Alex Iveson is an Assurance Associate Business Apprentice at EY based at Cambridge Business Park in Cambridge.
What apprenticeship are you currently doing?
I’m an Assurance Associate Business Apprentice at EY working within the Assurance service line at EY. My role involves auditing financial statements to make sure they are free from error, and to deliver confidence to the intended users that the financial statements are accurate.
My role at EY is very varied. I have a wide client base within East Anglia, ranging from super car clients to breweries. I started my role in September 2018 and the experience I have already established on the job is second to none. The business apprenticeship is a five-year contract, with my finish date set for 2023. EY offers a level 7 qualification, which you study for during the job, and I will come out qualified as an ACA Chartered Accountant.
Why did you decide to apply for an apprenticeship?
I decided to apply for an apprenticeship as I felt like I was ready to go into the working world. EY has so much to offer, the level of exposure on the job while also being given study days, is really important.
I will come out of the apprenticeship with a lot of experience. The incentive to earn an income and not be in debt if I went to university also attracted me to an apprenticeship.
Why did you choose EY?
I chose to work for EY as they’re a very people-orientated company. This was important to me as I was aware that assurance can be an intense job at times, however EY are very fair with the quantity of work you are given.
I originally went on a week’s experience with EY in Aberdeen, and this gave me insight of assurance, and it was during this, that I decided it was for me.
Were you encouraged to consider an apprenticeship by anyone and did you receive any help in making your application?
I’m a very self-driven, motivated individual, and my parents always wanted me to apply for university. However my sixth form encouraged apprenticeships as there are so many opportunities out there. I eventually managed to persuade my parents that apprenticeships are the way forward for me.
What was the process of obtaining an apprenticeship?
I originally sent my CV and answered some very basic questions about myself. This was followed by a set of three online tests, and following these tests I was invited to a telephone interview.
After the telephone interview I was invited for a partner interview, and it was from here that I was offered a business apprenticeship.
The online tests were fairly hard and are definitely easier if you practice similar online tests before you do the real ones. The telephone interview was very friendly and I felt at ease during this. The partner interview involved preparing a presentation and having a friendly discussion with one of the EY partners.
Can you describe a typical day in your apprenticeship?
My day can range from being out at client site, to attending corporate events within EY. College brings a break to the work I do, which I travel to London for. I would say 90% of the time I’m at work, and 10% is spent studying. EY train with global college provider, Kaplan.
What have you got from your apprenticeship that you want to share with others who might be considering one?
So far, I have gained a wide amount of experience within the finance sector, which I believe is great for further progression in my career, and I encourage other people looking into university to re-think their options, especially if they can get their desired qualification in an apprenticeship.
Doing an apprenticeship is not just about work either, EY often hold social events which are well-attended and always good fun.