We caught up with Alicia, a Valuation Analyst based at EY in London. She loves running, yoga and taking salsa classes. In this article, she shares her journey from attending the Discover EY - Women in Leadership event to joining on the Valuation Graduate programme.
Tell us about your graduate role at EY?
I am currently working in the Capital Equipment Team as part of the wider Valuation, Modelling and Economic Advisory group. My day-to-day often looks like carrying out research to input into our valuation models, building up valuation models in excel and writing reports on our work and methodology to deliver to clients.
Our team works with a mixture of internal EY audit clients as well external clients. I work with clients to help value tangible assets e.g., specialist factory equipment, cars, ships, aircraft and much more. This can sometimes feed into an overall valuation of a business or group. We often provide valuation ranges to audit teams or to company management to assist in financial reporting.
How did you get onto the graduate scheme at EY?
I attended the EY Women in Leadership event, and then I did an internship with EY before joining as a graduate. Discover EY - Women in Leadership was a great opportunity to meet and interact with women working at all levels of EY and learn about their experience working at the firm. It was also an opportunity to understand what EY does and more specifically to get a better insight into different service lines and which would be a good fit for me.
During my internship in Valuation at EY, I was able to meet members of the Valuation team and to ask lots of questions about their role. This was useful when applying for a graduate role in this team. I also had the opportunity to work with another intern to do a case study we had been given. We then delivered this case study together to partners in the team. This fostered an interesting discussion and helped me to develop my presentation skills.
What have you learned since joining EY on a graduate scheme?
In a short space of time, I have learned so much on my graduate scheme. I have gained new technical skills in accountancy and finance, which I had not studied. Speaking to those in my team with lots of experience in the specialist area of valuation I have also gained understanding that has helped me when working on projects.
What are you studying towards now whilst on the graduate scheme? How does EY support you with your studies?
I am currently studying to become a Chartered Accountant with the institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS.) I’m doing a level seven Accountancy and Tax Apprenticeship. So far, I have done eight weeks of college and have completed six exams. Studying involved a mix of online teaching and self-study while being supported by my EY apprenticeship coach.
What attracted you to EY, what made EY stand out from the crowd?
During my time at the Discover EY - Women in Leadership event, I found that the people at EY were open and friendly. Inclusiveness was a top priority for me. A large emphasis is put on creating a culture where people can bring their authentic self to work. I have always felt included and felt a sense of belonging in my team and the firm. My experience at EY was different to that which I’ve had at other firms. The culture convinced me that EY is somewhere I want to work.
What are you surprised about since joining EY?
At EY there are a range of networks and so much opportunity to carry out charitable work in the community.
How do you manage your work life balance and how does EY support you?
As a team everyone is really understanding, and we prioritise the importance of maintaining a work life balance. I have never felt pressured into working long hours or removing myself from a healthy balance.
Tell us about your hobbies
I enjoy jogging and doing yoga, I find these especially helpful for my mental health as well as my physical health. I also tried out a salsa class a few years ago and I've made it my new year's resolution to go to salsa classes again.
What's the best experience you've had since joining EY that really surprised you?
I’ve really enjoyed building relationships with my colleagues outside of work. We organise team lunches which have really been enjoyable. In my opinion, I think that this is most important especially because of hybrid working. Some of my best experiences have also been because of the time taken by members of the team to coach me and to ensure I have a good understanding of the projects that I am working on.
Find out more about our Valuation Graduate Programme.