1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role involves travelling to different client sites and giving an opinion on their financial statements. I will work on a client site for around 2-3 weeks, and will gain confidence in their figures on the statements.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have been studying for my chartered accounting qualification at ICAS college. We are also given the chance to attend a training seminar every year that lasts 1-2 weeks. We are given on the job training, and also have the chance to do some online courses.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I find my programme to be fairly enjoyable, and I really enjoy the fact that I get to work with a range of different companies in all different industry sectors. I find the long working hours to be the main downside.
4. How valued do you feel by EY?
I don't feel particularly valued at EY, but I think that is largely due to having a lack of experience or training as I am still a first year. I think once I progress to a higher position, I will feel more valued by my firm.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme can be well structured, but there is also a lot of change and variation from each client, and I find it can sometimes be difficult to find out the best person to contact at different stages of my job role.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
My training provider is an external provider, with BPP University. I find them to have been extremely supportive and helpful during my training, and I know that their help was invaluable in ensuring I passed all my first year exams.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
When you start your employment at EY, you are assigned a buddy and a counsellor. The buddy is a second year student who is there to answer any questions you might feel stupid asking your manager, both before you start at EY, and after you have started. Your counsellor is someone you meet with regularly in order to discuss your career plans, and also someone you can contact with any confidential concerns and issues.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I think the salary is extremely low to what I expected to be paid. We very rarely work the allocated 37.5 hours per week, and it is usually more like 50 hours. When you consider the salary being split over 50 hours, it works out that we are probably only being paid around minimum wage, if not less. I find myself struggling each month just before pay day.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are opportunities to help out at charities, and you are given 2 days per year which you can take off work if you use them to raise money. There are also chances to help out at career days or assessment centres, but I usually find that my time has already been booked to a client so I am unable to volunteer.
9a. Would you recommend EY to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I think having one of the big four accounting firms in your experience is invaluable to someone wanting a career in finance. I really enjoy having the opportunity to work with so many different business industries, and really getting an in depth knowledge of all areas of finance. I find the work to be extremely challenging, but this keeps me motivated and ensures continuous growth.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to EY? *
I would say that to work in an audit/assurance role you need to prepare for long hours travelling, and you must ensure you have a car as this is often to client sites that can be difficult to access by public transport. Prepare for a fairly low salary for your first two years until you have more experience, as well as to work much longer hours than what your contract states.
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