Working at EY

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What is it like to start working at an accountancy firm in a time in which everything is online and working from home is the standard? In this article, Daniek Veldhuis will tell about her experience as a first-year staff member at EY.

Who am I?

To begin, I will shortly tell something about myself. My name is Daniek Veldhuis, I am 22 years old and I live in Tilburg. After obtaining my VWO diploma in 2015, I decided to make the move to the student city Tilburg. From 2015 to 2018, I studied Business Economics and after completing this bachelor, I continued with the master Accountancy at Tilburg University. Next to my studies, I was a board member at the study association Asset | Accounting & Finance. As such, I got the change to organize network events together with my fellow board- and committee members. These network events were organized for, among others, several accountancy firms,. Due to this, I was able to get a good idea of the various Big-4 offices and eventually make an informed choice to apply for a job at EY.

Why EY?

You might wonder which factors contributed to my choice for EY. First of all, I quickly decided for myself that I wanted to start at one of the Big-4 offices. For the many possibilities, but also  the international aspect appealed to me. Another factor that was important to me was a good match with my colleagues. The actual work at the different accountancy firms does not differ much, which makes the social aspect even more meaningful.

Working at EY

During my master, I first did a thesis internship at EY in Eindhoven. During such an internship,  you will have the opportunity to write your thesis at the office. As such, you can already experience the ins and outs and the atmosphere on a normal working day at the office. My thesis internship started in February, but unfortunately we quickly had to work from home due to the COVID-19 crisis. Fortunately, fear that this would cause less contact with colleagues was not necessary. At the beginning, all thesis interns were assigned a buddy group and mentor and we had a weekly contact moment with this buddy group during the duration of the internship..

Despite the special circumstances, I enjoyed this time so much that I started at EY Eindhoven as a Staff Audit last September. The first two weeks consisted of an introduction period with all the other starters from the same region in which we covered different cases to prepare us for the work to come, but also several informal activities were organized to create a good relationship with my fellow starters.

“The activities as a Staff Audit differ throughout the year, from testing internal controls to analyzing the figures in the annual report.”

After the introduction weeks, it was time to really get to work. A big step, but you will be guided in this process as well as possible and in the case of any questions, you can always contact your personally assigned coach.. None of my colleagues will have exactly the same working day. This mainly depends on everyone’s client package. My client package consists of different types of clients, including one large client from the United States that I have been working on for most of the time so far. The activities as a Staff Audit differ throughout the year, from testing internal controls to analyzing the figures in the annual report. You work on this together with the team, at the EY office or at the clients site. This year, it has been different and I have spent most of the year working from home. This is very different from what I had imagined my first year at EY to be, but we all try to make the best of it. Where you would normally meet in a meeting room with your senior to discuss something, this is now all done via Teams. Furthermore, we now have virtual work sessions to re-create the feeling of a normal working environment. All team members will join the session, so we can also get an idea of what the other team members are working on.

Besides all the hard work, there is, of course, also time for other fun activities. Unfortunately, this year, events like the Christmas drink or ski trip could not take place, but online activities are organized as much as possible, with the entire region or within the team you are working with that week. For example,  two colleagues of mine organized a Carnival pub quiz for the entire team a few weeks ago.

In short, my first year has been an eventful year so far and different than expected, but precisely because of the way EY has approach this situation, I am still happy with the choice I made.