Inspired to build a successful career – Lauren

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  • Lauren Pearson-Thurling

Lauren went to Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form which is a state school in Norwich where she studied A-levels in English Language, Business, and Psychology. She now works in our Birmingham office in Tax. In this article Lauren talks about why she chose EY and why she stays with the firm.

"I chose EY mainly because of the fantastic experience I had been given during the EY Foundation Smart Futures Programme. Whilst it introduced me to the business world and corporate lifestyle that I found to enjoy, I was also taken aback by the investment that was put into me and I felt I was in the perfect environment for personal development. After lacking ambition and direction for almost my entire school life, I suddenly felt inspired to be successful and realised it was not so out of reach.

“EY has supported me most significantly first of all by working with the EY Foundation to provide me with the opportunity of taking part in the Smart Futures Programme. I’m unsure what I would be doing now if it wasn’t for that.

“Since joining as a permanent employee they have further supported me through a counsellor, with whom I have open discussions about my career and she also acts as support whenever there is anything outside of work that may be affecting me. I am also able to work flexibly in order to go home and visit my family, which makes things a lot easier with the inconvenient journey.

“Unfortunately we live in a society built upon a system that allows success for some over others, based on irrelevant factors such as race and gender. I am proud to say that I work for an organisation that acknowledges this and is always taking positive steps to contribute towards the cultural shift that is required for equality to be reached. I know that here, in my career at EY as a young woman, my future plans to have a family do not have to be mutually exclusive with my plans to be a successful business leader.

“I believe the empowerment EY gives its people begins in the recruitment process, by providing opportunities to everybody regardless of their background. The lack of grade requirements demonstrates this further, as many individuals with the potential to be successful would otherwise have missed out. 

“I feel comfortable being myself at work purely because of the friendly staff and inclusive culture. Everyone wearing their own clothes on a Friday is my favourite demonstration of the diversity we have, because you get a visual representation of all the personalities that exist within the workplace. 

“Considering I had not even read a set of financial statements prior to beginning my job role, it is amazing to look back on how much I have already learned through experience, training courses, and the knowledgeable people around me. I have also been assigned a Partner as a mentor through a Trainee-Partner mentoring scheme, which has been really helpful to my development in ways other than just technical knowledge.

“Outside of my day-to-day responsibilities I am really passionate about social mobility amongst young people, so I volunteer with a range of programmes that enable me to act upon this. I assist with the project management of the Smart Futures Programme, act as a mentor for Smart Futures Students, a mentor through charity partner ‘The Girls Network’ and assist with recruiting further apprentices into EY. 

“My main focus is to pass my exams and become ACA qualified, perhaps CTA as well. In the future I hope to progress within the firm and become an influential person where I am able to inspire others and contribute to the wider community alongside my client work.

“I always talk about our culture as one of EY’s main benefits. As an employee you feel like a human rather than a number, which is the opposite of what is usually expected within a corporate environment.”

  • Lauren Pearson-Thurling

About the author

Lauren first joined EY as a student on the EY Foundation’s Smart Futures Programme in 2015 and now works in our Birmingham office in our Tax service line. She went to Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form in Norwich. Her top tip for joining EY: Anybody looking to join EY should definitely speak to current employees if they can, it’s good to get an understanding of real experiences first hand.