Annabel's Story

Annabel Sergeant
  • Annabel Sergeant

Annabel is a Manager in our IT Risk and Assurance (ITRA) team and a member of Scotland’s national rugby team. As a recent addition to EY, she’s been essential to growing our ITRA offering in Edinburgh and recruiting new colleagues.

Did you always want to work in IT? 

“I didn’t originally set out to do this work - I studied electronic engineering at university and was looking for options once I graduated. My first role out of uni was in forensic technology. It wasn’t directly related to my degree, but I got to use data to solve problems, which I love to do. I then moved to New Zealand and while I enjoyed it, I ultimately moved back to Edinburgh and now work in the EY office here.”  

What do you do as part of the ITRA team? 

“We take clients’ data, analyse any potential risks and advise them based on our findings. We use techniques like visualisation and data manipulation to help them understand their data and the potential it holds to shape their business.” 

What makes the work you do so exciting? 

“Our team is prioritising growth and development right now. From machine learning to artificial intelligence – we’re in a very forward-looking industry. When you think about it, every company both uses data and produces it, so our role is essential to their business.” 

What are the benefits of working at a firm like EY? 

“For one, it’s global so you can use the network to explore new parts of the world. The clients we have vary a lot, so I’ve worked on everything from large manufacturing companies to smaller finance-based firms. It can be any kind of client, problem or data set you’re analysing.  

Because of EY’s scale, there are many opportunities to develop. The variety and availability of courses you can take to improve your skills in certain areas highlights our focus on continuous learning.” 

What sets EY apart from other places you’ve worked? 

“Despite my experience, it’s always hard joining a new business in a new country and I was blown away by how supportive everyone was. I learned from every member of the team – from interns to partners. 

The people here truly make EY different. Everyone is talented, smart and approachable, and they’re open and friendly and keen to collaborate. We bounce ideas off of one another and solve problems together – the energy here is really great.

Working at EY Edinburgh also means you get the best of both worlds – you have a small, close network of people in your office and can tap into the vast knowledge in the London office when you have to.”

You play a big part in the recruitment process. What do you look for in candidates? 

“Ultimately, we want people who have an openness to learning new things. People who want to develop themselves and help others. We have a culture based on sharing so it’s important to hire people with a similar mindset. 

The skills we look for don’t have to be in a specific technology and we don’t expect the people who join us to know everything from the start. We care more about your ability to try new ways of thinking and uncover solutions. Once you’re here, you’ll have many opportunities to build new skills, get more technical and problem-solve with other members of the team.”

Finally, do you find it difficult to balance your career and place on the national rugby team? 

“Sometimes it feels as though I have two careers, which can be challenging, but everyone’s been very supportive. EY’s openness has made the process so much easier. Some of my other teammates don’t get that support from their employers so I feel lucky to work for a business that recognises my passions outside of the office. They really understand the importance of work-life balance and they help you achieve it. 

Annabel Sergeant
  • Annabel Sergeant