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Cream of the crop

28 Feb 2023, 15:50

Are you ambitious, inquisitive, and forward thinking? If so EY is looking for sustainably-minded talent across a whole new range of sectors

EU Graduate Programme 2023

This article first appeared on The Irish Times on Monday September 19th

Student recruitment is at the core of EY’s business, with over 300 new graduate opportunities now open for autumn 2023. Located in six cities across Ireland – Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Belfast, the firm is seeking applications from candidates in its traditional service areas of tax, assurance (audit), consulting, and strategy and transactions (corporate finance), as well as new areas of growth including sustainability, data analytics, and technology.

“At EY we offer a world class career experience where graduates get to work with Ireland’s leading indigenous entrepreneurial businesses as well as some of the world’s largest blue chip international organisations,” says EY student strategy lead Sinead Byrne.

“We want to make sure that the application process is as straightforward as possible, with one application form to be completed by all applicants, followed by a one-stage interview process with the EY leadership team from their selected Graduate Programme in November 2022,” she adds.

EY is looking for students who are ambitious, inquisitive, and forward thinking. “Our business is growing - especially in the areas of health consulting, sustainability, and technology,” Byrne points out. “This means we are looking for students who have studied in disciplines such as health sciences, environmental sciences, engineering, and technology, among others. Put simply, EY is hiring from a huge variety of courses and backgrounds, and not only business and accounting.”

EY has a strong culture of continuous professional development, and all employees are given support to grow and develop throughout their careers. “Some of the key supports for those who choose to pursue a professional qualification with EY include fully paid study leave, exam prizes and awards, and internal exam support systems such as internal lectures and study sessions.”

Beyond those professional qualifications, the EY Badges programme is designed to encourage continuous development by earning digital credentials in future-focused skills in key areas such as analytics, innovation and sustainability that are highly valued at EY and beyond.

EY also offers employees the unique opportunity to avail of a free Tech MBA, Masters in Business Analytics and a newly created Masters in Sustainability, accredited by the Hult International Business School.

“These programmes enable our people to navigate the business, technology, leadership and sustainability challenges which lie ahead,” says Byrne.

“The new EY Masters in Sustainability complements our own sustainability strategy, where we endeavour to drive the principals of corporate social responsibility, business ethics and environmental sustainability across all our work practices. Achieving our ambition to become carbon negative in 2021 and net zero by 2025 is the most significant commitment we have made to date on our sustainability journey, and we continuously strive to do better in everything we do.”

The culture and working environment are also very important. “At EY, we have built an environment that has a diverse and inclusive culture,” Byrne points out. “We are committed to recruiting diverse talent in terms of background, experience, skillset and ethnicity and creating an environment that promotes diversity of thought, background and personality – in essence a place where our people can bring their whole self to work.”

And the firm has recently rolled out a new hybrid working model where graduates and all the firm’s employees can enjoy the flexibility of working on client sites, at home and in the office.

“Since launching EY Hybrid in October 2021, we have made some exciting changes to our offices as we prepared to safely welcome more and more people back” Byrne explains. “These include improved spaces for group collaboration, and improved technology to support hybrid working. In EY our deep sense of belonging and our vibrant culture sets us apart, and we want to make sure that we do everything we can to protect and nurture these essential components of what makes our wonderful EY community so unique.”

What the graduates say:

Caroline Willis

Caroline Willis, who took the Graduate of the Year Award in EY’s most recent competition, chose to join the firm because it allowed her to utilise her business and tech knowledge in a consulting career. A UCD Commerce graduate, she also has a Masters in Digital Innovation from the UCD Smurfit Graduate School of Business. “The firm allows me to develop effective practical skills through internal certifications, EY badges, and peer-led workshops that I can sustain for my future career,” she points out.

She has enjoyed her experience as a woman working in technology in EY. “I’ve been working alongside a female manager and directly working for a female senior manager and the experience I’ve gained is invaluable,” she says. “They inspire me to perform to the best of my abilities every day, to be a great leader for others, and to keep my head held high even when difficulties arise.”

She believes EY provides a great environment for women working in technology. “There are currently a few internal initiatives that I work with that advocate women in tech like the Women’s Network to recognise and build the presence of women in tech in the firm and the EY STEM App to inspire secondary school girls to chase their dreams in STEM. Now, almost half of the Financial Services Technology Consulting department consists of women who are very supportive and proactive in building a better presence of women in tech for the financial services industry.”

PJ Belton

NUI Maynooth law graduate P.J. Belton chose EY because of its excellent tax graduate programme. “I felt it was a great fit following graduation with my law degree. I also wanted a challenge and I felt that EY was the best place for me to learn.”

Although still at the early stages of his career, he has already gained international experience. “I’ve worked on various global projects including tax technology projects with colleagues in Germany and the UK and tax advisory projects with colleagues in a variety of regions including the EU, Australia, the US, Canada, and South America. Working in a global environment has been very rewarding. I have gained invaluable experience in taxation at an international level, and this has also given me the opportunity to gain experience in the differing approaches of various tax authorities to common issues in taxation.”

“I would recommend EY to other graduates because it is the best place to learn in an intensive but rewarding environment,” he adds.

Ellen Coleman

Ellen Coleman took a slightly unusual path to the professional services world. Starting out studying hotel management in Shannon, she switched to do a B Comm in the University of Galway and graduated with a Masters in Corporate Finance from the same university in 2021.

“Although I loved my time in the hospitality industry, in my final years I developed a keen interest in the finance modules, which led me to explore career opportunities in that field,” she explains. “I made the decision initially to pivot into a career in finance within hotels and decided to study the masters to further develop my skills. However, during the masters I had the opportunity to look outside the hotel industry and realised that moving to professional services was more aligned with my career goals.”

She chose EY after taking part in the EY NextGen Women Competition in 2020. “I learnt all about what a career in Strategy and Transactions at EY might look like. The Valuation, Modelling & Economics Sub Service Line piqued my interest as it meant I would be working on a range of business valuation projects, model builds and economic analyses over the course of my graduate programme. The wide spectrum of opportunity available at EY was the main driver of my decision.”

She describes her first year at EY as truly amazing. “It has been a steep learning curve, with the technical side of the work being the most challenging aspect for me personally. However, I can’t comment enough on the amazing team here. Everyone is willing and happy to help and support you. At EY, your graduate experience really is what you make it - the more you get involved in, the more you get pulled into. Aside from the day-to-day work, there is always something to contribute to – whether it’s CSR initiatives, EY Ripples, or social and networking events, there is something for everyone.”

She recommends EY to anyone looking for a challenging and dynamic career path. “The culture at EY really suits me as it is so diverse and inclusive,” she says. “People really feel they can be their authentic selves. EY is a fantastic place to work for not only professional, but also personal development.”

Candidates interested in becoming part of EY’s 2023 Graduate Programme are invited to complete their online application form before Wednesday October 12th, 2022

EY 2023 Graduate Programme

Candidates interested in becoming part of EY’s 2023 Graduate Programme are invited to complete their online application form before Wednesday October 12th, 2022

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