Scott Peckham, Business Apprentice in the Banking and Capital Markets Assurance Team at EY, tells us about his apprenticeship experience which all started at Skills London…
How did you find out about the EY Apprenticeship Programme?
I found out about the apprenticeship scheme at Skills London when I was in Year 11 during November 2017. I heard about the event from players at my rugby club. I had no clear career path in mind but had always assumed I would go to university to study business or economics as this is an area I had always been interested in. Before visiting Skills London my knowledge of apprenticeships was limited to trades like plumbing.
I registered my interest in the scheme with EY and visited Skills London again in Year 12. I also went to an EY insight evening in October of Year 12. These visits cemented my knowledge of the EY apprenticeship and my belief that they were the company I wanted to work for as the people I met were what I aspired to be!
What was the application process like?
I applied for the EY apprenticeship in May of Year 12. I had to complete three online tests which assessed my suitability for the role. By the end of July, I was asked to attend a one-day assessment centre. There was some pre-work to do and I carried out lots of research before the big day.
There were seven people on the assessment day. We had to do some additional numerical tests and there were group exercises to see how we worked as a team and to assess our understanding of the topic we had been asked to research. I really enjoyed the day and remember thinking I had really given it my best shot.
I was relieved after a month to be called to a final interview with a Partner from EY. I had to give a 10-minute presentation on a topic I thought would be a challenge to EY in the future. I chose ‘challenger banks’ and did lots of research before the interview. I found this the most challenging part of the selection process but by the end of September, I had been offered a place on the programme! I made a decision then not to apply to university.
What are your plans for the future?
I aim to qualify as a chartered account with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and then to perhaps broaden my career into areas other than audit within EY. I would also like to take up a secondment to a different EY office – hopefully abroad!
What would you say to others thinking about an apprenticeship?
I would really recommend doing an apprenticeship, particularly if it leads to a professional qualification without having to go to university for a degree. Graduates that join EY still have to do the professional qualification but I will be qualified at a younger age and without the heavy burden of student debt. You need to be prepared to work and study hard and realise that you will not have the hours of free time that you would have had as a student!
What did you think about Skills London?
I would definitely recommend a visit to Skills London. There are organisations from a wide range of industries and it gives you the opportunity to meet so many employers and explore the different opportunities that are available in London.