17 Jun, 2009 | by

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I’m frequently asked by friends, family, clients, job candidates and random people I encounter on my travels what it’s like to work on the advisory side of a Big 4 firm.  Typically, if there’s time to discuss and there’s mutual interest in the exchange, I’m immediately bombarded with a slew of follow-up questions like:  What do you do exactly?  How does one get into that line of work?  How much do you travel?  Is it a good career path?  Is there such a thing as work-life balance?  Is it challenging?  Do you think I’d be good at it?  And so on…

The reason I’m so consistently willing to discuss my perspective with so many people, especially young professionals, is that I was once in their position and had many of the same questions.  When I received answers to my inquiries from people in the profession, many of whom continue to this day to be my friends, I was intrigued.  After some time contemplating the potential challenges that such a job would offer, I decided to pursue a chance opportunity to join the ranks of Ernst & Young LLP.  I’ve been with the firm almost three years now.  Looking back, I feel as though the six years of professional experience I had accumulated prior to joining E&Y, although invaluable on many levels, simply did not hold a candle to the client exposure, professional networks and shear rapid-fire experiences afforded to me in my present capacity.  I must confess, however, that this outlook reflects how I feel today, which wasn’t always the case.  Reaching this point has taken an immense amount of patience, hard work, resilience, ambition, and even a little luck.  Yes…I said luck. 

To be clear, this article has not been written under the guise of any Big Four recruiters.  Its goal is not to solicit top talent or self-promote services offered or whatever other angles you might have running through your head right now.  I respect all of the Big Four firms, especially mine, a great deal but feel that the only way to offer up a truly unbiased perspective on the lifestyle is to provide genuinely candid insight.  The primary purpose of this article is to offer a balanced perspective to those who may be interested in such a career path regardless of industry focus or subject matter area.  continue reading »

12 Dec, 2007 | by

About a month ago, a colleague and I were discussing the challenges associated with our respective engagements at the time. My colleague, whose name I will elect to leave out (I’ll refer to him as Master Yoda or Yoda for short), is one of those seasoned professionals who touts over 20 years in the IT industry along with an impressive string of credentials and unique experiences. He’s as sharp as they come and I find myself reaching out to him for professional advice periodically; he also boasts a humorous and engaging personality which makes for a great dialogue every time we speak. Not only do I consider him one of my most valuable mentors, I also consider him a friend who has doled out some important personal advice in the past which I still appreciate to this day. OK…Enough! I’ve inflated his ego enough and I will now proceed to move forward with the point of my trivial little blog entry.

The outcome of our therapeutic work debrief (that’s code for venting session) concluded with Yoda making a book recommendation. He said he was very much interested in my thoughts on the book so 5 minutes later, I logged onto Amazon and made my purchase. He then said: “the book will be very different then any book you’ve read before… continue reading »