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Career & Employment Opportunities

Career Opportunities with Ernst & Young: Presented by Christal Shillingford

Hello everyone. Today I have the pleasure
of interviewing Christal Schillingford from Ernst & Young. For those of you who
don’t know already, Ernst & Young (referred to as EY or E&Y) is
one of the four largest CPA firms in the world and Christal is E&Y’s West
region diversity inclusiveness campus recruiting lead. You know I’ve actually
known Christal for many years now. Believe it or not, I’ve known her since 2015 and
she’s been actively involved in helping my students from my college– particularly
underrepresented minority students. She’s come to my campus multiple times to
educate students about the accounting profession as well as share with them
opportunities to work at E&Y. Christal, thank you so much for taking
time from your busy schedule to come speak to my students today. Thank you
so much for having me and hello everyone. Hey well, let’s get started. So the first
question I wanted to ask you was, as I mentioned earlier, Ernst & Young is one
of the four largest CPA firms in the world, but besides that
information, can you share with my students a little bit more about Ernst &
Young? Yeah so that is such a good question and very comprehensive.
I think, so I’m like how much time do we have but outside of the information that
you can get from our website of how we’re, you know, geographically organized and
how many employees that we have at the firm and our service lines etc. I think
what is so exciting about EY is that there’s just so much opportunity,
right? You jump onto the website you’ll get lost. There’s just so many facets and
things that you can begin to explore just depending on where you are in your
career journey so in terms of general information about EY. Things that I
actually like to focus on and highlight as I’m on campus and speaking with
students is I like to turn it back to the student. What’s important to you
right because if community engagement is important to you, we
have a spot for you, right? We have options for you. If diversity is
important to you and really the initiatives that we have. Then we have
information for you, right? There’s so many different things to explore. I
think for me personally what’s very exciting about
EY just beyond what we have on our website is some of our benefits and
really the the learning and professional development that we have here. So
benefits wise I mean we have a very comprehensive total rewards package. I
think many students turn to accounting because there is some benefits there,
right? There’s benefits to working in accounting. It’s stable you know. The salary is competitive and there is a really defined career path here which, to
me, is fantastic as well. But from overall just like professional development, right?
EY is so focused on ensuring that each one of their 250,000-275,000 employees is developed right and and developed
robustly. So we have several programs in place to ensure that each individual
gets to experience that training, right? So for me, personally, as a recruiter at
EY. I’ve been here for eight years. I mean I’ve had the most incredible experiences
here. I started off the firm working in the Los Angeles office. I had also been
the recruiter at that time for the Irvine office in San Diego. I also have
done a rotation in New York City for a few months. The firm actually moved
myself and my partner across the U.S. to really experience something brand new.
I’ve done an experience in Brazil, a community engagement program, and all of this to say that these are things that were important to me. When I was looking
for a firm, I said community engagement is important. Mobility is
important to me and also diversity was important and so I made that very known.
I communicated that and found those opportunities at EY. So very
long-winded answer to say that there is so much more to EY than just what’s on
our website, right? So much more to what we do from a cultural angle. Overall
benefits and learning perspective that I think each one of you will really enjoy.
Oh great, now you mentioned the word diversity and I know EY does a lot
to promote diversity and inclusion. I know put on every year at their
Los Angeles office a conference called Elements of Success Conference, for
example, right? So can you please share my students more information about such
programs? Yeah absolutely and I’m so glad that you mentioned Elements of Success.
The program has just recently passed. It was on Saturday September 28th in the
Greater Los Angeles office and so for Elements of Success, as an example, we
host this program in Southern California where we invite students from San Diego,
from Irvine, and also greater LA to participate. Element of Success is a
professional development program, right? So, just for perspective, we had about 350
applicants and we extended invites to 100 right and the students attended
Elements of Success were from four-year institutions. They were from community
colleges. The whole gamut and so we are so invested from a diversity angle and so
Elements of Success is one of those programs that fall under that umbrella.
To just dive a little bit deeper into that program. Elements of Success as a
program that’s hosted by our Latino professional network and Black
professional network, which are two of our affinity groups. We have many
affinity groups at EY. Those are just two of them in conjunction with campus
recruiting. Students that attend the program will go through a number of
workshops. So professional development workshops that will include what it
means to be a female or women in business right and a leader at the firm.
We’ll go through resume working workshops. We’ll go through mock
interviews. We’ll go through a number of additional workshops that really help
from a professional development angle. Our goal is for you to leave that
program with new tools in your toolbox and so Elements of Success to us is a
very important program while the next step to Elements of Success isn’t
at all times a job offer. There are times when we use this program really
to source additional talent to some of our opportunities in Southern California
and even beyond. So as you look to the program and just really
opportunities above and beyond what’s offered on campus for year 2020 and
beyond, let that be an option for you. In addition to Elements of Success, there’s
several other programs that we have at the
Freshman space. We have a program called Discovery EY. Discovery EY is an annual
program that we host with about 250 plus Freshmen students. So again, when I say
Freshmen, I mean students that are graduating in about three years, right?
Depending on if you’re at a four year institution or at a five year institution,
but D EY Freshman based program– specific for underrepresented minorities and this
again is one of our primary entry points at the firm, from an
underrepresented minority standpoint. This is definitely a program where I
urge you if you are a freshman or you’re graduating in about three years, to look
into this program hosted annually in Dallas Texas and the program includes
workshops. It really is like a 3 day, you know, Summer camp or crash course
into EY and really what we do, right? So you’ll hear from top leadership, our
Americas vice chairs or Americas leader for campus recruiting within
diversity. So many just high-level executives that are pouring into you all
as students to just learn more about what we do. The services that we offer.
The professional of the future and ways to really leverage skill sets beyond just
the traditional accounting path and what we’re really doing in the future in ways
that you can contribute to that. So Discover EY is another great opportunity.
Also at the freshman space we have a program called Global Perspectives.
So GPC is the acronym for that. Global Perspectives is hosted in Southern
California as well as our Bay Area and this is another just like 1 day crash
course to EY to learn a little bit more about what we do but at a global level.
So we have leadership that has had experiences abroad. We have leadership
that currently service clients abroad and they talk a lot about their
experiences and what it means to be a global representative of EY. How those
experiences have really helped their trajectory within the firm. So it’s a
fantastic opportunity and something that we recruit for on an annual basis as
well. Outside of D EY, GPC, and tons of acronyms right and Elements
of Success, we have several internship opportunities as well. So the Launch
Internship program is another opportunity for those that are about two
years out from graduation and the Launch Internship program is a rotational based
internship for Sophomore students so as an incoming student pursuing the Launch
Internship program, you have the opportunity to rotate in audit, in our
tax practice, our advisory practice, and other specialty practices within each
market and really the intention behind the program is to give you a taste of
what it’s like to be a professional in audit or in tax, right? To give you early
exposure to that. So that way as you’re pursuing your next step as a client
serving intern, in that respective, practice, you’ve already gotten some of
that experience, right? So this one is another really, really awesome
opportunity. The launch internship is hosted every Summer. It’s about six to
seven weeks and you basically work side by side with our clients serving interns.
Another program within the Sophomore space is ELP (Emerging Leaders Program). So the Emerging Leaders Program is another entry level or entry point
into the firm and ELP is something that we recruit for on an annual basis as
well. You’ll come to each one of our offices depending on what you’re
interested in whether it’s LA or San Diego, Bay Area, etc and you’ll experience
about one to two days of a, again, a crash course into EY. Learn a lot about
our culture and that experience will extend throughout the Summer. In addition to that, I mean we are set– definitely focused on our gender
initiatives. We have women in technology, women in financial services, several
programs once you start with the firm from overall retention angle and just
opportunities to keep you plugged in once you start with the firm. So there
are so many things that we offer here from an overall development angle and
just to get you just that general exposure to EY. So I urge you
to really visit our website take some time to really explore our careers page.
My explanation in the last, I don’t know, three to five minutes probably doesn’t
do it justice. There’s just so much to explore but that’s just a snapshot of
some of the programs that we offer. Yeah I can definitely attest to that and I
want to thank you and Ernst and Young for providing several of my students
these opportunities. Thank you so much for selecting several my students to attend the Elements of Success conference in Southern
California. I’ve also had several students been able to take advantage of
your internship programs. They were able to work in the Los Angeles office
or in the San Jose office–been able to work on top, top, top clients. It’s been a
wonderful experience for them and they’ve come back and said hey professor
Lu, it’s just an amazing experience. So there’s so many opportunities you guys
are indeed providing to students and what I’ll do is I’ll put in the video
description below links to some of those programs as well as your website so that
any viewer can click on it and explore further these programs. Fantastic! That
sounds good. Alright, one last question. Now, suppose
I’m a student and after watching this video, I was I’m now inspired to consider
a career in accounting and perhaps work for Ernst & Young. Now, what can I, as a
student, do to make myself, prepare myself to be the best, most qualified candidate,
and be attractive to a firm like Ernst & Young. Yeah, absolutely and such a great
question. I think there’s there’s several things that you can do as a
student but I’ve kind of bulleted it out to like five different focus
points. So as a student, no matter where you’re at, whether it’s a community
college or a four-year institution, I would just say really determine what
you’re interested in right? Are you interested in pursuing an internship,
full-time, and that’s all based off of where you are in your matriculation,
right? So as a community college student, as an example, one of the requirements
that we have to before we move forward with an internship or a full time offer
is that we understand where you are in your academic trajectory, right? Are you
an incoming transfer student right, are transferring Fall 2020, or Spring 2021,
and if you are, we work kind of backwards to determine what role might work for
you. So I think it’s helpful if you understand where you are on that journey
as well. So that way we can find the right opportunities that are are viable
and options for you. As a four-year student, it really is just understanding
what it is that you’re interested in, right? Whether you’re involved an accounting society on campus or you’re involved in any other organization/ It’s really
important to to just know what your options are, right? So that’s first and
foremost. Determine what it is that you’re interested in and what level
you’re at based off of when you are planning to graduate or planning to
transfer. I would say make sure your GPA is competitive, right? While I can’t give
you a grade point average that I’m looking for, I’m saying remain
competitive, right? So make sure that you are getting great grades. Make sure
you’re putting in the time and the effort to learn the curriculum. You’re working with
your TA’s your SI’s whatever it may be to ensure that you’re excelling in each
one of your classes and we look at all classes by the way. I think there’s this
there’s a rumor, this myth around that we only look at accounting courses. I mean
we look at all classes. Your business classes, your prereqs, we look at it all,
right because they’re all very much important. Your communications classes,
your ethics courses, we look at it all, right? So just make sure that you’re
doing well. You’re excelling and you’re putting in the effort to remain
competitive. We also look at resumes so I always encourage students make sure your
resume looks good. Make sure it’s formatted correctly. Make sure you have
some great experience on that. So in terms of just like overall format,
every recruiter, every firm looks for something so different. But in terms of
general format, right it’s your education on top, it’s your work experience in the
middle, and at the bottom of your resume it’s your volunteer based experience,
it’s your extracurriculars, any additional skill sets, right? So from an
education standpoint, include your GPA major and cumulative, include your
transfer timeline, if you’re from a community college,
include your CPA eligibility date if you are aware of that, and you’re planning to
pursue a CPA. Any other certifications that you may have or you’re looking to
consider include that as well. For work experience, things that are relevant
right and that could be anything. It can be customer service based. It could be
technical based, but make sure you drop that into your your work experience
section and volunteer wise, do not sell yourself short. Do not limit this section
of your resume. We look at everything. If you’re in volunteer on campus or you’re
a member of a student org, whether it’s related to accounting or not, or related
to a business or not, drop that into your resume. We’d like to see where you’re
spending your time, right? Outside of the you know, three to five courses, or three
to six courses that you’re taking each semester or quarter, we want to know what
else is taking up your time, right? You’re involved on campus as a member, as a
key board member, etc. So drop that in, add a couple bullet points the number of
hours that you’re spending on these extracurriculars per week. These are all
things we’ll consider and also even say if you’re involved in your community.
You’re a soccer coach. You’re a volunteer at the YMCA, at your local food pantry,
whatever it is, include that. Again, for us we’re not just looking for one type of
student, one type of candidate. We’re looking for a diverse mix of students
that bring in several different experiences, involvements and so we want
to see that on your resume right and just know that your resume is just the
entry point. These are all things we’ll talk through during an assessment
process through just a you know office hours with me or any other recruiter.
This is just your entry point so you may not be able to put everything on that
resume, but make sure you think about those top differentiators that you want
us to know as we initially review your resume and also say to do your research,
right? There are, as I mentioned earlier, our website is full of information, just
full of information, and we have so many opportunities. So I would say as you’re
engaging with professionals whether it’s on campus through your student
organizations make sure you do your research, right? Make sure you know
what you’re looking for and maybe it’s it’s maybe it’s you know you’re on the
fence between service lines. You’re on the fence with your graduation date so
you have an idea of what you’re looking for but you’re not quite certain. At
least come to us with that type of information, right? So that way we can
help refine that path for you but do your research, go on our website, find out
things that you know we’re invested in in the space whether it’s community
engagement, whether it’s technology innovation, recruiting overall, do your
research, come with questions, come hungry, right? We love to see students that are
hungry, that are motivated, and that are self-starters, right? So those are
things that we’re really looking for. I’d say leverage your faculty on campus whether they’re Business based faculty, they’re Accounting based faculty, the power of your faculty and professors is
endless right and we definitely want to make sure that you leverage them. They
have a large network as well, right? Ming and I, obviously work very closely
together and so there’s one entry point right but continue to leverage other
faculty members with questions, right? It could just be generalized questions as
well. Maybe not even recruited recruiting related, but it’s more so if like what
you should consider as you’re looking at other firms once you’re looking at
opportunities as you’re looking for service lines so I’m sure your faculty would
be happy to provide some insight based off of their experience and their
overall exposure, right? So leverage and consult with faculty, use your career
services. There is power in your career services, right? They can help with
resumes. They can help with you know, how you present yourself, your professional
development, your executive presence. So leverage your your career services. I’d
even say leverage your peers, right? There’s so many students that have gone
through recruiting or are going through recruiting that have some great insight.
So leverage your peers. There is definitely power in folks that
have gone through the experience already. So they can talk to you a little bit
about that and what firms they look for in their perspective and I’d say
lastly identify ways to get plugged in. On campus, there are so many
organizations that you can get plugged in with right and I hope that you are I
hope that taking advantage of that. Whether it’s
the accounting societies of the world, the Beta Alpha Psi’s of the world, NABAs,
the ALPFAs at a campus level but I’d even say even look beyond your campus.
How else could you get plugged in? Are there national organizations that you
can get connected with like a Toastmasters or an NABA national or an
ALPFA national, and ASCEND. These are all all organizations that have an accounting
slant to it or a business slant to it but there’s so many other organizations
that you can get plugged into. So I urge you to find those ways to get plugged in
at a campus level and even beyond. So those are some of the five pearls that I
have I guess. I’m sure it felt like it was a lot more than five but there’s a
lot that you can do I’d say if you’re kind of stuck and you’re just like I
don’t know where to go. Talk to your peers and talk to your faculty first to
determine your next steps just to give you an idea of really where to start. So
Ming, I’ll turn it back over to you. Oh great! Hey, that’s a lot of really practical and useful information that my students can digest after
watching this video. So thank you so much for coming, to again, share these
words of wisdom with my students. I personally really appreciate you always
giving your time and I look forward to seeing you at one
of the future recruiting events. Ok, that sounds good and thank you so much for your time as well. Ok, have a great day! Thanks, you too.

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