Since joining Consulting at EY in Bristol in September 2020, Lucy has been living with two other Assurance graduates while completing the first ever virtual induction with EY. Lucy shares her experiences of joining the firm remotely and how they have collaborated together while studying for a qualification and meeting clients virtually.
I heard about EY whilst I was studying my A levels at college and a few friends joined the school leaver programme. Whilst at University I explored the idea of a career at EY by attending the EY Women in Business programme in my first year and subsequently the Consulting Summer Internship in London in my second year. This led to me joining EY in Bristol Business Consulting graduate scheme in September 2020.
My role as a Consultant is hugely varied, with no two days the same, which is one of the main things I enjoy about my job. The Business Consulting service line encompasses both a range of clients, from government to private sector, as well as a range of competencies including finance, transformation and experience design. I’m currently working on a supply chain & operations project which involves exploring the many risks that could arise in the winter period (including further waves of Covid-19 and the end of transition period). This work is very interesting, especially right now, as we ensure that suppliers are able to fulfil their contracts even through times as strange as 2020!
You were the first cohort to have a virtual induction. How did you find this and what did you enjoy most about it?
Starting a new job virtually is a weird prospect but one that has become the norm recently. I was couriered and set up on a laptop that became my one link to EY and the way in which I have met all my new colleagues. On my first day I joined a virtual induction event with over 1,000 other new joiners including graduates and apprentices. We heard from a number of speakers who shared with us their journey into EY and what inspires them in the work that they do. We also had smaller sessions where we met those who were joining the same department as us and many ‘breakout room’ sessions which is something I’m sure many people are now familiar with. This was great as it allowed us to informally chat to those who are of the same level of us and who we would’ve normally met in the office or at socials. The team did a really great job on replicating a number of the activities that we would’ve normally done in person including a training session where we all got individual feedback on a mock individual client presentation. However, it was odd to start a new job and attend all these events from my bedroom!
What surprised you most about EY and particularly Bristol office when you started?
Although I completed my Summer Internship in London, I made the decision to transfer to the Bristol office to start the graduate scheme. The Bristol office has a smaller team, but I find that this means it is easier to get involved and meet people across all levels of the business. They have been extremely welcoming even though this has been made difficult in a virtual world. We have made an effort to stay connected with events such as a virtual scavenger hunt which involved everyone running around their homes to find answers to clues – it’s fair to say that this ended with everyone having an odd array of objects around them including toilet roll and mustard! However, I am looking forward to returning to the office to meet everyone in person!
Do you find it easy to juggle work and a social life? What activities do you do to support your wellbeing while working from home?
Every day I start work at a small desk in my bedroom, less than a metre from my bed, so it is easy to get stuck in a rut of not leaving the flat to go outside. However, I live with two other girls, Lucinda and Sophie, who also work at EY in Bristol so we often coordinate our lunch breaks so that we can go for a walk or go and grab a coffee. We have really made an effort to get outside the flat together which has now been made even harder with the cold weather, but I’ve found not to underestimate the power of getting out for a breath of fresh air. We also did put our Christmas decorations up on 1 November (to many people’s horror!) but it is great to have a festive household as it lightens the mood in the space which we live and work all the time!
Although there are lots of discussions about the WiFi connection and with 3 people on video calls all day this can be a bit of a nightmare, working from home with friends can be good fun. It can be difficult to differentiate between work and home as it all blurs into one, especially in a flat where we sleep and work in the same room. Nevertheless, we have been quite good at creating some evening activities with the latest arts and craft activity being making festive candles. In times like this it is important to rally around your friends and family to ensure that everyone is looking after themselves and finding time to do things that make them happy.