The EY team worked extremely hard to provide a comprehensive and thorough virtual internship experience programme which was immersive, insightful and engaging. I extremely enjoyed the virtual experience and the range of sessions EY ran during the week including service line specific information, skills workshops including presentation skills, health and mindfulness workshops as well as interactive case studies which allowed me to engage and interact with fellow interns and members of EY who volunteered their time to act as mentors.
Throughout the programme, we had been assigned a buddy who we were able to meet virtually and speak to on a one to one basis. Additionally, the EY team were very accommodating to any technical issues we may have faced and helped support us in tackling them. Throughout the experience, I felt valued and comfortable sharing any issues or questions I had and one of my learning points is what a supporting culture EY has which was evident through the programme. Additionally, I felt valued by the fact EY provided this opportunity and didn't cancel their programme while friends who had placements elsewhere with competitors of EY had theirs cancelled.
During the virtual internship experience, there were a variety of live questions and answers sessions where several EY representatives gave up their time to speak about their experiences and answer any questions we had. There was always a briefing session at the start of the day and a debriefing at the end, which provided guidance of what to expect on the day/following day. For certain tasks eg case study, we received a mentor who provided support and advice as we worked through tasks.
Throughout the programme we had a jam packed schedule which consisted of live question and answer sessions, which were extremely useful as the information I obtained from panellists speaking about their experience and service lines will certainly be useful and aid future application processes to EY. Additionally, EY ran several workshops on presentation skills and mindfulness with an emphasis on health, which I feel I can apply to my degree and help deal with stresses of university, exams and future interviews.
The structure of the virtual internship experience was flawless and well communicated to interns with briefing sessions in the morning and debriefing sessions in the afternoon. There was a great balance between information heavy sessions, interactive and engaging sessions and time built in for breaks which allowed reflection and the absorption of knowledge from sessions. This was the case throughout the week and the timing of sessions was also well planned eg week culminated with a case study we had been working on throughout, with sessions such as presentation skills being used to help in case study section.
The general atmosphere during the virtual internship experience was overwhelmingly positive. All interns were highly energised, eager to complete sessions and thankful for the time and knowledge all volunteers from EY shared when delivering sessions. During group tasks, fellow interns I was working with were all engaged and there was an atmosphere which inclined us to work to the best of our ability while knowing we were supported throughout and our development was at the forefront of the range of activities planned.
Based on the structure of the programme, while there wasn't necessarily one to one training, EY did put on a range of live, interactive sessions which focused on training and development, for example presentation workshops, and how to be a part of high performing teams. Additionally, there was a range of information EY provided regarding the training and development they would provide if we were to become Grads eg funding professional qualifications, enabling workers to study modules to obtain 'EY badges'.
The range of sessions EY provided throughout the week gave a real insight and inclination into what life would be like in a full time role within the company. This was further illustrated with live Q&A sessions with EY workers in the service lines we were interested in, as well as one to one conversations we were able to have with our buddy, who we could speak to informally to gain a further insight into life as a full time worker in the company.
Learning more about EY company culture has certainly been one of my key learning points throughout the week. Firstly, the fact EY put on a programme when several competitors cancelled theirs suggested EY has a company culture which cares about providing opportunities to young people, even in adverse times. Furthermore, having the chance to ask questions in live Q&A forums and speaking to a buddy on a one to one basis informally also enabled me to have ample opportunity to learn and understand company culture.
The content during the virtual internship experience was extremely useful and well designed in helping me decide my future career path. Throughout the week, there were a variety of information heavy sessions regarding different service lines, while there were also panel forums which enabled us to learn from the experiences and knowledge of EY workers, who were able to provide a greater insight into what the job may entail - more so than reading a description online, as well as highlighting what career progression may look like too.
Yes, the internship was paid.
There were ample opportunities to network and meet other employees from EY, for example we were all assigned buddy's (an EY worker) where there was time scheduled in for us to have conversations while during case study tasks, we had mentors from EY who monitored our progress and provided advice. Additionally, after all sessions delivered by EY workers, we were advised if we had any questions post-session we could add them on LinkedIn and communicate, which provided further networking opportunities.
There were several networking opportunities throughout the week, however no social events, which is more than understandable considering Covid restrictions and guidelines.
During sessions, the topic of balancing work and other activities came up, which highlighted some activities current employees can get involved in outside work, while volunteering opportunities within work also came up eg working with EY Foundation.
In such challenging periods, it speaks volumes to EY how they were able to adapt their original 6 week programme and condense information into a one week insightful experience jam packed with activities, information sessions and chances to interact with EY workers. There were a range of sessions covering a breadth of topics, all while in a positive, inspiring atmosphere. As a result, I would highly recommend not only this virtual experience to friends but would encourage and recommend friends to further research other initiatives and schemes ran by EY.
14th August 2020