Amanda - Languages
Amanda studied Arabic and Spanish at the University of Edinburgh and graduated in 2013 before going on to complete her MA International Studies and Diplomacy at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She has now working as a trainee in Financial Services, Assurance.
When did you start thinking about which industry and employer to apply to, and what did you do to set the ball rolling?
"I really enjoyed researching different industries and possible career paths and went to the careers service to read their material regularly from my second year at university. Initially I was very keen to work for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or in journalism – so completely different to Audit."
What made you realise you could get a job at EY with your degree, and what drew you to EY in particular?
"Reading the EY website it became clear that a specific degree is not a requirement for working here. I came to an event at EY for International Women’s Day and met with someone from Tax for coffee – both experiences proved this was true about people working at EY who come from all different backgrounds.
"The people I had met from the company were the biggest draw for me, along with the global nature of the company – having studied languages I have always been keen to work abroad at some point to develop my career internationally and EY seemed very open to this possibility. Now that I have joined EY I can see there are a few different programs which I can get involved with to support this."
What skills and experiences helped you through EY’s application and selection process?
"Practicing application processes and applying to other companies with varying interviews/application processes meant that when I came to EY I was prepared and had some experience with the assessment centre tasks. It was particularly important for me that I had practiced presenting myself and my goals in relation to Audit, which showed my transferrable strengths; it’s not the obvious choice for a linguist."
What skills from your degree have you been able to transfer to your role at EY?
"Analysis and attention to detail are the key skills I can bring to my work from my studies writing essays and researching. Audit is more investigative than adding and subtracting numbers – I have to think about why they do or don’t add up in a certain way.
"Studying languages also gave me a much broader experience than others in interacting with people from different countries and backgrounds – this has made working in an international team at EY very second nature."
How has EY supported your transition from your Languages degree into business?
"On arrival at EY everyone from all degree backgrounds are treated in the same way. At college when doing our exams, EY ensure there are tutors available if we need extra help or are struggling which is really useful when you’re not from a numerical background."
What’s your most important piece of advice for students studying the same degree as you did and how to go about getting a job with an organisation like EY?
"Work out what you want to know about a department/role/the organisation and try to meet someone from the company you want to work for to ask them about working there (search LinkedIn, Facebook etc). Read about the industry you want to work in – search online for blogs and newsletters – sign up to have it delivered daily/weekly to give yourself talking points for interviews."