Associate at EY

Start Date:
Programme Type:
School Leaver Programme
£21,500 annually
Review Date:
April 2015

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


My role at EY varies from client to client. But ultimately, the job is pretty similar. At year end, I will tend to perform substantive procedures on Cash, Debtors, creditors and depending on the client fixed assets, prepayment, admin expenses. As a first year you will generally do cash and debtors, but it will vary on the size of the client and what the team needs done. Generally, the job involves a lot of ticking and agreeing numbers which has been mainly what i have done.

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


In terms of skills learnt, I have become a lot better at working on excel, working in teams and defiantly working under stress and pressure. This is by far the biggest point. At EY, due to the requirement of some clients, you may have to work under very time high pressure - you learn to develop a "get the work done" approach, which may mean neglecting your personal life at times

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


This is a hard question to answer. I think the scheme is good, the people you work with can be great, and the large clients you get to work on at 18 years old look brilliant! However, this can come at a trade off of 50-60 hour week, every week for usually 3 months. (Jan-March) Even after that, if you are on clients that report quarterly, you will be very busy all year around. The hours can have a huge impact on your view of life and what you really want in life. And the stress!, 18 year olds do not need this stress. However, I think once you have done a decent amount of time at the firm, it all pays off if you intend to go into industry later on.

4. How valued do you feel by EY?


Yes and no. As a school leaver you feel apart of the team. You get given the same work as a first year graduate and expectations are the same, so thats why I say yes. The reason I say no is because, while I am doing the same work as a graduate, why am I not on the same salary as them? People may argue that a degree makes graduates smarter than school leavers, but i don't think a degree in history (Yes, most people don't have degrees relating to accounting here) will have any difference over a school leaver getting high grades in mathematical and business related a-level subjects in the world of finance.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


No one has completed the whole programme yet. I think it could be made clearer to us on how the programme will work in the later years.

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


As much as I need

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


You get given a councillor who you can talk to if you have any issues.

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


Working in London is very expensive. The commute, food/drink and rent if you choose to live there can be extortionate. I think the salary could be a big better, but is still very good for an 18 year old.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


Yes. There are many social committees.

9a. Would you recommend EY to a friend? *


9b. Why? *

My answer is Yes and No. If you are a school leaver at 18 years old, my advice is go to uni. Enjoy life for another 3 years with a lot less/NO stress, and have a really good time. While it may seem very costly, say £50K (including interest) over the course of your working life is immaterial. They say uni years are the best! I think if I knew the way the programme was, I probably would have gone to uni. It would have been nicer to enjoy life at a slower pace for a little longer. 18 years old working at EY sounds great, but joining at 21 still sounds brilliant.

I would recommend EY as a place to work to graduates. Its a brilliant place to qualify and become an accountant.

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

Search the internet for every interview question, and draft a paragraph for each one and memorise your answer. It is very dependant on the person. Be enthusiastic and actually show an interest in auditing in the interviews, it makes a big difference.

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