My Unusual Journey to IT Advisory
My journey to IT Advisory with EY may be unusual, however I have found that diverse backgrounds are exactly what EY look for in a candidate, which was a main attraction point for me as I applied to join the firm.
I completed an undergraduate degree specialising in Environmental and Earth Systems Science in UCC. Through this I developed core skills such as field research, analysing data, report writing and presenting. My final year thesis found me analysing how agricultural waste affects the water quality of our local rivers. With this project I began analysing data I had collected and tested to produce valid scientific information and finally presenting my findings to my professors and fellow classmates. This is a far cry from IT advisory but these core skills have stayed with me within my current role as a consultant in EY.
In an unusual turn from my undergraduate studies I then began a customer service role within the banking industry. Through this I harnessed effective communication skills when dealing with clients on a daily basis. Taking into account the variations of feedback from customers on their issues with banking IT, I found myself asking questions about banking systems and trying to understand how information and transactions flow. I was also interested in the security of data and what caused system failures within the bank. There was a process where customer feedback was analysed and the trends in dissatisfaction meant that systems were developed and improved in order to resolve customer issues and facilitate their needs. Within my role, I had no sight of this process and had a keen interest to learn more about it.
As a stepping stone towards this space I undertook a masters that focused on information systems for business performance. This course provided me with key learning skills into how information systems work efficiently, how to develop innovative business models, understanding how large IT transformation programmes work and the key issues/ risks that can occur. I learned about the detail behind these systems including databases, storage technology, methodologies etc. Core consulting skills encompassed a large part of the course especially within the summer industry collaboration project. As part of a team, I worked closely with a client and stakeholders to gather requirements in order to further develop a new decision support software tool for critical infrastructures.
It was at this point I was introduced to EY. Previous graduates of the course, now my colleagues in EY came to speak with us about the firm and what it has to offer. I found their enthusiasm for the firm and the work they do very attractive. They demonstrated that with EY you hit the ground running working with clients even when joining as a graduate. They communicated the excellent support that is provided for your career development at EY. I began to research career opportunities in EY amongst other consulting companies. What made EY stand out for me was the clear focus on employing candidates with diverse backgrounds. I found that ITA aligned directly to my interests and skills and could provide a launching point for my career to grow in the future.