To: Chris Tusa
From: Herbie Hancock
Subject: Job Search Report
Date: October 29, 2001
For this assignment, I have chosen to examine two companies: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Dynegy. Since I will not be graduating for two more semesters, my focus will be on internship opportunities with these companies.
COMPANY #1 – PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS LLP
Ranked as the third largest privately owned company in America by Forbes, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) is the largest of the “Big Five” accounting firms. The company employs 160,000 people in over 150 countries, and besides accounting, specializes in auditing, consulting, and tax services. Although it is known for its accounting services, PWC is also the world’s largest law firm based on the number of attorneys it employs. PWC hires recent graduates primarily with accounting and finance backgrounds, as well as Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), tax attorneys, and others with the necessary experience and background needed for each particular position. Notable companies among PWC’s 16,000 clients include Cisco Systems, JP Morgan Chase, IBM, Disney, and AT&T. PWC was formed in 1998 by the mergers of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand, each with historical roots going back some 150 years; the company’s motto is “Learn. Grow. Explore.”
The position available is a winter internship with PWC’s International Assignment Solutions (IAS) branch of its Tax and Legal Services division. IAS specializes in developing custom, on-line applications to help manage the financial, tax, and human resource challenges associated with sending employees on overseas assignments. It also helps companies achieve global advantages by optimizing their tax obligation across both physical and virtual borders. IAS interns will spend two weeks in training where they will extensively learn how to complete international tax returns. Afterwards, the bulk of the internship will be spent preparing tax returns for PWC’s clients and helping advise those clients in various tax matters. The average workweek after training runs between sixty and seventy-five hours depending on the weekly goals that are set for each intern. No formal limit on the amount of work an intern may do is placed since they are paid on an hourly basis starting at $15 per hour with a signing bonus. PWC is primarily looking for accounting and finance majors to fill its internship positions, but other majors are encouraged to apply. Because of the long hours expected of interns and nature of the work, they must be dedicated, hardworking, and have good analytical skills. PWC is also looking for candidates with good communication skills since clients are contacted daily to receive tax information. The internship runs from January 18 until April 20.
COMPANY #2 – DYNEGY
Dynegy is a leading provider of energy and communications solutions to customers around the globe. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Dynegy is ranked 54th on the “Fortune 500,” topping $29 billion in revenues last year. The company, whose core businesses include power generation and wholesale energy (natural gas, electricity, and coal) trading, has over 6,000 employees in North America, Europe, and Asia. Adding to Dynegy’s diverse array of business operations are its broadband unit, weather derivatives, and the gathering and processing of natural gas liquids. The company’s name comes from the combination of the words “dynamic” and “energy,” and its mission is to “maximize value for our customers, partners and shareholders by successfully combining an entrepreneurial spirit with experience-based knowledge.” The core values of Dynegy are echoed in the company’s motto, “We believe in people.”
Dynegy is offering summer internships to various business majors, including finance, accounting, and economics. The specific internship obtained by an applicant is decided upon interviewing with the company, and many different opportunities abound. For instance, interns may be working on the energy trading floor where energy commodities are bought and sold worldwide, or they may be working in the finance department setting up bond issues or managing Dynegy’s vast investment portfolio. Other internships are available with the accounting department where interns help prepare the company’s financial statements, or with the company’s own venture capital group. Specific internship positions were not advertised in this particular listing, however, some of the general requirements of all Dynegy interns are forty-plus hour workweek and familiarity with the fundamental business aspects of double-entry accounting/bookkeeping, corporate finance, macro- and microeconomics. On-the-job training gives interns specific skills needed to perform the tasks required of their positions. Interns are paid on an hourly basis starting at $10 per hour. The dates for Dynegy’s internships are June 3 through August 2.
Both of the companies I examined are leaders in their respective fields, and I would consider myself fortunate to obtain an internship with either one. At first glance, I was tenuous about an internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers because I am more interested in finance than accounting. However, I have since interviewed with the company, and I now feel the internship will give me valuable experience with business elements that are important in finance. Additionally, this internship offers the opportunity to travel often, both domestically and internationally – something I am very interested in. With Dynegy, I would not have the opportunity to travel, but I would probably gain more direct experience in finance due to the areas of available positions. I intend to look into both internships further, and hopefully I will obtain one of them if not both.