1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am an Assurance Staff/Assistant. I am assigned various tasks on different client sites including liaising with clients on particular accounting issues, processing and documenting information given to me and stock counts. Sometimes I will be on a client for three or four weeks and be given a certain amount of tasks to complete. Other times, I am booked on a client for a day or week to help out with the work. Socially, I am with a variety of teams and therefore my closest work friends I keep in touch with via my laptop at work.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have become more confident discussing accounting related topics with my team and with the client. I am generally better at networking and accounting after being exposed to these so much. I am training to become a chartered accountant after 5 years. There are external training courses to pass these exams, and internal training courses for career/personal development and using EY systems and following their practices.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy the busy life and the new people I have met since starting. There are occasional events where I can meet the other school leavers and graduates in my year or around my age. The company culture is great for equality and diversity. However, it can be quite isolated and unsociable sometimes when I am on a client with a small team for a long time. Also, the logistics side of EY could be greatly improved as there are often long journeys to clients which are far away when another colleague is on a client a few miles away from my house for example.
4. How valued do you feel by EY?
I feel that my time and effort is appreciated when I am on a job. I am able to contribute to discussions if I feel I have something important to say, and in terms of feedback I feel able to ask for ways that I can improve in the future.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
As the programme has only been running for 3 years and it is a 5 year programme, it is unclear what the last 2 years of my programme involve. There are events and training courses which the graduates (who have a 3 year programme) know about and know the timing of, but for school leavers this isn't the case as it is a smaller programme and seems to change quite often. This doesn't affect me too much because I trust that the course will still be enjoyable and I know that ultimately I will have my ACA qualification after 5 years. In terms of day to day structure, task delegation can be quite uncertain at times as I am often given work as I perform it, which makes it difficult to determine how long I should take to finish the task. I would prefer to be given my tasks at the start of an engagement so I can know what time I can arrive and leave work to get the work done on time instead of working until my senior decides to leave. I am sure that as I progress this will be the case for me. I have a buddy and mentor from when I start. I can ask the buddy for help on simpler things such as expenses or booking annual leave etc (she is 1 year ahead of me on the course) and I can ask the mentor for more career development related things such as feedback and my client portfolio.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I have been given a sufficient amount of training and lessons to be able to perform my role at this current level. As I progress I am given more training courses and exams to pass, which help me in my day to day job. I enjoy these courses as they can be quite sociable with my peers. The tutors are good and I feel confident to pass the exams.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Day to day training is generally very good. I am comfortable with asking questions to my team and knowing what I need to do. I often ask questions less related to the specific task and more to gage a general understanding on what I am doing, and these questions are answered in detail which really helps me. Sometimes there are clients where there are tight deadlines or seniors who are less focused on my personal career development, but most of the time I find my team very supportive.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My travel is paid for. It would be possible for me to afford moving out and there are often social events held at work which are either paid for or discounted.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are a few opportunities outside of work but mostly these apply to the London area only. There are sports clubs but as I do not play sports this doesn't benefit me. There is a charity which has some events on such as a bike ride but this is costly and quite far from where I live. I enjoy the socials held at work and on away jobs it is nice to explore the cities that I am sent to in the evenings.
9a. Would you recommend EY to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Because it is a quick way to start a career in finance and I enjoy being busy. There is a lot of progression and I will be a chartered accountant at quite a young age, which can really help me in the future if I decide to leave EY.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to EY? *
If you are going into Assurance in one of the regional offices outside London, it is important for you to be able to drive. I have been learning to drive while on the job which has been really difficult. For interviews and assessment days, try to have a lot of experiences to talk about so you stand out. It is also really useful to have had a part time job so you can talk about this and show that you are hard working.
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