1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
In work in the private client tax department. This means I work on both advisory and compliance (tax returns) for individuals. My average day will always differ due to the large variety and range in advisory projects which we are involved in. During December and January the workload is full on to ensuring the tax returns are submitted before the January deadline. However, in my opinion this is the best way to be distracted from the depressing short hours of light and cold, wet weather. The rest of year is relaxed and very enjoyable.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have recently been on my first client meeting, up in London. This was a great opportunity and a huge learning curve. I was given the opportunity to take an active involvement in the meeting, which helped my confidence and ability to presentation is myself. I have also taken part in a number of recruitment events, which in turn has allowed my public speaking to develop. My other skills which I feel have improved since I have started at EY include letter writing, professionalism and self reviews.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have thoroughly enjoyed the first few months of my programme with EY. I have been offered a number of different opportunities since I have started including client and intimidary meetings, network events and internal training. My work in PCS is varied and most days I will be researching and learning about a different area (I.e. Pensions, inheritance tax planning), this means everyday is different and unexpected?
4. How valued do you feel by EY?
My team in PCS are extremely friendly, approachable and considerate. They are all aware I have limited technical knowledge, coming straight from sixth form. On my first projects and reports which I completed, I had a large amount of guidance and assistance. As my understand and the technical knowledge has started to increase, I have been taking a more active role in our client work. I have received good and constructive feedback for all my worked competed, and I definitely feel a valued member of the team.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My programme is well structured. I have been a number of tax training courses with both school leavers and graduates which has been a great opportunity to meet people from other offices. The school leavers programme is 5 years compared to the graduates which is 3, this means we are given a long gap between our exams allowing the programme to be less intense. I will finish my exams in around 4 and a half years, and then qualify after 5 years.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I attend college at Kaplan in Reading with the Bristol, Southhampton and Reading school leavers. This is great opportunity to network with other school leavers. I thoroughly enjoy college, and although the material which we are learning is intense I feel the tutors are clear, understanding and approachable. We are given the contact details for our tutors once we leave college to follow up with any further questions and are also given the opportunity to visit the Kaplan centre in Bristol.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My team at EY are very understanding, considering they have all already taken the exams. They will allow me to leave work early the days before my exam to allow further time for revisions, and will ensure I do not have heavy workload. When you start your professional level exams you are given study leave, which allows time for revision - and from what I have heard it is definitely needed. However, I'm currently only taking my entry level exams and therefore study leave is only given for the time when you are at college.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I am able to live comfortably off my salary, but I do receive support from my parents. Most of the school leavers spend their first few years lvicing at home, this allows the transition from school to work much easier, and obviously allows you to save. I believe you would be able to live off your salary in a city without saving or support from your parents, however you would have to be conservative with spending.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Bristol is a large city. Therefore, there's is number of clubs, events and opportunities to get involved in, both in and out of work. I have joined a swimming club and a netball club, however if you don't enjoy sport you can get involved in drawing, wine tasting etc. My company, EY, also organise a number of events which are great to get involved with and allow the opportunity to socialise and introduce yourself to colleagues, and of course there's nearly always drinks after work on the Friday.
9a. Would you recommend EY to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I have enjoyed my first few months at EY. I feel I have definitely made the right decision for me to not attend university, avoiding my debt and starting my working experience much earlier. This hopefully should allow my progression in my career to develop faster, and allow a great number of opportunities at an earlier age. I feel the only think I'm missing out on is the long summer holidays - however, you have to lose them sooner or later.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to EY? *
Enjoy the experience, nobody is trying to make it difficult or 'trick' you. Everyone at EY is extremely understanding and aware of your age, they are not expecting you to have a shining CV with numerous work experience. Show you are enthusiastic and willing to learning and you will fit right in. Relax in your interviews and answer all the questions honestly, backing all you responses with experiences.
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