Alison Ilyin - UKI Assurance, Reading

Alison is based in our Reading office, and completed her studies at Langley Grammar School.

Why did you decide to apply to take part in work expreince at EY? What interested you about working at EY in Reading?

I decided to apply for work experience as I thought what better way to spend time in my summer holidays than working in one of the Big 4 financial companies. What specifically interested me about the Reading office is that I’d been to London many times but Reading would have been a first. I have friends in Reading so I could meet them too. The EY Reading Office is absolutely stunning and nearby the local train station. I’d read up about EY and all their aims and found it truly admirable all the work they are trying to do with their 2020 vision. Recently they we’re the first big 4 company to get rid of their grade requirements for their Business Apprenticeship Programme and their graduate scheme. I liked EY due to them seeing their employees as an asset, not as a chore to deal out work and pay. EY doesn’t have materials to sell, just their wonderful staff.

What did you learn during your time at EY? What was your main highlight?

I learnt all sorts of things whislt at EY, from the daily runnings of the company to the different programmes. The main highlight was going to the client site and  the friendliness of all the staff. Although I was the youngest in my team, I was always made to feel included and I was always given relevant work to do for the real audit of a gambling company EY audits. I always thought Auditing would be a much more mundane of a job than it really was, I always assumed it was just a simple job, but it’s a lot harder than expected. The staff at EY were always so professional dealing with clients, but you could always have a nice chat when you needed a little break. I loved visiting the client site, I felt so professional turning up in smart uniform, sitting with a team helping with a real audit! It gave me a real insight into what day to day life was like at EY.

What key skills do you feel you developed?

Although I worked in a team and teamwork was an important aspect of the programme, my work experience taught me a lot of self discipline about independent work. Independance is important whether you’re going into the world of work or if you’re going off to University, you can’t always rely on being spoon fed all the work. It definitely helped boost my confidence when I went back into school, I felt sure in myself to be able to sit somewhere alone and get my work done. It hasn’t made me an introvert in the sense that I know I can talk to others if I ever need help/support.

To find out more about our work experience programmes, please click here.

  • Alison Ilyin

About the author

Alison joined the School Leaver programme in September 2016, after taking part in work experience our Reading office in 2015. She now works in our Assurance service line in Reading.