1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
The Smart Futures Programme is a year long programme where for three weeks you are located in an EY office. The first two weeks involve acquiring and building new transferable skills which can be used in any future career. These skills include public speaking, communication and teaming. The last week is where you are assigned to a service line and work alongside EY employees. For a year afterwards you will have regular contact with a mentor who is assigned to you and will help you with all important decisions from interview tips to writing a Personal Statement for University.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Presentation skills is the major skill you will learn. Even if you have never spoken in public, or are afraid to speak in front of a large audience, after presenting to the rest of the Smart Futures cohort and employees of the firm it will become second nature and is one of the most valuable skills you will acquire.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The Smart Futures Programme is the best work experience anyone could complete! Contrary to the stereotypical image of "work experience", Smart Futures provides you with the skills needed to step onto the career ladder and many opportunities to network with peers, employees and Partners of EY and their clients.
4. How valued do you feel by EY?
EY truly wants the young people on their Smart Futures programme to succeed. To do this, they offer praise and assistance where it is needed. During the final week within the service line you will be set challenging, meaningful tasks which are a valuable contribution to your service line's work. Even after the three weeks there will be Smart Future Alumni events which provide the opportunity to reunite with the rest of your cohort and continue building your network and skills. You will act as ambassadors for the EY Foundation, attending events to spread the news of how the EY Foundation has helped you.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The Smart Futures Programme is very well organised. Each day is planned in advance and the agenda will be given to you on your first day. This is crucial for informing you what you need to prepare for the upcoming days but also helps you to get the most out of the programme. It is your responsibility to approach and arrange regular meetings with your mentor, who will support you in the upcoming year.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
As well as the training you will receive on the Smart Futures Programme within the office, there are ongoing opportunities to develop these skills and acquire new skills at the Smart Futures alumni events.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The Mentors are fantastic at providing any support you need during the three weeks and during Year 13, whether it be help in writing a Personal Statement or interview tips.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The EY Smart Futures Programme is a paid work experience with a very competitive pay package. This covers travel costs well.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
The Smart Futures Alumni events offer a great opportunity to reunite with your cohort throughout Year 13 which helps you to form lasting bonds. Throughout the three weeks themselves, you will get to know each and every one of your peers as you are constantly working in new teams. Through doing so you will make lasting friendships and meet up for lunch and after work. There was an opportunity for the Smart Futures London Cohort 2014 to organise a fundraising bake sale to raise money for the EY Foundation
9a. Would you recommend EY to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
The transferable skills and network you will acquire through completing the Smart Futures Programme is a unique selling point for the programme. This is the best opportunity you will be given to build the foundations for your career.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to EY? *
Take your time to complete the application form by providing highly detailed answers at length. Take practice tests online for the aptitude tests and prepare in advance for the interview. Above all I would advise everyone to apply for the EY Smart Futures Programme because what you learn here will build you as an individual and as a professional.
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