We caught up with Elizabeth to discover more about the EY application process and how being a Bright Network member helped her to secure a fantastic Internship.
I chose to apply to EY as I was interested in pursuing a career in consulting, especially at such a large and successful firm. The full-service aspect of the firm, coupled with the clear scope for career progression, as well as the meritocratic nature of career development at the firm, drew me to EY.
How did Bright Network help?
Thanks to the Bright Network website I discovered EY’s Summer Internship. The compact and coherent way in which the role was displayed on the website really helped persuade me to apply, especially with the tempting 'apply now' button. Also, the career calendar helped ensure I didn't miss the deadline (as I'm quite lazy and deadlines crop up incredibly fast!).
The Summer Internship gave me an excellent insight into the life a consultant in the tech field.
How did you find the application process? Were there any stages you particularly enjoyed or found challenging?
The application process mirrored EY’s Graduate Programmes: online application, psychometric testing, telephone interview then assessment centre with partner interview.
All-in-all it was a great experience; I learnt a lot about the firm whilst pushing myself to my intellectual limit. I really enjoyed the two interviews: both over the telephone and in person, with a partner. Although I had to prepare a business case for the face-to-face interview, it was a great opportunity to speak to (and meet) representatives from the firm. I also got a great idea of the ethos at EY, because in both instances, the situations were slightly informal and relaxed, yet allowed me to go into detail about my talents, and why I would be a good fit at EY. I found the preparation for the presentation challenging, as I had never studied business before, so had to rely on commercial awareness to think of a new, innovative idea, however this allowed me to challenge myself, and apply prior knowledge to the business world. I was also extremely nervous about having a one-on-one with a partner, but it was a great opportunity to sell myself and my idea!
What three tips would you give to BN members looking to follow in your footsteps?
Preparation is key - Everyone preaches about this because it is just so necessary! The best way to overcome nerves (like I had to, for my partner interview) is to prepare fully. You can never suss out exactly what you'll be asked at an interview, but you can prepare yourself by pre-empting likely questions.
Pause before responding to questions - No matter which situation you find yourself in - interviews, client meetings, coffee catch-ups... - it's best to take a moment before responding, to allow yourself to collect your thoughts. It's far too easy to respond to questions with 'um... I don't know' without thinking, but if you take a moment to reflect before responding, you'll give a far more coherent response.
Never give up - Finding an internship or a graduate programme is no easy feat. It takes time and a lot of hard work. But you can do it! You have to believe in yourself, and learn to sell yourself well, whether on paper or face-to-face. When applying for multiple roles, it's normal to face rejection, but you have to take it in your stride, correct the mistakes made, and persevere, because you WILL be successful!
What was the toughest interview question you faced?
Interview questions all seem daunting, however this struck me as the most difficult to answer: 'What do you do in your spare time?'
Although it seems simple and trivial, I was struggling to answer immediately. So, I paused, and quickly thought to myself, 'what if I answer this wrongly?'. It's naturally difficult to strike a balance between coming across as a hard-working student, and someone who is just 'saying it' to get given the role. It's important to show you can have a social life outside of university/ work, and to let your personality shine through (whilst maintaining your professionalism!).
Looking to follow in Elizabeths footsteps? Discover graduate and undergraduate opportunities with EY.