Hitesh joined EY in January 2007 on a Financial Services programme and has since progressed to an Audit Partner within our EMEIA Financial Services division. Find out more about his journey from a small-tier firm, to making Partner at EY.
I started working at a young age in my father’s retail shops, initially delivering newspapers (the traditional paperboy on a bike) before everything went online. I aspired from those early days to be a business owner myself and serve the community like my father had done. Becoming a Partner at one of the largest Professional Service firms in the world has been an interesting journey from my days as a paperboy.
I like learning about new gadgets and tinkering with technology to automate homes and help make everyday tasks simpler and fun. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family and cooking is my version of Yoga, it’s how I zone out and relax.
What does your role entail?
The fundamental description for my role is being a leader in our business. On a more granular level, this varies on a day-to-day basis, between being a mentor and coaching our people, managing the risk to the business and delivering exceptional client service through high-quality audits.
What attracted you to EY?
The firm's deep focus on its people and doing the right thing. Having a balance between looking after its people and serving its clients to deliver high-quality audits and exceptional client service.
How did you end up joining EY?
I joined EY back in January 2007 as one of the first cohorts on the Financial Services (FS) Conversion programme. This was a programme specifically targeted at candidates who did not have any FS experience and provided an opportunity to join the EY UK FS practice. I joined the Banking & Capital Market team as I was looking for a different type of challenge, having worked for the previous 7 years in a general practice, where I learnt a vast amount from some excellent partners who were ex-Big 4. This inspired my move into a Big 4 firm and it felt like a natural transition to join EY at the time, in the hope to become a skilled auditor, just like them.
Please describe top three things you do in your role and what you enjoy most about them:
1. Mentoring: As this gives me a great opportunity to connect with my teams and other people in the department.
2. Running our business and doing internal projects: As this enables me to drive change from within and grow the business to better serve society.
3. Working across different clients: The optionality to work on different client engagements means that things do not get boring, and each day brings its own unique challenges which keeps me constantly learning and developing my skills.
What industries do you work across?
The majority of my role is client facing and my client base is spread across various industries including Banks, Broker Dealer and Market Infrastructure, FinTech’s and Payment Processors. I really enjoy working with FinTech’s as they are challenging the way things have previously been done and finding ways to do them differently to meet today’s societal needs.
Why is now an exciting time to join EY in Audit?
In Audit, no two days are the same. My role enables me to meet extremely talented individuals and owners of businesses and understand how they run their companies. We work collaboratively, helping them to be better stewards and positively impact society.
What is a common misconception about your role, and can you demystify this?
There is a common misconception that Audit involves working long hours, resulting in no time for family and friends. While I do sometimes work long hours, the job gives me a certain level of autonomy and control over my day, and it's more around delivery of work rather than hours clocked in and out each day. No two days are the same for me and so having control over my diary means I can find the right level of balance which works for me.
Please describe what surprised you most about EY and the people?
EY has a huge focus on its people, and they are at the heart of everything. As I’ve progressed in my career, I’ve seen more discussions taking place and initiatives being implemented to help drive improvements to our people's work-life balance. There is also a huge emphasis on learning and development here at EY with plenty of opportunities to progress in your career and choose the direction you would like to take, whether that be working within a different area of the business or clients.
How has your role evolved during your time at EY?
My role has changed a lot from when I first joined EY to what it is today. I started as an Assistant Manager and having come from a small practice to this global organisation, the move was scary and overwhelming. I think I had higher expectations of myself than the business did around my role and what was expected from me. In the earlier years, it was very much building my skills to become a great auditor and develop myself to become a future leader in the business. Now it’s about growing our business and developing the future leaders of our organisation.
How has EY supported you through your career journey?
EY provided me with the tools and the flexibility to develop myself in my career journey. This is one the great aspects of working here. We have both on the job training and more structured training through Web Based learning developed in-house or via external sources such as Udemy. There are ample resources from which I can choose to further enhance existing skill or develop new ones such as the Tech MBA EY offers all employees. The limitation to what I can learn is really my own passion for what I want to learn.
What is your proudest career moment/experience?
There is no one moment that stands out for me as I have a few. Whether it’s seeing people I have mentored succeed in their careers goals or being able to deliver high-quality work to a client which has enabled them to grow their business and have a positive impact for their stakeholders.
What advice would you give someone considering joining EY?
Joining a global organisation like EY can be a scary experience but you won’t be alone, and you will have an amazing group of people around you that will become your trusted network. The flexibility I have is not something I see many of my family and friends who work in the industry have, and EY is very supportive of people’s personal development ambitions. It’s a great place to work and I’ve really enjoyed building my career in professional services. I look forward to welcoming our new joiners and feel free to reach out to me if you have questions.
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