Fiona

Strategy and Transactions Graduate

"There are plenty of opportunities within EY so if I wanted to go for a change of career within finance, I would be able to do so relatively easily."

Starting my career at EY

I first heard about EY at university. EY were the sponsor for the Maths Society and appeared at several careers’ fairs and careers evenings. I decided to complete the EY Pathfinder that helped me to match my strengths to a business area. My numerical background and commercial interests led me to apply to Strategy and Transactions which seemed interesting and I thought it would fit in well with my strengths. I now work as an analyst on the third year of the graduate programme.

My role

My team performs financial due diligence on businesses that are looking to be bought or sold. My role is to assimilate large amounts of information, manage the excel files, draft sections of due diligence reports and perform project admin. My clients are mainly with mid-market firms which are headquartered in Yorkshire and the North East but often have outlets across the world. The team is sector agnostic but have most experience in TMT and industrial products.

Data analytics currently plays a key role. It allows us to draw conclusions from a mass of data and help clients understand parts of their businesses even they didn’t previously understand. This involves manipulating and cleansing the data before using advanced visualisation tools to support assumptions and conclusions about the business.

I enjoy learning and understanding about a wide range of businesses and how they operate, and regardless of seniority everyone in my team is very approachable and easy to talk to.

My first day

On my first day (this is going back a while now!) I had the student induction where I met all the other graduates. The following week I went to the local professional qualifications college for six weeks to study for my first four accountancy exams. My first day in the office, nearly seven weeks after I initially started, was relatively quiet and the team welcomed me with a fab lunch. Strategy and Transactions is very cyclical and goes through highs and sometimes quiet lows. When I joined, the team were relatively quiet so I initially helped with company research of potential client and helped put together proposal pitches.

My career development

As my experience and confidence continues to grow, my role has begun to move towards more report writing and having more responsibility in each project. There are plenty of opportunities within EY so if I wanted to go for a change of career within finance, I would be able to do so relatively easily. I plan to stay in Strategy and Transactions where the promotions process is clear and fair. However, if I wanted to pursue a career in the wider market, I could work in a wide range of industries due to the skills I have obtained and the volume of businesses I have analysed in a short space of time. Also, having EY on your CV is highly regarded in the wider industry and I know I would have a selection of career opportunities if I choose to explore them.

My advice

Explore all the career options available and make sure to research the accountancy qualification before applying - it’s hard work but a great investment in your future career prospects.