I knew Advisory was the service line for me due to its diversity in terms of the work and people. There are a variety of people working here from all over the world, including people on secondments from Malta for instance, and the project work ranges from Anti-Money Laundering to Remediation and Cyber Security.
I believe there’s a place for everyone here and I am proud to work in a diverse environment where I am faced with a range of tasks and projects.
I am currently working on a mortgage litigation project. This involves me assessing accounts where the bank has taken legal action against the borrower as they have failed to maintain their mortgage payments. It is my duty to assess whether the bank was fair to take legal action. If cases are deemed unfair then we can remediate customers, so they receive money back for legal fees they should not have incurred. I believe that the work I do makes a difference and I am proud to be working on this project.
Alongside the project work I attend university once a week. This consists of a full day learning, we cover 2 modules at a time and there is also a dedicated slot to discuss our progress, any issues we are having and to work on our Chartered Management Institute (CMI) portfolio.
On our first day we were introduced in a meeting room and met our counsellors, who were also completing the Chartered Management Degree Apprentice (CMDA) programme. After this induction we were taken to our first project room where we were each given a buddy who helped us set up our laptops and filled us in on the important daily tasks required.
The team were very inclusive and interested as to what we were doing on the programme as it was a new initiative. I felt very welcome and immediately grew close to other members on the CMDA programme and colleagues on the project.
I was surprised that the environment was so welcoming and friendly. Most people associate big firms like EY as very competitive and ‘each for their own’ which made me somewhat apprehensive when first starting. However, during my first week – day even, I realised how each person wanted you to do well and would go out of their way to help you.
The office has a lovely environment where everybody knows everyone. Although we work hard, people are always there to support and talk to you, which for me makes a big difference to my working day and is the reason why I love coming to work.
I love how interactive my role is. In my current project the work requires discussion as it is very judgement based. I find it interesting hearing other people’s perspectives on situations and engaging in discussions until we discover a suitable answer.
So far, I have worked on three projects, two of which were big banking clients and the other was an internal project for EY.
I didn’t know what to expect when joining the Advisory Service Delivery Centre, however, I thoroughly enjoy the work I do, and I look forward to what the next few years brings.
One thing that surprised me is the opportunities that come available to you if you show interest. A few exciting things I have done (which I did not expect to!), is travelling down and staying in Manchester where I was involved in running an assessment centre for potential apprentices. This was a great day meeting new people, developing my skills and exploring a new city.
Over time I have become more confident in my role and have volunteered to take on additional tasks on the project such as taking control of the communications log for the project. This involves categorising and logging all communication received from the client/QA team.
Additionally, as I took on the role of student representative I have been involved in organising the CMDA meetings. This involves preparing the content of the meeting as well as networking with other EY employees who could present at this meeting e.g. one initiative we did is getting a speaker from each service line within the department to give a brief overview of their experience and service line so that we were all aware of what we could potentially work on. As well as doing the preparation I also presented the meetings alongside another student rep, this was great for my development and helped my presentation skills massively.
I am most looking forward to becoming a counsellor.
At EY each employee is assigned a counsellor who helps you with your development as well as any other personal issues you may be having. I believe this is a great system and highlights how supportive EY are as a firm.
I believe that I could offer insightful knowledge to a future counselee and I look forward to the opportunity of being able to help another, especially if they were to be on the CMDA programme; as I can relate to how they will feel.
I am very positive about my career options within the wider industry. The work we do is diverse and transferrable therefore I’m positive I will be able to use my experience to the best of my advantage.
Additionally, as someone who transferred from EY’s Data Analytics department within Assurance I know first hand how flexible and accommodating EY are to your needs, hence I have great confidence there will always be a place for me at EY, within my current department or another.
Initially adjusting to the 9-5 lifestyle after a summer off from A-levels was hard, however once I got into the swing of things I developed a happy work/life balance.
On my current project we have socials every month – typically around pay day. These differ from going to quizzes or food.
I find that at EY you can find a very good balance which is helped by the flexible working policy they hold. Additionally, as part of the degree we are given study days to ensure EY adhere to the required 80/20 split – 20% being dedicated to university. Having these study days allows me to work on my assignments and portfolio which is a great help and if planned correctly means I do not need to spend my evenings or weekends doing university work, which is great for finding a healthy balance.
I am particularly proud of my involvement in helping the FY20 apprentice induction.
I volunteered to help creating the induction for the new apprentices. This involved brainstorming different team building events. I suggested the idea to do a treasure hunt as I thought it would be a great way for people to learn about Newcastle (visiting the main attractions) and a great way to have fun with various challenges.
I pitched the idea in a meeting and it was decided that this would be part of the timetable. After this I got to work creating the treasure hunt, thinking of the key attractions of Newcastle as well as fun challenges for the apprentices to do.
Additionally, I had the role of presenting the treasure hunt to the 25 new apprentices, explaining the event and the rules. The hunt was based on a points system and the team with the most points won.
After the apprentice’s completed the treasure hunt they were tasked with creating a presentation collating all the answers/photos which they had to send to me and I would count the points of each team.
I presented the results in an informal meeting where we displayed each team’s presentation which was met with much laughter.
I was very proud of how the treasure hunt went, especially as it was clear everyone enjoyed it and I believe that it played a big part in the apprentices making friends and getting to know the city. Additionally, it was confirmed that this event would be used next year, which illustrated its success.
I believe that this event had a big impact on my confidence, as I proved to myself that I was able to create and present a successful event, especially to a group of 25 people – which previously would have terrified me!
If you can I would highly recommend the Business Academy. This provides you with paid work experience where you explore each department from Advisory to Tax and Audit. It will give you the opportunity to experience what it is like to work at EY and be involved in the day to day running.
This also allows you to fast track through the recruitment process if you successfully complete.
I would tell myself to explore every opportunity you get as you never know what one opportunity might lead to! Additionally, I would encourage myself to network more, make connections and become known to the business- this is a great way to open yourself up to more opportunities and is a great way to make friends.