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Katherine Ritchie – EY – Graduate Jobs Case Study

Katherine Ritchie - EY

Katherine Ritchie currently works as an Analyst in Operational Transaction Services for EY. She studied Economics and Geography at the University of Sheffield. During her time at university Katherine completed a six week summer internship with EY and went on to pursue a career with the company following graduation.

Why did you choose to apply for work at the company? 

  • I had already done an internship during my penultimate year and performed well. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot, so when I was offered a position on the graduate programme I was really pleased. Securing my grad role whilst still at university meant I could focus my final year on doing well and not worrying about a job at the end of it.
  • I actually decided to defer so I could take a gap year and EY offered me the flexibility to do this. This was key to me accepting the offer. 

What was the recruitment process like? 

  • Firstly there was an online application form which captured education, previous jobs and a number of competency based questions. These focused on strengths and some questions involved ranking responses in preference order.
  • Following this I completed an online numerical, verbal and non-verbal test.
  • I then had a strengths based interview. Many of these questions were yes or no questions (i.e. would your friends say you’re organised) in which there was opportunity to expand if desired.
  • The next stage was an assessment day. This lasted around four hours and involved group exercises, prioritising individual tasks (e.g. budgeting for an event, options analysis and advising a stressed colleague) and sitting paper versions of the numerical, verbal and non-verbal tests.
  • The last round was a partner interview. This was with a partner from the Tax Service Line – the business area and team I was joining.
  • I had these rounds for my internship and then had another HR and partner interview for my graduate job as I moved office and department.

What sort of training and development have you received?

  • EY sponsor me to do my chartered accountant qualification and a programme management qualification. I also receive lots of internal training and development opportunities specific to my business area and specialism as well as coaching and mentoring.

What are your main responsibilities?

  • My responsibilities differ depending on the type of project I am working on for a client. My last project was an integration of two publishing companies and by project managing a specific element of this, I owned the transition plan and coordinated ten different workstreams. Analysts usually have control over the databook (i.e. analyses of data).
  • I also have internal practice development responsibilities. These include leading the intern and graduate programme for my department, organising socials on behalf of the Social and Community Committee and co-leading the analyst and executive forum. 

What do you like about working at the company?

  • I like that EY proactively look to develop me in terms of education, variety of projects and client exposure. There are also many opportunities to stretch myself and try new things. We have a number of secondments across service lines and countries available to us.

How do you see your career progressing in the future?

  • Over the next two years I will continue to work towards my chartered accountancy qualification, hopefully go on a secondment abroad and, following that, progress to a management role.

What advice would you give new graduates hoping to work for the company?

  • The pace is fast. Come prepared for the challenge and be open minded. Enjoy the experience and be receptive to learning opportunities – I work with a wide range of clients and my colleagues have such a diverse background that I learn something new every day.

Find out more about graduate roles at EY.

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