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Will You Ever Be Able To Have A Great Career If You Don't Train In A BIG4
The answer to this question is a big YES.

Working and getting experience in BIG4s is a dream for almost a majority of the students aspiring to become chartered accountants. But the reality is that not more than 5% end up in BIG4s. And do they don't have a great career ahead?  The answer is NO.

Every student because of two reasons desires articleship from a good firm. First, the brand and second, the opportunities to grow are perhaps seemingly better in a firm that has a brand. And to an extent this thought process is correct. Firms whose partners are famous in the professional circles always command more work from the clients. Firms that have a strong brand are able to market themselves much better than those without a significant brand value.

But this does not mean that firms having lower brand value or firms whose partners are not famous don't offer good opportunities to learn and grow. That's a myth. And through this article, I want to shed some light on being able to clear the myth.

Brand is Important to give a Kick-start - What If You Don't Have One

Majority of times when you apply for a job and the CV lands in the hands of the HR, the first thing they will do is to check the name of the firm from where you have done your articleship. And the first reaction upon looking at the firm's name is either that of ecstasy or disappointment. Ecstasy, when the firm is big and known and disappointment, when the name is not known.  

I am of a firm opinion that CVs shouldn't be judged purely on the basis of the firm from where articleship is done. A candidate's profile is not only limited to the firm from where he completed his training.  Rather than piecemeal assessment, a candidates' profile should be judged wholesome.  However, sometimes HR doesn't have too many options because of two reasons - First, the policy of the company would not allow them to recruit anyone other than those who have done articleship from larger firms and second, sometimes even the HR is unable to judge the candidate basis his/her overall profile.  They feel candidates trained from good firms are definitely better than others.

I want to cite an incidence. We used to run training cum recruitment company called Promaynov that we shut down after two years of operations. The term Promaynov was derived from the words “professionals of May and November”, typically targeting students of CA. The company used to train fresh chartered accountants and make them employable for good firms including the BIG4s. The primary target was Tier-II cities of Jaipur, Chandigarh and neighbouring cities. 

The reason we chose Tier-II cities was that I always believed students in these cities are as good as students of Metros but the recruiting companies never consider them seriously. The BIG4s and other top-consulting firms always believed students only from Metros are more capable and well trained than those from smaller cities.  And we wanted to break this myth. 

We conducted numerous training programs and conducted various campus placements drives in Jaipur and Chandigarh. Though the HR was not convinced to go to these cities and conduct recruitment drives, we could somehow convince them to atleast give a shot.  We finally got EY, PwC, Grant Thornton, Amex and Genpact to come with us and do placement drives in Jaipur and Chandigarh.

And I want to tell you that the kind of response we got was phenomenal. The Partners and Managers were shocked that a city like Jaipur could offer them a brilliant talent pool.  They couldn't believe students from these cities could not only be smart in their approach but also be so good technically.  Finally, in all the placements drives we did with all the companies, we were able to help these companies recruit more than 100+ CAs.

And the question that now comes in front of us is - These students did not train in BIG4s but still managed to crack them and the majority are still working with them at senior levels. How? The only reason is dedication, hard work and perseverance. 

What is required?

All the students who were selected had worked quite hard on improving their communication skills.  They were smart communicators and had a good command on the English language. That's the basic fundamental one need to work and improve.  If you want to work in a good organization, your communication needs to be clear and flawless. You need not be too fluent in speaking English but you should definitely be able to articulate your thoughts clearly. 

Additionally, you should work extremely hard in the firm you do your training from. You may not get the best of the assignments but whatever is offered should be done with devotion and respect. Don't get bothered by statements from your friends or relatives who may suggest not doing articleship sincerely because of the size of the firm.  The decision to become a CA was yours and it was YOU who decided to take the plunge and do all the hard work.  No one should come in your way to distract you. 

Just keep doing the hard work and you shall surely succeed.

CA Chakravyuha: Enter It Face It Conquer It

With an intent to assist students make goals with supreme clarity on how they should lead their CA life, I have authored the book: "CA Chakravyuha: Enter It Face It Conquer It".

This book is not about steps to pass the CA exams or about ways to make your life easier as a CA student. This book goes beyond, it's all about YOU, the aspiring future Chartered Accountant; it's an attempt to make YOU one of the finest Chartered Accountants in this country. It's all about making your hopes and dreams come true by implementing tools to build a solid foundation for success, a success that will help you go miles.

Upon starting the Chartered Accountancy journey, you need to understand some fundamentals and once those fundamentals are in place, there is no way you will ever encounter any failure.

These fundamentals start right from making the correct choice for articleship, picking the right field in articleship, ways to manage studies along with work, establishing strong networks in your firm, understanding how to behave and perform like a champion and finally creating a schedule strong enough to help you crack exams in the first attempt. 

This book captures every bit of planning that the author did during his articleship days, words of wisdom passed onto by his seniors, tips and tricks to crack the exams and how one should lead his/her life as a CA student. Every principle in this book has been inspired from either his personal experience or from the life of a highly successful CA or an entrepreneur.

Again, this book is not just about clearing exams nor is it theoretical because each and every chapter has elements inspired from the practicalities of life.

You can order the book by clicking on the link below:

By Nimish Goel, author of the book titled "CA Chakravyuha: Enter It Face It Conquer It." By profession he is a qualified chartered accountant but by passion, he is an active blogger. Nimish has worked with EY and PwC in India and has also worked with KPMG in Europe.  He now runs his own consulting company (International Business Advisors) and manages his blog


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Nimish Goel
Category Career   Report

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