The internship involved talks about work-life balance, diversity and inclusion, health and well-being, life at EY and service line specific talks. These were conducted on various online platforms, based from a specifically designed EY platform which showed each day’s agenda and allowed 1-1 conversations between interns, and taken by a mixture of speakers. We were fortunate to have talks from both June Sarpong OBE and Dr Alex George, along with multiple partners, managers, or EY employees with specific interests. Alongside the talks, we had multiple sessions of case study work in groups of 5 where we got to know some of the other interns on the programme, and multiple Q and A opportunities, with different ranks of people.
I learnt a lot about communicating and presenting online, both through talks and putting it into practice. The presenting talk was particularly interesting to me as this is something I identify as a weakness. We were given tips for presenting online and in person, and so it was very helpful putting this knowledge into place for the assessed case study presentation. In addition, the internship helped to develop my teamwork, leadership and analytical skills again through learning and practice: it was particularly important to be able to communicate well and work in a team in the case study groups, and the case study itself provided some analytical practice.
There was not a large element of responsibility in the internship, however this is largely due to the online nature of the programme. The case study was purely fictional and that was the only work based aspect to the two weeks. The combined nature of the internship, where all service lines are combined for the majority of sessions, meant that there were over 200 participants and so responsibilities would have been hard to give. However, the case study did provide a sense of what it would be like to work in an EY team and so there was, therefore, a responsibility to work hard for the benefit of yourself and your team.
The internship was well supported at every level. The platform used for the start and end of every day was easy to use and showed multiple FAQs, contacts for any queries or issues we had, and also allowed us to make contact with the student support team. From a higher level, we had guidance talks from managers to partners, some with a service line specific focus which was really helpful to know what applied directly to the work we would do. In our five person case study group, we were allocated a mentor and a buddy. The mentor was a manager who talked us through any issues we had with the study work and was happy to answer any queries we had, and the buddy was a first or second year who answered some more informal questions. Both were really helpful at giving us a wide idea of what EY is like.
EY prides itself on its culture, and it was really nice to see that demonstrated throughout the internship. Everyone was happy to help, whatever level they were at, and answer any questions about any part of the job or the company. The team came across as really friendly and the internship had a very welcoming atmosphere. The company obviously is one of the best in the field, but it impressed me that they have kept a large amount of the “small company” atmosphere of close knit community and cross level support, with obviously an expectation that everyone will try their best at all stages.
I thoroughly enjoyed the internship. I thought that it was made as inclusive and interactive as possible given the circumstances, obviously it was less so than an in person internship would be, but I had great fun with my group and will hopefully meet them in person as soon as possible! All my questions, a including those I didn’t know I had, were answered and EY did a very good job at getting their company values and culture across over a camera. My only negative feedback would be that it was at times a little repetitive, a lot of the talks overlapped more than I think the speakers realised, it would have been nice to have a little more mixture.
Be yourself. They look for genuine people who are confident in themselves and can communicate that well. “Confident not cocky” is the classic line. In the internship, be as open and personable with your group as possible- some groups seemed to only function for the task at hand, which is no bad thing but I thoroughly enjoyed being more relaxed and really getting to know the people. There was plenty of time in the allocated slots for both. Another thing I would say is don’t stress about it all, it’s so easy to but everyone is so willing to help stressing too much will only waste your energy!
Internship (1-4 Months)