Athena

Assurance Graduate

"Everyone is friendly and helpful and willing to help me understand any task I wasn’t sure of. It made me feel like part of the team from day one."

Starting my career at EY

I went to the career fair at university and spoke to an EY representative to find out more about the firm. After researching the EY Assurance Graduate Programme, I liked the idea of working for various clients on a project basis. I felt this career would allow me to take on challenges and an opportunity to grow and develop.

My role

I am assigned with year-end Annual Report audit engagements with clients in the Government and Public Sector (such as local councils, hospitals and schools). I worked in a team and helped to audit sections of the client’s financial statement. Learned from the seniors and contributed to the team with responsibilities such as cut-off analysis, revenue/expenditure recognition test and variance analysis to spot errors/materials.

It is very interesting as it is project-based so I get to meet many different clients and teams frequently. This allows me to learn very quickly and being exposed to interesting engagement project. I like learning and completing tasks that were given to me. I feel a sense of achievement when I hand off a task. I have also been to training sessions for automation and analytics and I can’t wait to apply it at work.

The first time meeting the client alone made me very nervous but I was glad that I did it. I needed to make sure I knew the tasks and questions I wanted to ask very well. Before going to the client site, I went through it with one of my colleagues who gave me help and feedback. This experience has helped me to gain confidence when speaking to clients. Everyone is friendly and helpful and willing to help me understand any task I wasn’t sure of. It made me feel like part of the team from day one.

My first day

I had inductions in the first two days where I got to know all of the new joiners, and we were given presentations on EY’s business areas and strategy. We also got to meet our career counsellor that is assigned to each of us to support with career development and Partners who run the EY in Southampton office. It was a fun induction full of activities and we were also given a laptop for work which was exciting.

My career development

There is still so much to learn but I am progressing well. I started to understand the nature of the audit engagements by doing tasks and speaking to colleagues. I have been to different training sessions that helped me to perform better. I also passed my ACA exams and I'm currently preparing for more. EY opens up more potential career options because of the training and experience the firm offers. I also believe it will be great when I am qualified with EY as I get to specialise in any industry for the audit engagement if I want to.

My advice

Don’t miss the opportunity to gain work experience with various clients, industries and the chance to receive a professional qualification!