a lot of work, and I've made a few hundreds, perhaps progressing a teensy bit in my career and towards professional seniority. No sense of broader fulfillment. It's OK as long as you stop thinking but again: if you have an inquisitive mind, this career is not for you cause if you stop to think and ponder, you're dead, both inside and professionally. So I've somehow trained myself to think on my feet and be efficiency- and value-minded. But at the cost of literally losing the most intellectual, philosophical part of myself, which at work is fiercely discouraged and after work is a liability to my happiness. It's a choice I suppose and I'm not anywhere close to leaving banking, but there are nominal costs whose real impact is relative to one's personality. For me it was pretty high, as I came from a soft social science degree and had to stifle a lot of what I originally was to succeed.
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    (Original post by Ladbants)
    If I did, for example, a maths/economics degree somewhere really prestigious like LSE, Warwick or Cambridge and don't get into IB and get into big4 audit instead, will I be considered a failure? Since not many people from these top top unis go into big4 audit and most go into IB/trading/further study.

    Also, what are the exit opportunities from big4 audit and I there any way I can get a £100000 sometime if I choose the big4 audit path?

    Having done a maths/economics degree somewhere really prestigious like LSE, Warwick or Cambridge and subsequently having gotten into IB, yes, my friends who 'ended up' up in Big 4 were seen as the 'failures'.

    5 years on, all the guys at big 4 have finished their exams, had a promotion and massive pay rise, are working on important client accounts, enjoying their work life balance and the fact that they have a prestigious, well paying job.

    Many of us who went into banking have resigned, given up, been fired, haven't slept for 5 years, hate our bosses and lives, are single, look 10 years older than we should, don't get paid that much anyway due to massive changes in regulation and continued pressure on profits and live in constant fear of being let go of every day.

    What I'm saying is, don't give a **** about what other people think.

    You can get £100000 as a partner at a big 4 firm.
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    (Original post by Pucizza)
    Frankly, all you just mentioned is what I like about my career. It's a very liquid situation (and let's not pretend it doesn't matter, for instance: I love travelling and on my salary I could travel transcontinentally every month if I chose and could take the days off), and the high pressure keeps a workaholic like me happy...

    But all this is in the somewhat short term. I know this sounds silly, but when I go home and sit in bed, I don't feel I've really advanced as a person. I feel that today I've just carried out a lot of work, and I've made a few hundreds, perhaps progressing a teensy bit in my career and towards professional seniority. No sense of broader fulfillment. It's OK as long as you stop thinking but again: if you have an inquisitive mind, this career is not for you cause if you stop to think and ponder, you're dead, both inside and professionally. So I've somehow trained myself to think on my feet and be efficiency- and value-minded. But at the cost of literally losing the most intellectual, philosophical part of myself, which at work is fiercely discouraged and after work is a liability to my happiness. It's a choice I suppose and I'm not anywhere close to leaving banking, but there are nominal costs whose real impact is relative to one's personality. For me it was pretty high, as I came from a soft social science degree and had to stifle a lot of what I originally was to succeed.
    could you expand on what this means to you?

    i recently had a chat with my line manager and he mentioned something along these lines in terms of an analysts role.
 
 
 
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