There is good news for accounting and finance graduates in 2017. The outlook for the profession remains very positive for graduates who are career-ready, says Lee Soo Fern, partner at Ernst & Young Advisory Services Sdn Bhd and Malaysia talent leader, EY.
But if you want to land a job in EY, you have to make sure that you are the right fit. Academic qualifications matter but a professional services firm like EY needs people with the extras as well. It looks out for candidates who possess the right attitude, good communication and interpersonal skills, and are willing to learn.
EY’s clients include multinationals with a global footprint, so its employees must be able to communicate and articulate well, especially when liaising with C-suites. As such, EY requires graduates to hone their soft skills (leadership, communication and interpersonal) since they must present reports and attend meetings.
Graduates should also possess an important trait – people smart. “Our clients want real people. People who are a little street smart. They must have an ability to spot an issue, to present appropriate and relevant solutions to address clients’ concerns,” says Soo Fern.
For many, EY’s culture is the number one reason for being part of the organisation. It is a people-centric, nurturing and supportive environment, where diversity and inclusiveness, teaming and respect for each other are the values that guide the way it operates.
Soo Fern says, “The average age of our employees is probably 27. Our managers can be as young as 26, leading a portfolio or a team, liaising with C-suites. That’s another thing. Our people gain access to the business community that they might not otherwise be able to if they were in another environment.”
The learning curve is steep, the hours can be long but if a candidate is career-focused, able to meet expectations, not afraid to accept challenges, then he or she will enjoy rapid career advancements.
So if you are indeed in pursuit of “an exceptional EY experience”, then get your act together and start working on being the right fit.
BRAND YOURSELF, STAND OUT
As a partner with more than 25 years in the firm, Soo Fern knows a thing or two about making yourself stand out.
“Knowing what is unique about yourself and actively profiling it makes it memorable for a recruiter or interviewer.”
“If you aspire for the part, then look the part!”
“Put yourself in front of a potential employer, recruiter or decision-maker. Build relationships and make them remember you.”