Darren - Politics
Darren studied politics at the University of Glasgow, followed by a MSc. in International Relations in 2012. He joined EY in September 2013 as a graduate trainee and works in our Glasgow Office in IT Risk & Assurance.
When did you start thinking about which industry and employer to apply to?
I was really late in thinking about the career I wanted, and the sector I wanted to work in – it took me until the second term on my masters before I decided. The trigger to get the ball rolling was a simple question from my friend: “have you considered consulting?” After that, I attended careers fair after careers fair, network event after network event. I decided that the Big Four was the place I wanted to be.
What made you realise you could get a job at EY with your degree?
A good friend of mine studied English Literature at the University of Glasgow where she went on to do great things at EY in Tax. Because I’d seen her succeed, I realised that my degree discipline wasn’t a barrier to success at such a large organisation.
What skills and experience helped you through EY’s application and selection process?
At EY it’s all about the people. Having the people-skills you develop as part of a degree like Politics was essential in helping build relationships and manage difficult scenarios as part of the assessment centre. Being able to communicate in a clear, effective manner made it much less daunting. In addition, the reasoning skills – making a structured argument – help on a daily basis when you’re in the firm, let alone getting you here.
What skills from your degree have you been able to transfer to your role at EY?
Public speaking – this skill is essential as you progress. Being able to present in front of your peers, as well as in high pressure situations has been a life-saver and helped me take on the role with great ease. The analytical capacity that is fostered as part of a politics degree – reasoning, deconstructing arguments, and logically structuring your thoughts help a great deal when talking through a complex system of controls.
How has EY supported your transition from your degree into business?
EY have provided a great deal of training sessions to develop the technical skillset required to conduct the job, but also to develop me. The EY intranet is a vast resource with untapped knowledge for you to dip in and out of. EY is full of enablers to let you develop on your own terms. Beyond that, the coaching provided on the job is fundamental and builds your knowledge to the right level without leaving you feeling overwhelmed.
What’s your most important piece of advice for students studying the same degree as you did?
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. A great team is a diverse one – diverse in mindset. You have a great deal of skill and insight that would help raise the caliber of the team, don’t be afraid. Have the courage to go forth.