What it does: One of the ‘Big Four’ global accounting firms
Staff stats: 300,000 spread across more than 700 offices in 152 countries
The good bits: Professional development and secondment opportunities
The not so good bits: Long hours, modest starting salary
Hiring grads with degrees in: Engineering, Maths, IT & Computer Sciences; Finance, Accounting, Economics & Business Administration; Law & Legal Studies; Sciences; Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences; Medical & Health Sciences; Property & Built Environment; Teaching, Education & Human Welfare.
What’s now EY came into being with the founding of Harding & Pullein in England in 1849. 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 services lines are Assurance, Consulting, Tax and Strategy and Transactions. In contrast to its three major competitors, EY is not centrally managed. Instead, it’s organised into three areas: EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India and Africa), the Americas and Asia-Pacific. Each area has the same business structure and its own Area Managing Partner. EY believes this arrangement allows it to “make decisions quickly, execute our strategy and provide exceptional client service around the world”.
Globally, EY has more than 200,000 clients and annual revenues in the neighbourhood of US$36 billion (NZ$55 billion). In New Zealand, EY has offices in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland.
EY believes that “diverse perspectives, combined with an inclusive culture, drive better decision-making, stimulate innovation, increase organisational agility and strengthen resilience to disruption”.
It lives up to that lofty rhetoric, having 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 further gender equality, disability inclusion and LGBTI advocacy.
EY has a well-earned reputation as a good corporate citizen. It backs programmes such as Entrepreneurial Winning Women and Strategic Growth Forum that, respectively, provide encouragement to female entrepreneurs and facilitate entrepreneurs from around the world meeting up to share their experiences. In 2019, EY invested almost US$113 million (NZ$170 million) in community-strengthening projects. In the same year, EY employees spent 745,000 hours working on community and charitable activities.
EY seeks to recruit talented people from diverse backgrounds. Ones who possess passion, curiosity and drive, that can help its clients navigate the complexities of this transformational digital age.
If you’re in the second-last year of your degree, you can apply to do an internship at EY. All of the EY offices in New Zealand recruit interns. If you’ve completed your degree, or soon will be completing it, you can apply for a grad role at EY’s Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch offices.
EY recruits grads from all disciplines but you’re probably going to be better placed if you have an accounting, business or technology background. The process begins by submitting your application form, CV, university transcript and photo ID via the company website. You’ll then be invited to complete an online assessment process. If that goes well, you’ll be asked to attend an assessment day. Here you will have the chance to interact with EY staff and demonstrate why you are a good cultural fit. (If EY isn’t taking applications for its Grad Programme when you visit the website, make sure to join its talent community to be alerted to any future employment opportunities.)
EY doesn’t provide much concrete information about its Grad Programme and it presumably varies depending on the business area. But all grads receive “coaching, formal training and leadership development”, “have experiences that will set you up for success” and work with “all types of companies, from entrepreneurial start-ups to multinationals”. All this should result in you “building your reputation as a trusted business advisor and developing relationships that you’ll draw on for the rest of your professional career” over the course of the programme.
While EY doesn’t divulge any information about its grad salaries, they are reportedly around the industry average. While you shouldn’t expect a lofty starting salary, you’ll have the opportunity to earn big money if you earn internal promotions.
EY does publicise its attractive leave arrangements. These include 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 programmes that includes free flu shots and cheap gym memberships.
EY promises staff it will unlock their potential “through customised learning, experience of the latest technologies, and the personal support you need to reach your career goals”. Globally, EY invests US$500 ($NZ758) million a year informal learning programmes for its staff. EY wants to be at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution. To achieve this, it’s doing everything possible to facilitate employees acquiring “future-focused skills such as data visualisation, data science and AI”.
Rather than annual performance reviews, EY managers provide “ongoing feedback that fuels meaningful dialogue about your career, development and performance”.
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 and a team player you can expect to rise through the ranks from staffer to senior to manager to senior manager to partner to director.
After a few years’ service, you can apply to work at EY offices across New Zealand and throughout the world.
EY has a high-performance culture where teamwork is encouraged. You won’t last long if you’re difficult or unmotivated, but most staff find the workplace friendly and supportive. The EY social club arranges regular informal and formal social functions, including an annual ball.
Overall satisfaction rating among grad employees: 3.8 stars
We're change agents and entrepreneurs. Performance improvers and problem solvers. Data scientists and game changers. Risk managers and confidence builders. Disruptors and visionaries of tomorrow. We’re 300,000 global perspectives ready to welcome yours.
Here at EY, you’ll build a legacy. You’ll grow your skillset, and expand your mindset. You’ll focus your intelligence and imagination on the most crucial, complex issues facing business, government and society today. With access to on-demand learning, formal training, coaching and real time feedback to help shape your career and prepare you for the future.
The EY exceptional experience. It’s yours to build.
How can undiscovered opportunities help you discover your best self? Discover your direction with the EY Career Compass Programme. During our structured learning sessions, you’ll learn how to evaluate your career options to make smarter decisions for your future. The Career Compass Programme experience is designed to give you a first-hand experience of EY, so you can find out as much about us as possible about EY people, culture, how EY teams operate and provide services, and most importantly, how we can help you to build your future. Demonstrate that you’re a high achiever, and you may be invited to interview for the EY Internship Programme.
You want an internship that’s more than a line on a resume. You want an experience, a challenge and a launchpad for lifelong relationships and career growth. You can find that here.
Throughout the programme, you’ll hit the ground running with dedicated on-the-job training, coaching and technology onboarding. You’ll work alongside EY professionals on real clients – right now. You’ll get the opportunity to be immersed in EY culture, network with EY people, and experience the transformative work done for EY clients. Plus, the best bit is, if you impress us, we might offer you a permanent position after you graduate.
Where do you start if you want to change the world? You start right here. Join us full-time as a graduate and we’ll help you achieve your career goals with continuous support, learning and experiences. We’ll propel you forward so you can start to build the future you want immediately. You’ll enjoy early responsibility, expand your network and build your skills. Just imagine the confidence you’ll gain through new experiences with leading clients in different industries. You’ll get to work with experienced professionals who’ll guide you to be your best. After all, we want to help you be the best you can be, because when you shine, we do too.