Gurjot Sandhu, Accountant, EY
BSc Engineering with Management, Trinity College
Job title Accountant
How you become interested in a career in the finance sector?
I was always interested in going into the business world as opposed to a strict engineering job after graduating from college. I had never actually considered the ‘big 4’ until an engineering careers fair in the final year of my undergrad. I then learned about the possible qualifications on offer and thought it would definitely prove beneficial in the future to add an ACA qualification to my existing degrees. The real world business experience on offer and brand/size of EY itself was a big factor in choosing to come here.
How did your degree contribute to you working with EY?
The selection process involved filling out an in depth application for the grad programme with the usual personal and academic details being required. I was then invited to an interview day a short while later, which consisted of 2 interviews; one with a manager and the other with a partner, both were extremely professional and encouraging, which helped settle any nerves. I think the technical nature of an engineering degree definitely proved to be beneficial during the whole selection/interview process for the EY grad programme as well as in my day to day job. I feel it definitely helped get my foot in the door as it showed that I had the ability to work on complicated projects for long hours and under high pressure levels.
What does your daily role involve, and what’s been one of the biggest challenges so far?
My daily role would involve assisting the audit senior/manager with any work that may be outstanding for the client. Everyone is usually assigned their own sections to work on – typical sections assigned to first year audit associates would include the likes of Cash & Bank, Payroll, etc. I’d make my way through my sections and communicating with the client, asking relevant questions when necessary. The biggest challenge so far has been coming from a non-accounting background and getting used to just basic accounting ideas and principles. Leaving engineering wasn’t an easy decision. It’s a big learning curve but everyone is more than happy to help and point you in the right direction.
What’s exciting about your job?
The most exciting part of the job is definitely the people I get to work with. I get to work with people from all walks of life and different educational backgrounds; everyone brings something different to the table and keeps the work day interesting. The ability to work on a wide range of clients in a number of different industries also keeps things fresh and exciting. There is also a lot of scope to travel around with work which is quite fun.
What advice would you have for students and graduates seeking to pursue a similar career path?
The main piece of advice I would give to other student/graduates would be to thoroughly research all the different areas and departments to get an understanding of what goes on in each before deciding which would be the best fit for you. I would also encourage students to look to obtaining professional qualifications while working.
What’s plans do you have for your future?
Getting my ACA qualification would be the main goal in the coming few years – which would see out my graduate contract. I’d like to move around into different departments and areas such as performance improvement, tech consulting, data analysing etc. after qualifying.