We asked these grads about what it’s really like to work at one of the Big Four
Yes, they did take over a London park for their Christmas party
Everyone on campus has at least heard of the Big Four, and understand that securing a job there after uni is kind of a big deal. But what is it actually like working at one of the world’s most reputable firms?
To find out, we spoke to two grads who managed to secure themselves a job at EY’s London and Bristol offices. Turns out, it’s not as daunting as you think.
Marlene, Imperial graduate, London office
This isn’t my first job. After graduating in Chemical Engineering, I became an environmental consultant at a small startup. Though I enjoyed working on a variety of projects, I realised I wanted to work on something with more scope, and I found that EY was the place to offer me this.
Whether it was speaking to people from EY at the careers fairs, during the application process or just to those working there, everyone seemed to really enjoy what they were doing. At the assessment centre, it was comforting to see such a wide range of people from different backgrounds. Straightaway I realised I wasn’t going to be on the back foot having not studied business, and that they are not just looking for one type of person.
I finished the grad scheme nearly two years ago and am currently working in the data analytics team. When it comes to working in tech, I can understand how trendy startups seem like a more enticing working environment. However, I think the key difference between working there and EY, is that you don’t feel like a cog in the machine here.
My job is to understand the business concept first and then think about the technology I can use to solve it. You’re not just going to be inputting code all day for no reason – it will be because you’re trying to solve a real business problem. I honestly think that this makes us extremely employable.
The socials are also amazing – one Christmas, they set up a pop-up venue in Battersea Park, with a sit-down meal, fire dancers, and an amazing party that lasted into the early hours, it was so much fun. There are also lots of other perks – one of my favourites is that we sponsor The Tate, which means access to the best exhibitions for free.
For me, EY is definitely a fantastic place to start your career, especially if you’re unsure about what you want to do. From the grad scheme alone, you’re accumulating so many different skills. At a lot of companies, only senior members of staff are authorised to interact with clients – at EY, you get that exposure from the get-go. If you want to learn from the best, it’s definitely a good place to start.
Emily, Cardiff & Bristol graduate, Bristol office
Coming from a social science degree, I didn’t initially think that I would be the type of candidate EY were looking for. However, after doing a master’s in public policy, I knew what I wanted to do is solve problems. That’s really what we do here at EY, a client comes to us with a problem and we are tasked to solve it.
EY’s application process is frankly refreshing – they don’t look at CVs and instead of focusing on academic grades, they care more about your strengths and what you can bring to the firm. During the EY applications process, I was surprised at how easy it was to demonstrate the strengths that I have, which are working within a team, getting people to speak up, and being able to lead a group of people – despite being really nervous!
I’ve really enjoyed the scheme so far, working in different areas like Tech, Customer or Supply Chain, and with clients ranging from departments in the government to national executive agencies. I’ve had the opportunity to lead client meetings and run workshops – if someone had told me when I was starting my scheme that I would be leading a client workshop with board members and stakeholders, I’d have been like “no no no, definitely not me.”
Working at EY is also really social. We take the lead when organising pretty much anything we want to go to. So, when the Balloon Fiesta is on, or whenever there’s a music festival we want to go to, mini golf, escape rooms or even paintballing, we are constantly involved in the organising so we always know it’s something we want to do.
When figuring out what I wanted to do after I finished uni, EY always stood out to me because it is very much a people’s firm. I heard it a lot before I applied, I felt it during the application process and constantly experience it as an employee. They really care about the people that work for them, and you are surrounded by such a good network.