After joining university, like most "freshers" I spent the first few weeks trying to work out where everything actually was and trying to settle into my halls of residence and make some friends. In the first week there was also something called a freshers fair which at Nottingham University was basically a huge tent with loads of stalls each manned by different societies, who were encouraging people to sign up to different activities. I was quite tempted to sign up to surf society but when I found out that most of the activities were in the winter I decided that I didn’t really fancy splashing around in the sea!
In the end I only signed up for the business society as I was studying finance, accounting and management and I thought it would be a good chance to find out about upcoming events related to my course and potential employers. This proved to be a pretty good decision as within a few weeks I was receiving emails about various companies who were coming to visit the campus. One such company were BP who came in and gave a talk on the various graduate opportunities that were on offer. Althought I wasn’t really considering a career in Oil and Gas I did find it interesting to learn about the graduate application process and the types of skills that employers look for when they recruit. I was also able to meet some students from the business school who were a year or two above me and this proved useful as they were able to advise me on which modules were more interesting and which ones to avoid also!
In conclusion, when you are on freshers week and walking around the freshers fair a little hungover, try and sign up for one or two societies as opposed to just using it as a really good excuse to stock up on stationary and other freebies they give out! (But make sure you doo that too!)
Ernst & Young are one of the largest professional service firms in the world, they are part of what is collectively known as the big 4. The Name Ernst & Young came from the merger of two firms, Ernst & Whinney (a successor firm of Harding & Pullein) and Arthur Young & Co which took place in 1989. The company recently underwent a re-branding and are now known as EY.
Some of the students we spoke to thought that accounting was the less sexy area of finance and that "accountants are boring" As part of Grad Diary’s research into accounting firms we decided to interview a number of people that had recently joined Ernst & Young either through a graduate scheme or as part of an internship programme to find out what the culture of the firm was like.
We found out from our research that the firm is in fact a great place to work and many people cited the following reasons that is the case:
One person who had joined the firm as part of the graduate scheme told us "The people that I work with are the best. Most people are friendly and up for a laugh and can relate to you when you are encountering some of the tough or boring parts of your role. We can laugh and cry about it all together."
We also asked employees if they went out and socialized with work colleagues and for the most part people were as involved outside work as inside "Yes, "were going for some drinks after work do you want to come?" becomes a frequent sound".
Overall we were left with the impression that EY is a friendly place to work and people on the EY graduate scheme are all of the opinion that they made a great choice when deciding to work for EY.
Pricewaterhouse Coopers are one of the leading accountancy firms globally. They are a part of what is known as the Big 4 which also include Ernst & Young, KPMG, and Deloitte. The Big 4 auditors act for most of the leading companies worldwide in some capacity, this can be either as an auditor, a tax advisor, consultant or in some cases as part of an M&A team. While researching the company as part of my own graduate job application, I came across an article on a site called Grad Diary explaining what it is like to work at PwC. It was part of their insider interview section on the site and it was a series of questions on what it is like to take part in an insight program at PwC. There was also an interview with someone that had taken part in a summer internship. It was useful to read through these because some of the questions asked during the insider interview were questions I wanted to know the answers to but wouldn’t have felt comfortable asking in an interview.
Another good way to find out more information on the company has been to get in touch with people that work at the company and come to the university to present to you. They are usually very happy to receive questions and I was able to pick up a few cards last year when I applied for a graduate internship at PwC.
Alternatively you might want to go to your careers fair at university as its fairly likely that the Big 4 accountancy firms will all have stalls as they are some of the largest graduate job recruiters in the UK and have a presence at most of the Russel group universities.