I had the chance to ask one of my Senior Managers a few questions. Working at EY has provided her with the opportunity to work in several different countries, travel across the world, and progress to such a high level in a relatively short amount of time.
In your opinion, why is it beneficial for young people to start their careers out at a Big 4 firm?
Working at a Big 4 provides you with a solid foundation and grounding to then progress in the professional world. There are some basics around professional etiquette (such as relationship building, presentations, coaching and mentoring) plus work basics that I still keep today from when I began my career out of university.
Also, there is also the opportunity to meet very talented and smart individuals that want to see you succeed in your career.
Lastly, another pro for working at a Big 4 is the variety and exposure to different clients and industries. There is an opportunity to specialize later on depending on what interests you.
What advice do you have for university students who are looking to join a Big 4 firm?
Network as much as possible both internally and externally and at all levels – get to know your internal team in as many service offerings as possible and get to your clients externally. The breadth and depth of your relationships, if maintained, is invaluable throughout your career. Also, be flexible and open to new assignments and types of work.
What are a few things co-op students or new full-time campus hires should do to be successful at a Big 4 firm?
1) Do what you say you are going to do: lead by example.
2) Network: get to know people at all levels (in the organization and on client-site)
3) Learn as much as possible: there are opportunities around every corner. Be a ‘sponge’ for knowledge
4) ...Lastly, have fun!
Thanks very much!