I finished my secondment with the International & Domestic Business audit team towards the end of March. It was a great experience – while the work may have been tough and the hours long, we had a great team on the client site with a good sense of camaraderie. It makes the hours that bit more bearable!
For the past 5 weeks I have been working on 3 proposals. These were the first proposals I completed for over a year so I was a bit rusty at the start but quickly got the hang of it again. All three of the proposals were in response to public tenders, one to assist with project managing a technology implementation.
The proposals were tough as they included colleagues from a number of different teams and lines of service within PwC including Banking Assurance, Corporate Finance, Transaction Services, RAS and Consulting. The proposals had a number of workstreams to them which meant they were particularly chunky documents. In addition, the deadlines were quite tight which meant there were a few hectic nights before the final submission date.
While proposal writing can be stressful, you actually learn a lot from the experience for a number of reasons. Firstly, you get to research industries that you might otherwise not know much about. Proposals will typically require you to quickly research the dynamics of an industry, the key challenges they are facing and the future direction of the industry in order to be able to write a relevant proposal which understands the key issues the client is facing. They are usually short and sharp affairs with a proposal rarely being started more than 2 weeks before its submission deadline. This means that over a short space of time you could learn a lot about a few different industries.
Secondly, you improve your general sales skills. Proposal writing is essentially about sales and while I may not typically associate Consulting with sales, it’s an important aspect of the job and one which becomes increasingly important as you move up the ladder. Proposals are about quickly understanding what the client wants (even when they’re not explicitly telling you!) and demonstrating to them how you can meet their needs better than the competition.
Finally, proposals enable you to quickly meet senior colleagues from across the organisation that you may not otherwise meet in your day-to-day work. For example, I would have met Partners and Directors from Banking Assurance, Corporate Finance, RAS and Transaction Services who I would not normally deal with day-to-day. Very quickly you get a better understanding of the services other teams and lines of services within PwC offer which gives you a better sense of the organisation as a whole.
I’m due to work with a large insurance client next but this has yet to be finalised. I’ll fill you in next time.
All the best,