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Here’s a few keys to Big4 success from a former managing director at Korn Ferry International

By Rob Starr, Big4.com Content Manager

Jamie Peretz is currently the founder of 2MyCareer, but her credentials to shell out advice on career development in the Big4 go back to her stops at global leader in executive recruitment and talent consulting, Korn Ferry International, and executive positions in investment banking at Credit Suisse and JP Morgan. She’s also been an attorney with Pillsbury Winthrop, so her advice is well rounded and comes from a variety of important angles. We spoke with her recently.

“I’ve done a couple of different things with my career obviously,” she says, “but probably the

Jaime Peretz

Jaime Peretz

most direct link to what I’m doing now is my years with Korn Ferry.”

She goes on to say while she did a host of things there, her focus was on financial services—a great fit for our discussion. “I was there for fifteen years, and as a partner I saw a lot of different types of activities,” she says, adding that her current enterprise, 2MyCareer, was developed to help the next generation of career minded individuals in a variety of fields meet the challenges in each.

One-on-one mentorship

“There’s a lot of ways students can benefit from one-on-one mentorship.”

According to Peretz, even the vast majority of students destined to be high level performers   don’t fully understand how to prepare, position and prepare themselves. Going back, her experience with the Big4 specifically coincided with her start at Korn Ferry and intersected the time when the firms were getting into M&A advisory.

“At that time, we were working with some of those firms to grab talent off the street,” she says. “It’s been an area that I’ve watched for a long time.”

Therefore, she advises that for most business with diverse business lines, a distinctive career foundation can be built by having support from and knowledge of all the different constituencies therein as well as having worked with different parts of those firms.

She elaborates on the auditing/consulting landscape as it has evolved under her watchful eye.

Bread and butter

“If you look at what’s happening now and what has been happening with the Big4 firms for a little while, you’ll see that more than half of their revenue is non audit. So to be a leader in any organization like that you need to have worked in the bread and butter like audit, but if you’ve also worked in the other areas, it gives you a much broader perspective and experience.”

Peretz highlighted a few of the dynamic areas for present career growth opportunities, noting there’s been a lot of globalization is areas like tax, M&A, and compliance. She also says the best approach whether students are looking to use the Big4 as a stepping stone or a lifetime career starts with a carefully planned strategy.

“A lot of students have not learned how to prepare themselves in a holistic way to be a great candidate for an employer,” she says, concluding that employers are looking for a combination of a high GPA, demonstrated leadership and team member qualities in addition to a long and abiding interest in different parts of their career.

You can learn more about Jamie Peretz and her company, 2MyCareer, a college to career coaching service to assist ambitious college students and recent graduates in realizing the careers they have worked toward by clicking here. 

 

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