Gurjot Sandhu, Accountant, EY
Degree subject BSc Engineering with Management, Trinity College
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
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
What’s plans do you have for your
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.