Amina took part in our summer 2023 programmes, completing skills training and work experience with one of our partners, EY. After graduating from Smart Futures, Amina submitted this blog detailing the experience.
Being on this fast-paced programme ensured that I spoke to a vast number of individuals at EY that are at the forefront of their field in finance. From Mergers and Acquisitions to Tax, everyone seemed like they belonged in this huge firm. I was welcomed by the team and had the chance to fully experience the community and familiarity that EY is built on.
In addition, I had a mock interview which was a pivotal moment as it allowed me to feel more comfortable in my presentation skills, it went very smoothly, and I received feedback which is very important to me because it helped me communicate much more effectively; I left having shed any reservations about presenting myself professionally. I believe that my interviewer equipped me with the knowledge needed for the future workplace which was unique and best suited for me.
I was immersed in an environment that honed my oracy skills and introduced me to the dynamic and complex world of professional services.
EY wavespace was a unique space in the EY office, dedicated to sharing ideas and understanding clients’ wants and aims for their business. The dedicated workers were inspiring and being on the Smart Futures programme gave great insight into the work that goes on in the firm, understanding and tackling clients’ challenges to organise inspiring initiatives.
From taking part in the business challenge, I very quickly realised that my oracy was much improved as my presentation skills had improved since my previous participation in a PowerPoint presentation. In addition, I learnt to understand the opposing voice, which I hadn’t necessarily been able to do previously. This particularly interested me because I was better at understanding different perspectives, especially when deciding what to focus our idea and project on.
The business challenge that we were given was to sell a product that will help climate change to a panel of judges, to assess the problem thoroughly and then present our solution to improve the dire issue of global warming. Our group needed to deliver a clear and cohesive PowerPoint presentation and the task helped me develop my understanding of this issue, including my understanding of pollution permits and company stances on sustainability.
Nothing unlocks doors quite like an unwavering passion.
During our business experience week, we discussed insurance and how generative AI and Virtual Reality also impacts businesses. They must constantly keep up to date and evolve to stay current within the ever-changing society. I learned that the immersive mixed reality technology can be positive as both AI and VR immersive experiences add emotional value which increases customer and employee loyalty and advocacy of the product. It helps firms with big names like EY differentiate. Through this presentation, I developed my communication skills by discussing topics that my curriculum does not cover. Being on this programme exposed me to a number of sectors, from financial technology to assurance.
If there is anything this amazing opportunity has taught me, it is that I can mirror the extensive work that those in EY do, having spoken to actuaries to partners in the firm, delegating and managing needs to be precise and of stellar quality, which is what I aim to do in the future. With the pursuit of brilliance and a drive for meaningful change, completing business experience at EY with the support of EY Foundation taught me that nothing unlocks doors quite like an unwavering passion.