EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year
The EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year is a global competition that recognises talented women currently studying at university level or equivalent with the potential to have a fulfilling career in EY Strategy and Transactions.
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Are you the next EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year?
Discover how you can kick start your career journey in corporate finance and bring to life your purpose at the same time. This is more than just a global competition – it offers you the chance to:
- Start making long-lasting contacts who will drive your consulting career forward
- Learn about the variety of career experiences in Strategy and Transactions
- Discover how a leading-class professional services organisation adds value through purpose and diversity to our clients
- Win a paid internship in Strategy and Transactions
It’s why we’re supporting the EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year (EYCFWY) competition in over twenty countries around the world.
The competition is split into three stages. Throughout, we will be looking for evidence of purpose and analytical strength – as well as the practical skills that will distinguish you in the competition.
Applications for the 2021 competition are now closed.
Stage 1 – Application and Regional Final
Firstly, we will challenge you to answer one short answer question on the broader business environment and one question about building a better working world through video.
If your application is successful, you will be invited to participate in the Regional Finals. You will work as part of a team to analyse and present on a transactions case study to our EY judges.
Do well in Stage 1 and you will become a regional winner, rewarded with a paid internship in Strategy and Transactions and a trip to Sydney to compete in the Oceania competition.
In the event that the Oceania Final is unable to proceed face-to-face the format of the competition may need to be adapted to be conducted in a virtual setting. Applicants will receive updated communication closer to the time.
Stage 2 – Oceania Final
In the second stage, you will participate in individual and group activities and continue your journey of learning more about Strategy and Transactions. The Oceania winner will represent EY Oceania at the Global competition.
Stage 3 – Global competition
Taking place in September 2022, the successful Oceania winner will work closely with other finalists from across the world. You will be challenged with individual and group activities in front of EY leaders, clients and academia. At the Global competition, finalists will attend an awards ceremony where the overall Corporate Finance Woman of the Year winner will be announced.*
*In the event that the Global Competition is unable to proceed face-to-face in Europe/ UK then the competition will be conducted in a virtual setting.
The EY Oceania Corporate Finance Woman of the Year competition is open to all female students residing in Australia or New Zealand who hold citizenship or permanent residency in the country they reside in. Entrants must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree at university and due to complete their studies between 2022 and 2024.
How to enter
To enter the competition, you are required to complete the entry form and upload a current CV, most recent academic transcript and photo ID. Eligible students will then be sent an email containing a link to complete the competition questions via our entry platform, powered by HireVue. You will respond to one written question, not exceeding 350 words, and one via video application of a maximum of 90 seconds.
- What impact has increased globalisation had on the transaction landscape and company valuations in recent years? How do you expect this trend will change going forward?
- EY strives to ensure that the broad range of differences across EY globally are represented and respected at the most senior levels within the organisation.
Why does representation matter in the workplace and beyond?
- Once you have completed the entry form, you will only be able to enter the HireVue platform once (don’t worry, once you’re in there, you will have multiple opportunities to record your video reponse for question 2). So we suggest you prepare you response to question one and your script for question two prior to accessing HireVue.
- Find a quiet well lit space.
- Ensure you have good internet connection before you get started.
- You can access the competition portal via smartphone, PC or tablet, however ensure you have video and microphone enabled.
- Don’t forget, you’ll be on video so ensure you are wearing business appropriate attire.
- If you have any questions or need help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
What can I win?
Prizes that last a lifetime
By entering the competition you can:
- Make long-lasting, meaningful connections with EY leadership that will benefit your career
- Network with females working in a global organisation that embodies a supportive and collaborative culture
- Differentiate yourself from other graduates in an increasingly competitive job market
Regional winners will receive a paid Strategy and Transactions internship in their local EY office and progress to the Oceania Final.
The overall Oceania winner, in addition to their prize internship, will receive a mentoring session, a future graduate position in Strategy and Transactions and, will progress to the Global Competition taking place in Europe/ the UK in September 2022.
*In the event that the Global Competition is unable to proceed face-to-face in Europe/ the UK then the competition will be conducted in a virtual setting.
2nd and 3rd place winners, in addition to their prize internship, will receive a mentoring session with a senior member of the Strategy and Transactions team.
The biggest highlight was having the opportunity to connect with exceptional and like-minded women from around the world.
2021 EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year
Frequently Asked Questions
The CFWOY competition was created by EY to reward and encourage the next generation of female transactions professionals.
The competition serves to:
- Reaffirm the growing importance of transactions knowledge in the world of business among female university students.
- Promote the emergence of young talented professionals in the field of transactions, thus fostering interest in the profession as a potential future career.
Regional winners will compete in the Oceania Final on 27 October 2021. The Oceania winner will then compete against her peers from the other participating countries in the Global competition in September 2022.
The CFWOY competition started in 2017 with seven participating countries including Australia.
The competition was an incredible educational, fun, and enjoyable experience-one that I am very appreciative for the opportunity to be part of.
2019 Oceania winner
Our 2020 Finalists:In October 2020 University of Auckland student, Kate Gatfield-Jeffries, was named the Oceania winner of the EY Oceania Corporate Finance Woman of the Year competition, and shortly after was then named the 2021 EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year at the global competition.Congratulations to the following:
Hear from Kate Gatfield-Jeffries, EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year global winnerWhat was your highlight from the CFWY global finals?
- NZ - Kate Gatfield-Jeffries (University of Auckland) - 1st
- VIC - Genevieve Perrignon (Monash University) – 2nd
- VIC - Nikko Riazi (The University of Melbourne) – 3rd
- NSW - Brinley Maher (University of New South Wales) – Finalist
- QLD - Camille Etchegaray (Queensland University of Technology) – Finalist
- SA - Ivy Hoang (University of Adelaide) – Finalist
- NSW - Jen Fong (University of Technology Sydney) – Finalist
- QLD - Luisa Alonso Gonzalez Cordero (The University of Queensland) – Finalist
- NZ - Prerna Handa (University of Auckland) - Finalist
The biggest highlight was certainly having the opportunity to connect with exceptional and like-minded women from around the world. Although we didn’t get to meet in person, it was still a very rewarding experience to learn about the differing backgrounds, experiences and aspirations each of these women had. It is fantastic to have a global network of inspiring women and I look forward to following their future career journeys.
How did you feel when you found out you were named the 2021 EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year?
Delighted! I felt very honoured to have been recognised among a group of such high calibre individuals. Winning this competition was very meaningful to me, as someone from a non-traditional finance background, I wanted to push my own limits. Going forward, this competition has inspired me to motivate other women to break boundaries and work towards achieving their purpose in their career journeys.
What advice would you give to those planning to participate in the next competition?
Play to your strengths. For me, that was emphasising my ability to look at financial problems holistically, considering broader social, geopolitical and environmental implications of decision-making. Demonstrating strong communication skills and the aptitude to lead and work effectively within teams is also important. Finally, enjoy the process!
Our 2019 Finalists:
- VIC - Julia Down (University of Melbourne) - 1st
- NZ - Caterina Barton (University of Auckland) - 2nd
- NSW - Wendy Hu (University of Sydney) - 3rd
- NZ - Tasma Fulford (University of Auckland) - Finalist
- NSW - Xenia Lopes (University of Sydney) - Finalist
- VIC - Emma McRobert (University of Melbourne) – Finalist
- QLD - Alejandra Orozco (University of Queensland) – Finalist
- WA – Guergana Sedeva (University of Western Australia) – Finalist
Hear from the Oceania winner, Julia Down, who represented Oceania at the global final in Rome in February 2020.
Julia Down, 2019 Oceania winner
Campus: University of Melbourne
Degree: Bachelor of Commerce (Finance and Marketing)
Julia was thrilled with her win and her experience in the competition. She joined our Strategy and Transactions team in June for her internship.
“Being part of the competition really inspired me to want to pursue a career in transactions, and I hope that this competition inspires other females to develop curiosities in the field too”.
What was your highlight from the CFWY global final?
“The highlight was most definitely meeting the other competitors from all over the world! As well as the opportunity to learn about EY and the Strategy and Transactions team, I was fortunate to make many friends who I know I will be in touch with for many years to come who live in all corners of the world.”
What advice would you give students who are considering applying to this year’s Oceania competition?
“I could not recommend applying for the CFWY competition more! My advice would be to come to the competition ready to really showcase who you are; it is a fantastic opportunity to really bring together the myriad of technical and interpersonal skills that we learn at Uni!”
Our 2018 Finalists:
- VIC - Caitlin Brand (Monash University) - 1st
- NSW - Chloe Segal (University of Sydney) - 2nd
- QLD - Rene Arunakumaren (University of Queensland) - 3rd
- NZ - Emma Kerr (University of Auckland) - Equal 3rd
- NZ - Hannah Monigatti (University of Auckland) - Finalist
- WA - Isobel Bleddyn (University of Western Australia) - Finalist
- NSW - Alison Ma (University of Sydney) - Finalist
- NSW - Kristina Adzic (Macquarie University) – Finalist
- VIC - Sarsha Crawley (Monash University) – Finalist
- SA - Evangelina Papps (University of Adelaide) – Finalist
- QLD - Nicole Steemson (University of Queensland) – Finalist
- WA – Katrina Yu (The University of Western Australia) – Finalist
Hear from the Oceania winner, Caitlin Brand, who represented Oceania at the global final in London in February 2019.
Caitlin Brand, 2018 Oceania winner
Campus: Monash University
Degree: Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) with a Diploma of Languages (Mandarin)
Caitlin was delighted with her win and her experience in the competition. She is joining our Transactions Advisory team in late 2019 for her internship.
“It was great exposure to Corporate Finance and to EY,” said Caitlin, “I really admire the initiative and EY for doing it. It is about empowering women to have a voice in a corporate world, which is so important to me”.
What was your highlight from the CFWY global final?
“Definitely meeting and working with the other finalists. They pushed my critical thinking, allowed me to learn more about their home countries and were also just a vibrant, fun group that thoroughly enriched this once-in-a-life time experience. I'm excited to see what the future holds for each participant!”
What advice would you give students who are considering applying to this year’s Oceania competition?
“Regardless of your university or work experience background, if you have any interest in finance or want to know more about the area, definitely apply! You do not need to have majored in Finance... I haven't! I think many students do not realise how diverse and broad finance is. It encompasses strategy, operations and financial analysis, balancing both qualitative and quantitative skills. There is absolutely no downside in applying and you never know where the opportunity may take you!” - Caitlin Brand, 2018 Oceania winner
Congratulations to the following 2017 state winners
- WA — Shaneli Dias (University of Western Australia) and Jessica Young (University of Western Australia)
- VIC — Ai Lin Soo (Monash University) and Olivia McFarlane (RMIT)
- QLD — Niama Beaton (University of Queensland) and Micaela Lusa (University of Queensland)
- NSW — Rebecca Zhang (University of Sydney) and Aarthi Packirisamy (Macquarie University)
Hear from the Australian winner, Rebecca Zhang who represented Australia at the global final in London in February 2018.
Rebecca Zhang, Australia finalist
Campus: University of Sydney
Degree: Bachelor of Commerce
Rebecca Zhang first developed her interest in corporate finance through an inspirational high school economics teacher. While she seriously considered other career options, the opportunity to have an impact during the most important times in an organization’s life, and the variety of market sectors that a corporate finance career would give her exposure to, continue to hold her interest.
“What I discovered about the importance of both the advisory component and relationships in corporate finance really changed my view of the career path. I’ve always wanted to balance the technical focus with a people focus in my career, and I didn’t realize how much I could have this in a career in Transactions,” she said.
Studying for a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Sydney is an important step towards that career goal. Entering the EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year competition has been another.
Rebecca says that is has been an incredible opportunity to talk to EY people about what it’s really like to pursue a career in corporate finance. “The university experience gives you a good understanding of the technical process and what outcomes should theoretically look like. However, while you do need the knowledge and expertise to form a solution, the solution is useless if you can’t convey it properly, or express it in the correct way to your client,” she said.
As part of the competition experience, EY people talked in detail about the types of transactions they were involved in, and how they go about developing and implementing solutions. “I had no idea of the diversity of specialists that often collaborate on any one transaction, and the diversity of roles and career paths possible within corporate finance,” she remarked.
Rebecca believes that a lot of women don’t necessarily consider a corporate finance career option, but the EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year competition is an important opportunity for them to get a taste of what it’s really like.
“I believe this competition will provide me with an excellent opportunity to gain the right experience to become a leader in the future,” she said.