Becky - film and literature
Becky studied Film & Literature at the University of Warwick and graduated in 2014 where she then joined EY Advisory (Consultancy) as a graduate trainee.
When did you start thinking about which industry and employer to apply to, and what did you do to set the ball rolling?
“I always knew that I wanted to work in a business and office type environment as a career but had little interest in doing business as a degree. As a result, I initially focused on the Advertising and Marketing industry during my first years at university as my perception was that as the “creative” areas, these would not only be the most suitable, but also the most likely places that someone with my type of degree would be accepted.
“I started by researching top advertising agencies and applying for internships and work experience. However it was through this research and application process that I realised that the culture and environment of many of these employers did not fit with my personality or what I was looking for.”
What made you realise you could get a job at EY with your degree, and what drew you to EY in particular?
“One of my close friends had completed an internship at EY and as he subsequently secured a grad job, he knew quite a bit about the firm and the other service lines.
“He recommended Consulting as a career choice for me as he felt it fitted my personality and knew of other Humanities students that had successfully taken that career path. He also spoke about EY’s great people culture in particular, and as I looked into the firm further I felt it was somewhere I could really see myself developing my career.”
What skills and experiences helped you through EY’s application and selection process?
“I definitely think that both my work experience and extra-curricular activities at university played a key part in my successful application. Being on the executive committee of a sports club and taking on part-time work while I studied gave me so much to talk about in my interviews as it allows you to discover your own strengths, weaknesses, and ways you can improve yourself to develop further – something that the interviewers love to hear.
“Also, from a degree specific perspective, the ability to read and write quickly and concisely certainly came in useful when given a time pressured writing task in the assessment!”
What skills from your degree have you been able to transfer to your role at EY?
“The ability to read and write quickly and concisely, alongside being able to digest large amounts of information and pick out key points, is something that I use every day in my role.
“EY also puts a strong emphasis on its employees learning to “flex their working styles” when working in a team to avoid clashes and become as high performing as possible. By doing a degree subject that involves group discussions and debates about content that can sometimes be very divisive, I developed this flexibility and tolerance of a range of opinions throughout university and this has so far proved very useful.
“Finally, despite my initial perception that the Advertising and Marketing industry was the only place for creative business minds, a Consulting role constantly requires you to think outside the box in order to solve business problems in a new and exciting way. I use the same approach to these problems as I used to with my essays. They both require research, development, and sometimes several versions, to effectively find the right question to answer, and then to answer it as well as possible.”
How has EY supported your transition from a humanities degree into business?
“When completing the induction weeks the level of training goes very much back to basics. There is such a range of experiences and backgrounds of people who enter the graduate programmes that nothing is assumed.”
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?
“My advice would be to not limit your options. The best thing about a Humanities degree is that it leaves you open to anything, all you need to do to make it happen is put in the time and effort into looking into the company, making sure it’s a good fit, and then getting across that interest and compatibility in your application.”