People are genuine, honest and happy to help – Thomas
- Thomas Harris
Thomas joined EY Guernsey in 2017 on the Assurance Graduate programme. Since joining, Thomas has been able to develop new skills such as time management and organisation and most importantly, confidence.
“When considering where to begin my career, I reached out to people who work for EY in both the Channel Islands and the UK. The general consensus seemed to be that training in the Channel Islands was more enjoyable, more relaxed and that I would be able to see more of the audit process in my early years as opposed to just doing a tiny portion of the audit for many clients as may happen in a larger office. This is one of the main reasons I wanted to work in the Channel Islands.
“I am also from Guernsey, so it was almost a natural course for me to come back here after university to begin work, particularly after doing the EY Channel Island internship in 2016.
“The best thing for me, about working in the Channel Islands, has been how much time everyone makes for you as a first year. Even when the senior trainees and managers are busy, they will make time to help you with any queries that us new joiners may have. The work atmosphere is great too and the social life outside of work is equally as good, which makes working in the Channel Islands a pleasure.
“I applied to EY due to the experiences I had with them at university. They were far more involved than the other Big 4 at my university in trying to attract students and hosted far more student events. They ran everything from seminars to mock assessment centres and sponsored many of the societies at the university, particularly the ones related to the business school. The staff were always friendly, enthusiastic and keen to discuss their roles within the firm.
“The main thing that set EY apart from the other companies I looked at was how much exposure and information they gave students at the university I attended. At every careers event you could guarantee EY would be there with helpful and enthusiastic representatives. They were always genuine and were more than happy to discuss any worries students may have with the application process or the work itself. They were very honest and spoke from experience and would often stay behind after the careers events had ended to discuss any other questions students may have.
“The culture at EY is fantastic. There is a great drive for diversity and inclusion which creates a positive atmosphere. Even during busy season the office seems relaxed despite people working longer hours and to tight deadlines. There are also many things that EY do to encourage a healthier culture, such as fruit every day and contributions towards gym memberships. It’s a completely different firm culture to other places I have done work experience at previously.
“As someone who has only been working in assurance for six months, every engagement I work on leads to a huge amount of learning. At this stage, the most important skills I’ve learnt are time management and organisation. Other important skills are teamwork and, perhaps most importantly, confidence. Whether it be confidence to back yourself with something, confidence to ask questions to your team or confidence to speak to a client, all of these are things I have begun to pick up in my last project and indeed over the last six months.
“In my first six months, I have already worked with companies in Europe and further afield. Whilst it is difficult to assess the direct impact my role has and will have globally, there is certainly global exposure.
“I work within the assurance service line, which in essence involves providing assurance to the shareholders of a company that their financial statements are true and fair. To arrive at this, a large amount of analytics and testing of internal controls must be done in order for EY to form an opinion before signing as the auditor. The entire process is detailed and incredibly interesting.
“At EY there is no end of support. When I first arrived in my new role, there was a ‘buddy’ system set up so that if we had any questions as new joiners we had someone to ask. However, this very quickly fades into the background because everyone is so friendly and helpful that there isn’t a need for just one person to ask questions to. Additionally, everyone at EY is assigned an EY counsellor who is someone several grades above that helps support your career and tracks your progress.”