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Old 07-24-2015, 09:49 AM
 
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Wow, you have a big chip on your shoulder, so I'm not going to post further or argue with you anymore. Good luck with your career, but I think you need to do a lot more career introspection beyond everyone is racist.

I had three mentors when I was at the firm and one was an Asian tax partner (I was in audit). I actually attended a career advice presentation that he gave to Asian accountants at our office as part of our Asian American month programming.

The gist is that culturally a lot of Asians have strong attributes that makes them succeed in the U.S. business world: 1) strong work ethic; 2) highly prizing education and technical skills; 3) are not afraid of technology and new trends; and 4) and stuff like loyalty, etc.

But Asians have a lot of cultural attributes that holds them back in U.S. business: 1) humility; 2) deference to authority or superiors; and 3) fear of failure or to lose face.

The advice was to recognize if these potentially harmful factors are part of your personality and try to correct them in the course of your career.

For example, life at a firm is competitive. So you have to be competitive, which means that you should aggressively seek promotions, opportunities, relationships and projects that you think will further your career. That means making sure everyone that is in a position to help you, knows what you want. And that they know your accomplishments and skills. We had a 6 month rotation available in Bermuda and something like 20 people applied for it. The person that got it was nothing special and it infuriated some people (maybe some accusing the firm of racism or sexism). Here is what the partner who made the decision told me. Only ONE candidate called him about the opportunity and they talked like 1 hour about it over the phone. This was a London partner and everyone else was too shy to contact him. The ONE guy that did, impressed the partner about his interest and overall knowledge of the clients that he would be working on, so he chose him. He never saw him in person, their only conversation was over the phone.

Also, at the partnership level, or senior manager level, you are expected to develop business (i.e. generate new sources of revenue). The people who are more assertive, network more with other people at the firm, clients, and the industry, and volunteer to help and participate in "pitch" meetings will have a better shot at promotions vs. the person that is technical brilliant but terrible in sales. So if you are too shy or not good at it, your career will be limited. The key if you are too shy is to work on it and ask others to help you develop those skills. As noted above, Asians may find this difficult to do because of cultural issues. So it isn't racism if they fail at it. Almost every partner I've met would be willing to mentor a staffer (whether or not if they are in their office, -actually it is easier to find one that isn't in your direct line of supervision), but the vast majority don't ask and they aren't going to give unsolicited offers due to the amount of turnover at the firms.

Last edited by slim04; 07-24-2015 at 10:45 AM..
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Old 07-24-2015, 11:44 AM
 
397 posts, read 308,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slim04 View Post
Wow, you have a big chip on your shoulder, so I'm not going to post further or argue with you anymore. Good luck with your career, but I think you need to do a lot more career introspection beyond everyone is racist.

I had three mentors when I was at the firm and one was an Asian tax partner (I was in audit). I actually attended a career advice presentation that he gave to Asian accountants at our office as part of our Asian American month programming.

The gist is that culturally a lot of Asians have strong attributes that makes them succeed in the U.S. business world: 1) strong work ethic; 2) highly prizing education and technical skills; 3) are not afraid of technology and new trends; and 4) and stuff like loyalty, etc.

But Asians have a lot of cultural attributes that holds them back in U.S. business: 1) humility; 2) deference to authority or superiors; and 3) fear of failure or to lose face.

The advice was to recognize if these potentially harmful factors are part of your personality and try to correct them in the course of your career.

For example, life at a firm is competitive. So you have to be competitive, which means that you should aggressively seek promotions, opportunities, relationships and projects that you think will further your career. That means making sure everyone that is in a position to help you, knows what you want. And that they know your accomplishments and skills. We had a 6 month rotation available in Bermuda and something like 20 people applied for it. The person that got it was nothing special and it infuriated some people (maybe some accusing the firm of racism or sexism). Here is what the partner who made the decision told me. Only ONE candidate called him about the opportunity and they talked like 1 hour about it over the phone. This was a London partner and everyone else was too shy to contact him. The ONE guy that did, impressed the partner about his interest and overall knowledge of the clients that he would be working on, so he chose him. He never saw him in person, their only conversation was over the phone.

Also, at the partnership level, or senior manager level, you are expected to develop business (i.e. generate new sources of revenue). The people who are more assertive, network more with other people at the firm, clients, and the industry, and volunteer to help and participate in "pitch" meetings will have a better shot at promotions vs. the person that is technical brilliant but terrible in sales. So if you are too shy or not good at it, your career will be limited. The key if you are too shy is to work on it and ask others to help you develop those skills. As noted above, Asians may find this difficult to do because of cultural issues. So it isn't racism if they fail at it. Almost every partner I've met would be willing to mentor a staffer (whether or not if they are in their office, -actually it is easier to find one that isn't in your direct line of supervision), but the vast majority don't ask and they aren't going to give unsolicited offers due to the amount of turnover at the firms.
This posting should be engraved as what the racism deniers always say to deflect what is encouraged and happens at these firms.

There certainly are attributes that you describe above which apply to a lot of asian people. You can also say that about other races and their attributes as well. But here's the problem. If the asian person talks, acts, clothes, eats, or drinks like what's perceived as a "white person" way, they STILL don't give you crap. I grew up as a republican due to my friends and their families. What you said in this posting is what I've been told my entire life which I believed. It wasn't until college I realized how you act has limited impact. To the readers of this post, be VERY mindful of this. There certainly are non-racist white people, absolutely. But those that tend to be racist have a very similar background. Frats and sorority affiliations are very common and some of the worst are those that come from southern state universities.

The racism at these big4 firms not only apply to minorities. White people are also subject to the racism as well. At work or at off-work events, there are certain situations where making fun of a minority arise. If a group of white people make fun of them (whatever the reason is) and one white person does not partake, the WHITE person gets made fun of. I say this because at my firm, I've seen the case where two white people left the firm. When I asked them why they left, they felt pressured to isolate the minorities and if not, they are subject to isolation themselves. (both of these people had a lot of affiliations with minorities, one black and one asian, when they grew up I learned later on)

I'm speaking in very real and plain words here. big4 firms are sick. The promotion of whiteness seems like it starts in early years through high school, encouraged more at college (even more so in frats/sororities) and is very much encouraged here.

Slim - people like you say that minorities don't fit because we lack these attributes. Don't you ever stop and think this system in our economy is intentionally put in place to have an arbitrary rules to get the minorities out? Try reading some books on the laws of the 20th century. I think this country has a very good history of that.
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Old 07-24-2015, 11:46 AM
 
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During my time at a Big 6 firm, race was a non-issue. When blacks (and other racial minorities) left the firm, it was for a myriad of reasons, but institutionalized racism at the firm wasn't one of them.
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Old 07-24-2015, 11:51 AM
 
397 posts, read 308,925 times
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Also, don't worry about me living my life and my career. I think I'm very keen at, other minorities too but maybe not admit, about which white people are racists and which are not. That is clear to me.
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Old 07-24-2015, 11:54 AM
 
397 posts, read 308,925 times
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Originally Posted by TaxPhd View Post
During my time at a Big 6 firm, race was a non-issue. When blacks (and other racial minorities) left the firm, it was for a myriad of reasons, but institutionalized racism at the firm wasn't one of them.
If that is the case, why is it that every minority that I spoke with that are in or left big4 says there is? They also admit they cannot say it. Why do white people speak of no racism on BEHALF of the minorities? This absolutely baffles me.
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Old 07-24-2015, 12:25 PM
 
8,111 posts, read 3,530,296 times
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Originally Posted by livinfairfax View Post
If that is the case, why is it that every minority that I spoke with that are in or left big4 says there is? They also admit they cannot say it. Why do white people speak of no racism on BEHALF of the minorities? This absolutely baffles me.
In my academic career, I have had black students that have failed every exam, and as a result failed the class. Then they claim that the reason that they failed was due to me being a racist. Why would they do that? Perhaps playing the race card is easier than admitting to one's own shortcomings.
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Old 07-24-2015, 12:33 PM
 
397 posts, read 308,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaxPhd View Post
In my academic career, I have had black students that have failed every exam, and as a result failed the class. Then they claim that the reason that they failed was due to me being a racist. Why would they do that? Perhaps playing the race card is easier than admitting to one's own shortcomings.
There was only one black person in my intermediate accounting course in college and he dropped out because he couldn't pass the consolidation exam. I will admit there are higher rate of failed exams either in college or CPA in blacks and hispanics. I don't know if this is a genetic thing or a cultural thing but I will admit the pattern that is there. I certainly wouldn't be surprised if racism is used to cover it up.

But I know EXACTLY how this works. I knew coming in it existed but I never would have thought how bad it is. I'll give you two examples.

1. Someone on my team mentioned that he likes monty python. Everybody thought that was funny. When I mentioned I watched it and liked it when I was younger (at a separate event with different people), people look at me funny. Guess what, monty python is a 70's british comedy. You decide whether that is a code word or not.

2. I had an interview recently with an employer. The HR person used to work at big4 as a scheduler. (the one who books associates to clients) What she told me is sick sick sick. big4 should be in hell for what they do. Like I said, this is very INTENTIONAL. But, none of this stuff is ever in writing. It's always oral. Complete a-holes.
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Old 07-24-2015, 01:58 PM
 
397 posts, read 308,925 times
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By the way guys, I'm thinking of writing a book on this. It'll be similar to that those books like "War of Prophets" (Lockheed Martin), "The Partnership" (Goldman Sachs), and "The Flash Boys" (various dark pools). I hope it becomes a best-seller.
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Old 07-24-2015, 05:47 PM
 
482 posts, read 730,061 times
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I worked for a Big 4 firm years ago when it was still the Big 6.

Plenty of minorities, mostly asians, at staff through senior levels. Much fewer at manager, even fewer at senior manager and just a couple of token minorites at partner level (one asian, one hispanic and one black), mainly to handle minority clients of the same race. The asians were often among the smartest, hardest working employees at the firm. White employees of average abilities were often mentored and groomed for upper management based on family/political connections and, well, race. Very much an old boy's club. This never occurred with minority employees, who were usually mentored only by the token minority partners or by minorities in lower level management. Whites in upper ranks always like to use the tired excuse that race is a non issue and that minorities lack leadership/managerial skills, which is mostly an outdated stereotype in my experience. On several occasions, I overheard white partners express racist sentiments or had them "invite me" to share in such conversations.

If you're a minority, my advice is 2 years and get out. Or decide to stay 4-5 years to make manager if you are willing to kiss ass that long, then move on to bigger and better things. Only the mediocre stay in public accounting for life anyway. I hear the large firms now have mandatory retirement at 50 or 55.

Still, I look back at those days fondly and I have no regrets. I'm just telling it like it is. There are a lot of good people in your start group who will become lifelong friends. Big 4 experience looks good on your resume. Things may have changed since then, but probably not much. Very similar environment in mainstream law firms, investment banking, etc., afaik.

Last edited by mark85; 07-24-2015 at 07:11 PM..
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Old 07-24-2015, 06:29 PM
 
397 posts, read 308,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark85 View Post
I worked for a Big 4 firm years ago when it was still the Big 6.

Plenty of minorities, mostly asians at staff through senior levels. Much fewer at manager, even fewer at senior manager and just a couple of token minorites at partner level (one asian, one hispanic and one black), mainly to handle minority clients of the same race. These minorites were often among the smartest, hardest working employees at the firm. White employees of average abilities were often mentored and groomed for upper management based on family/political connections and, well, race. Very much an old boy's club. This never occurred with minority employees, who were usually mentored only by the token minority partners or not at all. Whites in upper ranks always like to use the tired excuse that race is a non issue and that minorities lack leadership/managerial skills. On several occasions, I overheard white partners express racist sentiments or had them "invite me" to share in such conversations.

If you're a minority, my advice is 2 years and get out. Or decide to stay 4-5 years to make manager if you are willing to kiss ass that long, then move on to bigger and better things. Only the mediocre stay in public accounting for life anyway. I hear the large firms now have mandatory retirement at 50 or 55.

Still, I look back at those days fondly. I have no regrets...just telling it like it is. There are a lot of good people in your start group who will become lifelong friends. Things may have changed since then, but probably not much.
This is exactly my point. At my office (not sure about others) there are "portfolio" people who have it soooo much easier. Everything's easier including quality reviews. On the contrary, you have to work twice, literally twice as hard as a minority to get to the same point. These "hard working" minority is typically asian. I see these comments on goingconcern.com talking about how asian people are work machines. Do we have a freaking choice?? The black minorities in my office is few and far off between. Ironically, very few that does exist at my office is assigned to "black eccentric" clients as portfolio people.

I have had good time here and not all are bad. Some white colleagues of mine go the extra distance to make me feel better knowing this. But this is unacceptable. Asian minorities aren't some slaves that are immune to getting tired after 90 hrs. It's like the big4 have a mentality to re-create some kind of chinese workshops here.
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