Flo's Dad - Eddie

Flo - 5 things I wish I'd known about Assurance

For today’s school leavers making a decision about what to do next can be a difficult process – especially if the decision means not going to university. If you are a parent helping your son or daughter to make this decision then we thought you might find it useful to read about the experiences of the parents of some of our current trainees. Eddie's daughter Flo joined the School Leaver programme in Assurance in September 2013.


  • Tell us a little bit about yourself

I left high school aged 16 - half way through the Autumn term of the Scottish equivalent of lower 6th.  I left to join the Army as an apprentice, I went through a two-year programme of further education and soldiering. I took the decision - with my parents support - as I could see that my high school education would not have taken me far enough academically in my remaining time in full time education. 

I now head the EMEA Project Management department in one of the world’s largest telco’s.  The transition from the Army to - what was then - an internet service provider was not a natural progression but, due to the ever evolving state of the Internet and Telecommunications work being very varied it was suitable for someone with an eagerness to learn and develop.  In 30 years I have only had 2 jobs. 

  • How did you first hear about the programme?

It was Flo who brought the programme to our attention.  She was adamant that she wasn't going to spend a number of years in university racking up a student debt.  She wanted to look for an opportunity to move straight into business. Flo had been looking at the apprentice programme at a competitor of EY who were running an active school leavers' recruitment programme in the Cambridge area.  Given that initial exposure to business recruitment and the self-confidence she developed while going through the process she very quickly discovered more about the EY school leaver programme.

  • What did you think of the programme? What informed this?

What we know about the programme has been brought to us by Flo. She was very good at marketing the opportunity to us - to her own benefit.  She is a very open and honest girl and we can see through her how much EY value feedback from their trainees about the programme itself and where improvements have been made.

  • What did you and Flo discuss when she was deciding which path to take towards her future career / education?

I think that Katie (Flo’s Mum) will answer this question better as the two of them had very conflicting views as to what the best post-school route was for Flo. 

  • How have you found the programme now that Flo has started?

I think that we would all admit that the programme is not as Flo first thought that it would be. Our initial thoughts were that she would be office based and we would both continue to car share.  The EY Cambridge office is only a 5 minute walk from my office.  However, she could count the number of days she has been office based in the past 14 months on her fingers and toes. There is a lot of travelling to and working from client sites – those applying should be aware of this. 

  • Have you notice any changes to Flo?

When she first moved to her 6th Form School in Cambridge in September 2011 she transformed within a two-week period from being a young school girl to a very self-assured young lady.

Likewise, we noticed a very similar transformation with her within EY as she travelled across East Anglia and to North Wales. Her reliance on others to make decisions for her were gone, she wanted to be in control of her own diary and actions. There have been many times where her weekly calendar has been chopped and changed and she takes each change in her stride, deals with the situation and moves on. She is a keen advocate of the EY School Leaver Programme.  She wears her heart on her sleeve and gives her total commitment. 

  • Would you recommend the programme to other parents and why?

Yes, I would. I would advise them allow their son/daughter to lead the job searching.  The commitment that Flo showed to prove to us - especially her mother - that this programme was a better option than university proved how much she wanted to join EY.  Any resistance that her mother showed - playing the devil's advocate - helped to spur Flo on to prove to us both that she knew what she wanted to do with her career.