The first step in developing your elevator pitch is defining your objective. What is it that you want to accomplish? Are you looking for an internship? Full-time offer? Summer Leadership Conference? There is an old Yogi Berra quote that relates directly to this topic:

“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”

Your pitch will slightly change based on your objective. The main importance of determining your objective is so when you deliver the pitch, you’re confident in who you are, and what you’re looking for. As long as you have good reason, and are confident, you can have the objective to have an internship OR full time offer depending on which works best for the firm (great option for people that are in the more desperate stages of their career.). You also need to have reasons for why you want each of these positions. Here are some common reasons for the three positions mentioned above:

Summer Leadership

  • Gain a better understanding of which line of service I want (audit, tax, advisory)
  • Learn more about the firm
  • Have the chance to be immersed in the company culture
  • Meet employees whom they may work for in an internship or job


Learn about the firm

Get the “on-the-job” experience

Validate your excitement and passion for auditing/tax/accounting from class

Full –Time

  • You’ve done your research and know this firm is your top choice
  • Have met people who work from the firm, and have consistently been impressed
  • Are impressed with the clients and industries and know this firm has the right fit for you

I’ll even give you a bonus today, what’s the second step?

The second step is to define what you do, or what you have done. If you’re apply for the Big 4, I’m guessing you’ve attended University and you’ve probably got a pretty good GPA (if you don’t, no worries, I didn’t either). Here are some other things you have probably done:

  • Been involved in class projects
  • Led or joined student organizations
  • Led or participated in community service events
  • Worked a part time job
  • Worked a full time job
  • Participated in campus competitions (speech, fundraising, other)
  • Play University sports
  • And the list goes on and on.

While this isn’t a time to “toot your horn”, you do need to display the key and important things that have helped you develop and be ready for a career with the Big 4. Try and shorten the list to two or three things that you may be able to work in to a version or two of your elevator speech. My advice is to keep them to the productive and competitive areas of your life such as any type of work, leadership position, or competition.

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AuthorAndrew Argue