PWC Bursaries

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PwC offers a number of bursaries to students looking to pursue careers in the fields of business and financial management.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (trading as PwC) is one of the world’s largest professional services firms, and is one of the so-called ‘Big Four’ global auditors, along with Deloitte, EY, and KPMG. It is also the fifth-largest privately owned company in the United States. The firm provides various financial services in 157 countries throughout the world via its network of local firms, and has consistently been ranked as the world’s most prestigious firm for over seven years.

The history of PwC as it is known has its origins in 1998, when two leading firms, Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse, merged to form a new company. Both of these pre-existing firms had lengthy histories of their own dating back to the nineteenth century. In the case of Coopers & Lybrand, this firm had its beginnings in 1954, when William Cooper established an accountancy practice in London. He was later joined by his three brothers, resulting in the name change to Cooper Brothers. Then, in 1989, Lybrand, Ross Brothers, and Montgomery was formed by the accountants of the same names in the United States. These two companies, along with Canadian firm McDonald, Currie & Co., began to have business dealings with each other in the early twentieth century, and in 1957 agreed to operate under the name Coopers & Lybrand in their international practice. By 1973, all three member firms had officially changed their names to Coopers & Lybrand.

Price Waterhouse got its start in 1849, when Samuel Lowell Price, a successful accountant, founded a practice in London. In 1865, Price partnered with Edwin Waterhouse and William Hopkins Hoyland (who left shortly thereafter), and the firm became known as Price, Waterhouse & Co. in 1974. By the end of the nineteenth century, the firm had gained considerable recognition and reputation in the United Kingdom, as well as establishing business dealings with the United States as a result of the significant increase in trade between the two nations. This led to the establishment of an office in New York in 1890. Over the next few decades, Price Waterhouse continued its expansion on a large scale, establishing new partnerships in other countries and growing the collaborative network on which the company has come to be based.

In 1998, Price Waterhouse merged with Coopers and Lybrand to form PricewaterhouseCoopers, establishing a large professional consulting branch in the process that would prove to be the company’s fastest growing and most profitable division. Following the financial auditing scandals involving Enron and Worldcom (among others), new legislation limiting the interaction between management consulting and auditing services led to the sale of its consultancy business to IBM in 2002. PwC has since begun to rebuild its consulting practice through the acquisition of smaller consulting firms, as well as branching into the data management market through the development of enterprise-level software and related services.

PwC Bursary Program Overview

The PwC bursary program is aimed at attracting only the most exceptional individuals to the industry, providing opportunities for promising students to get the education and training they require to excel in their chosen fields and become worthwhile contributors to the firm. To this end, bursary recipients are required to work for PwC on a training contract upon successful completion of their studies, providing further opportunities to gain experience and develop practical skills.

PwC bursaries are only awarded to students with a very good academic record, both at school and at university (where applicable), as well as personal factors that indicate a good fit for the program and the firm itself. A number of prerequisites must be met in order to qualify for consideration as a candidate. South African citizenship is a requirement for all candidates.

As PwC is committed to promoting equality and diversity in the financial industry, as well as creating opportunities for those who would otherwise be unable to access them, candidates must demonstrate financial need (i.e. give evidence that they would be unable to afford the cost of their intended study program.

On a personal level, prospective candidates must show an aptitude for effective communication, people skills, leadership ability, and teamwork. Matriculants must be committed to studying towards a relevant qualification at a recognised tertiary institution that is accredited by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).

A minimum of Level 6 for matric-level Mathematics and English, as well as an overall average of 70%, is also required. Current university students must be studying towards a relevant qualification at a recognised SAICA-accredited institution. First-years must maintain an average or 65%, second-years 60%, and third-/fourth-years 55%. All courses must be passed consistently.

Bursary Benefits

PwC bursaries, while generous, are generally not comprehensive in their coverage. What this means is that the candidate must be prepared to cover some of the costs of their studies. Bursary amounts are awarded according to the demonstrated need of each individual candidate.

In general, the money given goes towards tuition fees and other administrative costs such as registration and examination fees, accommodation and meals at a residence or hostel run by the university at which the student is enrolled, and books, stationery, and equipment required for the successful completion of the candidate’s studies.

Qualifications Covered

PwC bursaries are offered for a select range of qualifications that the company deems relevant to their business operations.

These include a variety of Bachelor’s degrees majoring in Information Technology, Computer Science, Information Systems, Informatics, Actuarial Science, Mathematics, Engineering Management, Accounting, and Business Management.

Application Process

Application for the PwC bursary program can be done online through the company’s website. After creating an account, applicants should then complete all the necessary forms and provide all supporting documents.

Applications close at different dates depending on the region.

PricewaterhouseCoopers is a leading provider of professional financial services throughout Africa.

Application Due Dates
12 August: Western Cape
30 September: North East Region
31 July: KwaZulu Natal
31 December: Gauteng
31 October: Eastern Cape
31 August: Central Region

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