Trainee Associate at EY

Start Date:
Luton South East
Programme Type:
School Leaver Programme
£23,000 annually
Review Date:
May 2018

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Review Score


1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


Role: Trainee Associate

  • Auditing
  • Client meetings
  • Analysis of financial data
  • Team working

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?

  • Training to be an ICAEW ACA chartered accountant with the company
  • Learn a whole range of skills from the job e.g. time-management, client speaking skills, team-working, excel skills etc.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?

  • Working in teams is definitely a perk of the job as everyone is willing to help and you interact with people that have come from all over the world
  • Joining as a school leaver is a great opportunity for your age. However, it does have its cons in that you do exams slower than the grads so your technical knowledge is not as great as the grads. In year-end ratings you are compared to the grads, and thus it seems unfair in this aspect.
  • I was on the Smart Futures programme before joining, and so already had an idea of EY. However, when I joined it was extremely different to my expectations in terms of hours and travelling.

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4. How valued do you feel by EY?

  • This depends on manager to manager, as you constantly work with different leadership almost every week.
  • However, general feeling with myself and others in the office is that you don't feel valued enough, and it's always expected for you to do more.
  • They have recently reduced handing out impact awards (£50 awards for good work), which means less recognition is given for hard work.
  • As stated above, you are compared to the level of graduates, which can be unfair at times.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?

  • 5 year programme working whilst also studying for the ACA
  • Receive training almost yearly to improve your audit skills
  • Can be difficult as a school leaver at times as you normally go from college back to work, and thus when the exams come round, you have to balance working late and studying
  • Depending on the office, some of the smaller offices are unsure on the differences between the graduate programmes and school leaver programmes, thus it can sometimes feel like it is disorganised. The school leaver turnover can be very high at times

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?

  • Receive exam support through Kaplan

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?

  • Everyone has a counsellor, who is almost like a manager who oversees all of your feedback. This can really work depending on how comfortable you feel talking to your counsellor. If you have a good counsellor it can make a large difference to how you feel at work.
  • Furthermore, leadership are willing to listen if you are having a tough time at work

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7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?

  • General thoughts within everyone at EY at this level is that pay is not enough for the hours and stress you put up with.
  • It's still good pay for your age however, but you could easily earn more in a comparable job.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?

  • Lots of opportunities to get involved in extra-curricular activities

9. Would you recommend EY to a friend?


9b. Why?

  • Very stressful all the time and long hours + commutes to clients
  • Unrealistic expectations from management at times

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to EY?

  • Research, research, research!
  • Try and speak to someone at EY to get first hand experience
  • Be yourself at interviews/assessment centres, as they are more interested in getting to know you as a person

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