Our people stories are the best way for you to get to know what life at EY is really like.
Use the links below to meet some of our people.
Read my story
Sydney Graduate Challenge Program
I grew up wanting to be a fighter pilot, but later realised that I'd be better suited to a career that involved numbers. From then on I started looking for a job that was constantly changing; one where I could interact with different people and help them reach their goals as well as my own. My search brought me to EY.
At EY we're encouraged to put forward our ideas and not be afraid to speak up and voice our opinion. For example, when I first joined Audit I was reviewing previous work for a client and realised that something wasn't right. I brought it up with my manager and we found an error. Even though I was new to the team, my opinion was important and I had the opportunity to add value to the work. I felt empowered and realised that I could make a big contribution here.
Suzi sees networking as the key to furthering her career development.
“EY provides a range of online and in-person training from inductions to firm wide training. This includes the Advisory Summer School which provides an opportunity to network with people of all ranks and obtain a greater understanding of work performed across Oceania.
Attending the Advisory Summer School allowed me to meet numerous people in other offices and discuss the possibility of an interstate secondment. My colleagues in both Melbourne and Sydney were really encouraging and spent time giving me a thorough insight into the projects they’ve work on and what opportunities could support my career development in the future.”
I had big expectations about EY. My friends who were part of the Vacationer Program told me that it was a good experience working here, with friendly and supportive people. And without a doubt that was exactly what I found when I started as a graduate.
What I enjoy most is the buzz I get from the increasing levels of responsibility I'm given. It's challenging, but has plenty of rewards. I've seen my work included in papers that are presented to the board of a client. To hear the board say, "this is fantastic", in response to what I've done gives me a great feeling of satisfaction.
EY really encourages people to bring something different to the organisation. I've experienced this in many ways. If you have a passion for a certain industry they'll help you to get the experience you want. I actually have a very broad portfolio, which means I've gained broad insights into audit work and I can take that experience into new projects.
Also, my coaching and mentoring is tailored to my talents and ambitions. As well as the technical training I receive, I also have training on communication and people skills. This combination has helped me grow, take on more responsibility and enjoy a lot of proud moments.
Vacationer to Graduate
What makes EY a great place to work? Well for starters, everyone here, at whatever level, is willing to spend time to help me out.
I didn't have any accountancy qualifications, so EY provided a bridging course for Chartered Accountancy. Completing the course alongside my work made it easy to apply the concepts I was learning to my projects in banking, asset management, insurance and superannuation. Now I'm building my skill set and looking forward to seeing where this takes me.
I was interested in a business advisory career and found that EY had opportunities for Year 12 students, so I joined the Cadet Program. Even though I'm just starting out, I have my own clients, which means I get to see and take part in every aspect of the audits. This gives me a lot of experience and puts my studies into context.
As a cadet, I'm juggling one day a week at university, plus my study, with four days in the office. My colleagues are interested in what I'm learning and are always happy to help me out, giving me pointers for my homework and their insights into the concepts I'm studying.
From accountant to senior and from senior to manager, EY has supported me to go as far as my ambition would take me. I like variety and my day is so broad in experiences, that I've always enjoyed my role.
In Assurance we go into a client's workplace, get to know them and check their numbers, to provide shareholders with confidence that the accounts are accurate. We get to see such a broad range of businesses and understand different clients that this work skills you to do anything you want with your career. You truly become a complete business professional.
Ryan busts the myth that you need to have an accounting degree to work at EY. As a biochemistry and genetics major find out why he chose a career in Assurance.
“I think having a broad education exposure is beneficial in any career. Studying a non-accounting degree has given me some experience to an area of knowledge outside of finance, and to a different type of learning and thinking. This was particularly useful practice for a career in Assurance, where we’re exposed to a variety of industries and companies, and expected to get a basic understanding of them quite quickly.
When I started at EY, having a non-accounting degree on my CV made me stand out slightly from my peers and was part of the reason why I received a portfolio that consisted of ‘key clients’ in that office. Later, I was asked to be involved with a client in the pharmaceutical industry because the client would appreciate having a member of the team with a science background. I learned a lot working on that client and would not have had that opportunity if I hadn’t studied a non-accounting undergraduate degree.
When I was an undergraduate, I realised that a career in science would more than likely consist mostly of doing individual research and that was not what I was looking for in a career. I started looking for a career path that would involve a lot more team work, as well as the opportunity to travel and work in a number of countries. Being a Chartered Accountant, particularly in Assurance, has helped me to achieve those goals.”
Although I work in Tax I actually studied in sciences. So it was pretty uncanny for my first big project to involve an aluminium smelting client. It was an area I didn't have much knowledge of and at first I was daunted by the responsibility. At the same time though, I knew that I had the full support of all the people around me, so if I ever had any problems I could ask and they'd help me out. I ended up learning a lot on that project and it was a real accomplishment.
I can't see myself leaving EY anytime soon and I know that if I work hard I'll get promoted and achieve my ambitions. My career path is pretty exciting.
Vacationer to Graduate
I joined EY in Human Capital, advising businesses about their tax responsibilities when they move employees in or out of Australia.
One of my main achievements involved working on a resources rent tax project. I'd only been at EY for two weeks and no-one was sure about how this particular tax would operate. So, I was given the topic to research and was asked to brief a partner on the subject. I was drilled with some really tough questions and had to come up with the answers on the spot. To be given that level of responsibility was great and to know more about an area of tax than a partner gave me a really empowering feeling and a memorable start to my career.
Senior Manager, Business Tax Advisory
What I like about in Tax is that I get to work closely with the client. Whether I'm conducting an audit or being asked for advice, I have a one-on-one relationship, which lets me discover more about their business. It also means that my advice is more likely to be seen at all levels of an organisation and will have a significant impact on their business. This is quite a contrast to the limited amount of impact I used to have as a legal professional.
I also have a range of opportunities here that I wouldn't have had at other organisations. I've been involved in training and business development [link: developing you], including presenting to senior decision-makers at potential clients. At EY you do get to develop a deeper relationship and enjoy more experience with the clients.
Vacationer to Graduate
I currently work in Business Tax Compliance and I love it here. Every day is different and I really enjoy coming to work.
Even though I'm a graduate, everyone demonstrates that they value my opinion and perspective. I've been in a meeting where a partner has turned to me and asked "is there anything you'd like to add?" which makes me feel really valued.
Overall, I've had an amazing experience on the Vacationer Program. I look at where I am now, think about where I was nine months ago and it's a nice surprise to see how far I've come.
Andrew describes why he turned his legal skills to tax instead of pursuing law.
“Tax is a technical area which is constantly changing as the government pursues its revenue goals. I find that this means that I am always learning as well as being in an area of work affected by public policy and public debate.
The Big 4 accounting firms lead the way in providing tax advice to clients in Australia. This means I have been able to work on some of the biggest companies and on meaningful work with significant impact on a company’s bottom line. Further, EY’s culture means I am exposed to client meetings and can be nominated as the key contact person. This has helped me developed my career in such a way that wouldn’t be possible in a law firm.
Having a legal qualification provides a significant head-start to your career as so much of our work deals with interpreting statutes.
One of my career highlights has been advising on an inbound investment into Australia from the United States of America which involved consideration of the Australian tax implications of a non-resident dividend sourced from Australian profits and the impact of a Double Tax Agreement (DTA) on the ability of a country to exert its taxing rights (i.e. international law)...Trust me it was very interesting!”
Associate Director, Transaction Support
One of the things we do in Transactions is to help our clients find the right deal. For instance an investor may want us to come in, understand the company that they'll invest in and advise them on the nature of their deal. By the time I've finished a project people can ask me anything about the business and I'll be able to give an explanation. It's a really good feeling.
I get to work with clients throughout their business lifecycle, so it's exciting to see and be a part of that growth, with its changing challenges and rewards. When I first started out I wanted to be a novelist and this was going to be a temporary job. Now I think my novel will have to wait until I retire!
When you start as a graduate at EY, you don't get stuck doing data entry. On my engagements I can be working with the CEO or financial controller of a business, which may seem daunting, but I enjoy the challenge. My technical knowledge increases on a daily basis and I'm already writing parts of our reports. I can see the finished work and it's a real achievement for me.
I also have the opportunity to try a number of different industries and specialisations, in order to discover where my talents and interests best lie. Having the support to control my career is what sets EY apart.
The nature of my work in Transactions means I get to be involved before, during and after a transaction. I could start with a strategic assessment, go into due diligence to see whether the transaction makes financial sense and end up being involved in integration planning - ensuring that when two companies come together that it happens seamlessly.
Already I've been lucky enough to work directly with a client - presenting my work back and talking through my reasoning. It's a great challenge and a real thrill to reach that level so early on in my career. I'm already becoming a trusted advisor.
I work in Transactions, where we look at the financial and organisational data for our clients if they are selling or buying a business. Each project I've worked on has been a different client and industry, so in my first year I've already been exposed to healthcare, entertainment and government work, which is great for my experience.
At EY you get a lot of responsibility early on, but everyone, from other graduates up to partners are happy to help. It's a friendly culture, where everyone wants to see you do well and train you for a successful future.
Markets Senior Coordinator, Sales & Marketing
Three years into my time at EY, and I’m suddenly one of the most important people in the room. How on earth did I get here?
In Ohio, all things are possible
To realise how far I’ve come, I need to go back to when I joined. A former HR Consultant, I switched career paths to become a Markets Coordinator. For the first three months I bumbled along trying to understand how everything worked in this strange new environment and questioning whether I had made the right choice. Then, after a while I saw the bigger picture and the complexities of our systems started to fit together.
Soon my technical knowledge grew - as did my role. I steadily carved a niche for myself as a specialist in business systems. I also assisted on our Priority Accounts program, where we have the challenging task of linking up all our people on global accounts so we can be more efficient and effective.
Then suddenly I found myself in Cleveland, representing Asia-Pacific in developing a key element of our future global corporate strategy.
Hold on a second.
I’m the most junior staff member at a table in Ohio and I’m making decisions on behalf of a whole region. Whose idea was this?
And that’s when it clicked. That’s when I realised something that my managers had seen a long time ago. My potential. I could do this and do it well. I’d been given autonomy, trust and opportunity. Whatever doubts I had meant nothing to my managers, who knew all along what I was capable of and had obviously put their reputations on the line to make sure I got the experiences I needed. That day I was able to make a contribution, challenge the thinking of executive stakeholders and convey the needs of our region. Nobody cared what level I was at. They were interested in what I had to offer.
Finally, the evening rolled around and just when I thought I could relax... I’m seated next to one of our Global leaders at dinner. But not only did we get on well, he also wanted my guidance on key parts of the strategy solution.
It seems a far cry from those uncertain early days, but just goes to show how far you can go when people believe in you.