In your first year, it's important you're at least looking into what programmes are available to you. Otherwise you risk missing out on opportunities that could fast-track you through to an internship placement later on in your university course – which could lead to a full-time graduate position.
The earlier you start to think about what kind of career interests you, the sooner you can start thinking strategically about ways to use your free time and demonstrate your additional skills outside of your academic talent.
How can EY help you think about your career?
If you like the idea of working in the City and are curious about the world of professional services, then come along to one of our two-day Discover EY events specifically for first years. You'll get to learn about our Assurance and Tax services lines, taking part in case studies that will give you a taster of what working life in these departments is actually like.
Taking part in this programme is a good way of deciding if a career in professional services is right for you, before committing to an internship – you'll already be building your knowledge of the firm and starting to understand some of the skills we value.
Besides academic talent, EY are always looking for students who can show they've gone above and beyond what's expected of them, have strong leadership and team-working skills as well as good problem-solving ability. Acquiring and demonstrating these skills early on in your university career increases your chances of securing an internship, or even a job, with EY.
Our programmes are an excellent way to develop the skills and talents we are looking for, as well as get a head start when it comes to applying for internships. After completing the programmes, you can then return to university with a clearer idea of what you can do to show that you've gone above and beyond what most of your friends have done.
So, if you're very good at working as part of a team, or enjoy problem solving, then taking part in a debating society or working at your student union might be a good way of using and developing those skills. You don't have to be team captain or treasurer of your chosen society, just making a significant contribution is enough. There are also other ways to show us your skills - for example, I recently spoke to a student who was thinking of raising money for their local school to buy a computer, which really demonstrated his leadership and problem-solving ability.
Ultimately, what we're looking for is someone who can really demonstrate their strengths and make the most of themselves – either behind the scenes or up front in a leadership role.
What do you need to know to apply to EY?
Our Discover EY programmes are a great way of finding out about how much business, accountancy and finance knowledge you need to work for us, and how you can start to acquire any necessary knowledge you don't already have.
It's worth mentioning that we take students from a whole variety of different degree backgrounds – we take people who study philosophy and geography as well as finance and maths. You don't need a finance or business-related degree to work for us – when you join us, we'll help you learn everything you need to know to do your job well.
What is a professional services firm?
Professional services firms provide different kinds of business assistance to corporate and public sector clients. Typical services include accounting, tax, transaction advice, risk management and consulting.