Employer profile: EY, one of the 'big four' accounting and consultancy firms
What it’s like to work at one of the ‘big four’
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What does it mean to work for an accountancy firm - and is it the place for me? In this guide, you’ll learn all about working at EY and how you can apply if you’re keen.
All over the world!
18,000 (UK only); 300,000 around the world
Assurance, consulting, strategy and transactions, tax, business, and technology
People who are passionate and curious to learn more about business.
Someone who’s not interested in how business works in the world.
Nathan Agyekum, who is a Student Talent Attraction and Acquisition Adviser at EY, tells us what it’s really like to work for the company.
What does EY do?
EY is known as one of the top four professional services companies in the world. We have 80,000 people working for us across the UK. There are 21 offices in the UK alone, from Aberdeen to Southampton.
Simply put, EY helps businesses and clients be better. That might be through helping them with their finances, helping them implement new technologies, or finding ways to make their business more efficient.
Where is EY based?
Our head office in the UK is in London. We’re an international company, so we also have offices in countries from South Africa to the USA, Australia to Canada. Across the world, over 300,000 people work for EY.
We do offer flexible working, so you can choose to both work from home and from the office if you’d like to.
What is EY’s work environment like?
At EY there’s a real emphasis on wellbeing, which is why we offer flexible working. For some employees, during their busy season where they have to meet lots of client deadlines, they might be expected to work longer hours. But on the whole, we want to make sure employees don’t take on too much work.
On the social side, there are lots of societies you can join, including a women’s network, LGBTQ+ network, and faith and race-based networks too.
What does a typical week at EY look like?
As you can imagine, there are lots of different jobs and job areas at EY, so everyone’s week looks different. But to give an example of a typical week, on a Monday, you might be responding to lots of emails from clients or business partners. Maybe on a Tuesday you’ll have a client meeting, and on Wednesday, a presentation. On Thursday, you might be catching up with your colleagues in the office. And on Friday, you might be finishing things up and preparing for the next week.
Who wouldn’t be the right fit for EY?
We have something for pretty much everyone to apply for at EY, but if you’re not really interested in how businesses work, or how the world works in general, this might not be the best opportunity for you.
What kind of entry level roles are there and what do they look like?
There are two entry level routes available at EY. One is a one-week work experience opportunity, called our Business Academy, which can be based in an office close to you.
Our Business Academy gives you on-the-job work experience, including shadowing employees so you can get a sense of what their work involves. Plus, you’ll build up your business skills. You can support teams in assurance, tax, or turnaround and restructuring strategy. Check out our website to get a better sense of what those teams do.
If you work hard and impress on the Business Academy programme, you could be fast-tracked onto an apprenticeship. So you could potentially start your career straight after school or college with an offer of an apprenticeship.
The other entry level route is through our range of apprenticeships, which we offer in finance, business and technology. We offer these at level 4, level 6 (as a degree apprenticeship) or level 7.
What opportunities for progression are there?
We like to put you in charge of your progression at EY. At the end of your apprenticeship for example, there is the expectation that you will keep working at EY. So you could work your way up to become a senior associate, or move to a different area of the business.
What are the entry requirements for these roles?
First of all, it doesn’t matter what you’re studying at sixth form or at college - so don’t worry if you’re not studying business or ICT, for example. As long as you’re studying A-Levels, BTECs, or Highers, all subjects are welcomed.
For apprenticeships, you’ll need to be studying three A-Levels, five Highers, or their equivalents. We ask for around 112 UCAS points, but we measure these alongside your scores in our online assessments. So if you do well in the online assessments, you might not need this many UCAS points.
For the Business Academy, you also need to be in Year 12 or S5, studying three A-Levels, five Highers, or their equivalent.
What competencies does EY look for in applicants for entry level roles?
At EY, we’re looking for applicants who can show these ten competencies:
Aside from this, we’re looking for people who keep up with the news, so they know what’s going on in the world; and have passion and enthusiasm.
Related Unifrog competencies:
Adaptability / Personal effectiveness
Inquisitive / Engaged
Knowledgeable / Scholarly
Observation / Attention to detail
Staying positive / Resilience
What is a top tip to help an entry level applicant succeed at your company?
One top tip is to show your passion about business and technology. If that’s you, it’s a good idea to keep up to date with what EY are doing, as well as being aware of what similar businesses are up to.