On the 26th February 2016, second year students from Cadbury College finished their 2 weeks' work experience at Universum World's second most attractive employer in the world , EY (formerly Ernst & Young).
Raheem Hussain and Janki Chohan (pictured left) have both successfully completed their first year of A-Level study at Cadbury and are half way through their second whilst preparing for their next steps.
Raheem joined us from Wheelers Lane Technology College and is now studying Business Studies, ICT and Statistics. He is seeking a career in finance, particularly in the tax sector, and is exploring the School Leaver Programmes at EY. Janki came to Cadbury from Yardleys School, and is now studying Business Studies, Geography and Sociology. She is working towards going to University next year to study Business and Finance in the hope to return to EY after graduating.
Both Raheem and Janki have provided feedback on their experiences at EY:
"My time at EY was only for 2 weeks however I have learnt more about the corporate world then I have through my many years of studying. My impression before I started was that this experience was going to involve your stereotypical office jobs such as printing and scanning. It was the complete opposite; it was more hands on and getting involved. I was given the opportunity to sit in several team meetings which gave me an understanding of how teams within the workforce communicate with one another. The meeting was both formal and informal in the sense that they incorporate a spotlight into the agenda. This is where a team member or several team members are given the opportunity to talk about anything that goes on in their life inside and outside their work life.
My favourite part of the experience was sitting in on the team meetings. No matter how busy you are it allows you to take some time out of your busy life and just be updated on progress and be told how well you are doing showing your efforts are being acknowledged and not gone to waste.
My biggest fear about the work experience was going to be whether I would fit in. However on the first day this was not an issue as the team was very friendly and welcoming. They created a brilliant working atmosphere and delivered excellent training during the first and second week. The training provided me with an insight into how to use the specialised computer systems which enabled me to make desk bookings, room bookings and much more. As it is an open office plan you are surrounded by a lot team members this allowed you to network and meet new people, in fact EY encourage meeting new people which is why they have a concept called ‘hot desk’ which involves the idea of not having a permanent desk assigned to you.
I assumed the experience itself would only involve work shadowing however once again the corporate environment surprises me or better yet EY has surprised me; I was given the opportunity to use the specialised software on the intranet such as GT&E. I used GT&E to record the expenses for a senior manager, at first I found it difficult as it was a different program but after the first record I got the hang of it. I was also given the opportunity to communicate via Outlook with senior managers to assist them with desk bookings and offering travelling options, this created a form of trust between me and the team members as they trusted me to communicate with their senior managers.
One thing I have taken from this experience is that I am much more motivated. Working here for two weeks has opened my eyes about the different routes that I can take especially with EY. I have been given insight to not only how the BSC works and operates but also other departments such as tax, assurance and TAS. If anything the experience has given me that extra boost to work much harder to ensure that I work towards my goals.
The experience has also increased my confidence. The idea of communicating with people you have not met before can be daunting at first but over time you build a rapport making communication easier between the two of you. It gives you the opportunity to talk to people outside of your friendship group and build new networks.
If there was one thing I could change about the experience it would be the timeframe. I don’t think two weeks was enough for me personally as it took me a whole week just to get the grasp of things. However the experience was great and I’d certainly recommend it to others and certainly recommend EY to others. I hope to see the work experience program grow in the future as it certainly has had a positive impact on my life and I hope it has the same impact on others.
I’d like to thank EY for the opportunity and just say it was a wonderful experience. Who knows, you may see me back very soon!"
"Firstly, I would like to say that it has been an absolute pleasure working with EY and I want to say thank you for helping me and supporting me throughout my time there.
I feel like I’ve really grown as a character working here, by meeting and speaking to people I’ve never met, which I feel has really built my confidence and I’ve ‘come out of my shell’.
The team have been incredible to work with because they really made me feel welcome and I felt like a part of your EA team, rather than just a work experience student.
Everyone I have worked with has been so lovely and approachable, especially Dee. I felt really happy that I could ask you loads of questions without the feeling of annoyance or frustration from the employees and felt like I could just speak to them at ease without any hesitation. (Although I am truly sorry if I asked too many questions sometimes!)
My experience at EY has been really helpful and has given me a great insight into the working life, building my knowledge and understanding of situations you may face later on or situations where something happens last minute, because I expected managing time to be really easy, but the more I’ve seen the more I’ve understood how hard it is to actually find certain slots.
I also want to thank EY for adapting their style to suit situations such as listening to my requests like sitting on the 9th floor and attending the PA event meeting, (despite having another session at the same time which I attended later on), just to experience the differences in departments. I think one thing that I would’ve liked to do is to sit with people in other departments like Tax, Assurance, Finance, etc; just to gain a better understanding of what other people in the firm do.
But overall, my time here has been wonderful; EY always explained everything so well and provided an amazing opportunity which I will value for life. The whole experience has been an eye-opener and I would love to work here after finishing University because of the lovely atmosphere that EY has proved to be.
From my experience I would recommend everyone to EY, because I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and will really miss being here.
Thanks again for being such a help; I really appreciate it and have really enjoyed my experience in working with you.
(I hope we stay in touch, which will be a bonus when I return here in 4 years’ time! So I hope to see you still working here DeeJ)
A big well done to both students for completing their 2 week programme, and all the best for your continuing studies and future careers.