- Sarah Croft
Sarah went to Aberdeen University where she studied Accounting and Economics. Sarah completed a summer internship at EY in 2010 and joined in 2011 as a graduate after finishing her degree. She now works in our Aberdeen office in Assurance. In this article Sarah talks about why she chose EY and why she stays with the firm.
“The key factor that made me choose EY was the people. The reason I initially applied for a summer internship was because EY gave a presentation at one of my lectures. The EY people seemed a lot more friendly than the other big 4 firms and that continued throughout the internship. The summer internship was 6 weeks but it went past so quickly because I was really enjoying myself. After I finished my internship the staff in the Aberdeen office were still inviting me to social events and kept in contact with me. I really felt like I fitted in and was part of the team already.
“From the day I started at EY I feel like I have progressed through the firm quickly. At EY there is always someone there to support you. You have the ability to drive your own career and whenever I have asked, I have always been given support to source opportunities to help me succeed whilst also ensuring I wasn’t feeling overwhelmed.
“In the Aberdeen office we are very diverse, just like the firm is as a whole. We have a lot of people that transfer from other offices and we are always celebrating diversity through events with our Networks at EY whether it be The Black Network, The Unity Network (LGBT) or the EY Women’s Network.
“Because our teams are so diverse they work well together and have better ideas. This type of culture encourages people to be themselves and be comfortable at work.
“I have made a lot of really good friends at EY with the social environment we have. Working at EY, you don’t feel like you have to act a certain way. There are a lot of different people in the office but everyone is accepting of each other’s differences.
“The training you receive at EY is excellent compared to that received by others I know. You feel like you are constantly learning new things, whether it be through a face to face training course or online webinars.
“I have recently attended the new Managers training course in Amsterdam, a course with 1,400 attendees. On the course I had the opportunity to socialise and integrate with all the new managers from across the Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) region. I was able to build my networks and also understand how EY operates across the world.
“At EY in Aberdeen we have an open plan office which means you can drop by a Partner’s desk and speak with them if you have a question - they are very visible and part of the teams. I imagine you don’t get this exposure in every organisation, the Partners in Aberdeen and across EY are very personable which can have a great impact on your career.
“Within my role, I work on lots of different projects with international teams across different countries. For example, I work with teams based in our Dubai and Houston offices. I am constantly conversing with these teams, whether it be over phone or behind a computer and I know at a later date, should I need assistance or have a query in relation to accounting practices in their areas, I will be able to reach out to them.
“Outside of my day to day role there are lots of initiatives I get involved in that allow me to make a difference at EY and to the wider community. A great example of this is that I help with facilitating training courses for first and second year graduates within the business across various locations throughout the UK.
“Another initiative I was able to get involved in was in 2014 when EY sponsored the commonwealth games. I was one of the volunteers that supported the games in Glasgow for 2 weeks and EY allowed me to use my CSR days for this.
“Something else I am currently doing is working on campus with the EY Women’s Network to encourage a diverse range of women to apply to our business straight from university.
“In my career at EY, I definitely want to keep moving up and keep progressing. I would also like to travel with EY. Whether I would like to be partner yet I’ve not decided but I know wherever I want to take my career, EY will support me in getting there.
“EY is a very friendly place and the people here are the EY culture. It is a family feel, especially in the Aberdeen office and this is what makes a difference to my working day.
“The advice I would give to someone looking to join EY is come along to our events on campus and speak to people who work for the firm. The first couple of years are tough but they are the most rewarding years. The people you meet will become your friends and your professional network for the rest of your career.”