What it does: One of the ‘Big Four’ global professional services organisations
Staff stats: 250,000 spread across more than 700 offices in 152 countries
The good bits: Opportunities to learn, network, grow and move around within a huge company
The not so good bits: Long hours, especially during busy periods, bureaucracy
The EY story
What’s now EY started off in 1849 with the founding of Harding & Pullein in England. Since then what’s now EY has gone through several iterations. In 1989, Ernst & Whinney, a descendant of Harding & Pullein and the world’s fourth largest accountancy firm, merged with the world’s fifth-largest accountancy firm, Arthur Young, to create Ernst & Young. (In 2013 the name got shortened to EY).
EY’s main service lines are assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. In contrast to its three major competitors, EY is not centrally managed. Rather it is organised into four regions: EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India and Africa), Americas, Asia-Pacific and Japan. Each region has the same business structure and its own Area Managing Partner. EY believes this arrangement allows it to more effective service its global clientele.
The company has annual revenues in the neighbourhood of US$30 billion. It now numbers among its clients the Pope, who hired the firm in 2013 to help sort out the Vatican’s finances.
In 2017, EY came in at number five on GradAustralia’s list of Top 100 Graduate Employers. Over the years, EY has won a trophy cabinet worth of awards for being a great place to work from publications such as Forbes, BusinessWeek, Fortune and ComputerWorld. It’s also been lavished with recognition for its initiatives to welcome disabled, female and LGBTI staff.
EY Australia has been listed as a Top 10 Gold Employer at the annual Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) 2017 awards.
EY has a well-earned reputation as a good corporate citizen. It backs programs such as Entrepreneurial Winning Women and Strategic Growth Forum that, respectively, provide encouragement to high-potential female entrepreneurs and facilitate entrepreneurs from around the world meeting up to share their experiences. It also supports education and mentorship programs and environmental efforts. EY’s people are encouraged to engage in skills-based volunteering with this classified as a “key professional development experience”.
The recruitment process
You’ll require a bachelor degree in an appropriate discipline with at least a pass average. EY recruits students from many different degree backgrounds including accounting and finance, business, commerce, economics, engineering, IT and information systems, law and science. Those with psychology and HR degrees are encouraged to apply for the People Advisory Services team.
The process begins by going to the company website to fill out an online application and undertake cognitive and behavioural testing. The next step is to attend an assessment centre to undertake group and one-on-one interviews. (Expect to have to deal with case-study scenarios and demonstrate industry knowledge). Before applying you will need to choose to work in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin or Sydney.
Remuneration is on par with the other ‘Big Four’ graduate programs, with salaries in the $50-65,000 range. There are attractive leave arrangements, including generous parental leave, the ability to purchase up to six weeks of extra annual leave and the option to take three months’ unpaid leave to enjoy a ‘career break’. There are flexible working arrangements and discounts on an extensive range of goods and services. EY will pay for or subsidise training and professional memberships. It also has a well-resourced health and wellbeing program that includes free flu shots and cheap gym memberships.
Senior people are encouraged to mentor less experienced people and there’s no shortage of formal and on-the-job training. Although you’ll have to stay in Australia for the duration of your graduate program, there are opportunities to work with people from around the world. Given the size of the business, there are always job opportunities coming up both domestically and internationally. EY sees its greatest asset being “high-performing teams”. If you’re a high performer you can expect to rise through the ranks from a graduate, to senior manager to partner.
The vibe of the place
Being one of 250,000 people in one of the world’s largest businesses means you have to deal with bureaucracy. That noted, EY does what it can to make its people feel valued, in particular by providing the training and coaching they need to advance their careers. It’s a high-performance culture but teamwork is encouraged and most people find the workplace friendly and supportive.
From the Employer:
"Do you think the world can work better?
Share in our purpose and see the world through the lens of better. Better defines the way we work and starts with asking questions like, what’s next? You see, the biggest breakthroughs in the world happen by asking these two small but powerful words. And that’s what we’re all about at EY. And we want you to be part of it. This is your opportunity to do something exceptional — something that matters to you, to us, to the world.
One decision, a lifetime of opportunity
Wherever your career takes you, the place you start will shape your career for years to come. At EY, we’ll give you the flexibility to explore different opportunities, so you can create a career that matches your professional goals.
You don’t need to travel the world - the world will come to you.
We’ll connect you to global clients and colleagues, and offer firsthand experience on the big issues that are shaping the world today. Through learning how to be part of a high performing team, you’ll create relationships with people who’ll help you to build a better career.
One decision, a lifetime of opportunity
As a Cadet, you’ll combine work with university studies. It takes drive and commitment, but we’ll provide you with the support you need to succeed.
Our exclusive Game Changers Club will show you it’s never too early to explore how your skills could build into a career as you attend various EY events throughout the year.
Are you looking for some advice on which direction to take your career? Then apply for our Career Compass Program and discover if a professional services firm is the right track for you to take.
Our Vacationer Program is a great way to experience the working world during your holidays. Show us what you’re capable of and you may be invited to join us after graduation full–time. If you’re a high performing vacationer, you may be selected to attend the International Intern Leadership Conference (IILC) in Florida, USA.
Join our Graduate Program and you’ll get early responsibility, support and training as you set out to achieve your career ambitions.