Company of the Week: EY – My path: From Assurance Trainee to Associate and Toledo

I started my career at EY 1.5 years ago in spring 2016, when I worked as a trainee for three months during the assurance busy season from the beginning of January until the end of March. After the trainee-period, I went back to finish my master studies at Aalto University School of Business. Now I have my studies in check, and I just started working at EY again in August. In my experience, EY is very flexible and accommodating in combining university studies and working. Some employees work part-time while finishing their studies, whereas others take off just some days to attend their last exams. As for me, I spent last fall in Lisbon, Portugal on my exchange, so I was not able to work at the same time. However, I was welcomed back with open arms after I was done with my studies – in fact, I handed in my Master’s Thesis just one day before my first day at EY, and I am graduating now in September.

In my opinion, the EY Experience trainee program offers a very good snapshot into the working life at EY. I would definitely recommend participating in the program, as it is an easy way to assess if the job description is what you expected and wanted it to be, as well as witnessing first-hand the working environment of the company. In addition, trainee programs offers a stepping stone into full-time employment after the trainee program, as nearly all of the trainees stay at EY.

Already during the first few weeks I have been back at EY, I have had the chance to participate in two events abroad. First, the whole assurance staff of EY Helsinki office had a kick-off event which was arranged in Berlin. This trip brought together all auditors from associate to partner, and gave me a chance to get to know my colleagues in a more informal setting. Then, after the kick-off in Berlin and some local training in the Helsinki office, I participated in a Nordic-wide induction and training week in Toledo, Spain. This week is for all new hires of EY across the Nordics, and this year there were about 750 participants. Toledo in itself is a small historical town, about one hour drive from Madrid. In Toledo we had long days of classes filled with new information and training for our new jobs, as well as free-time activities accompanied by sangria. The event made it possible for me to meet the new employees of EY from different countries and service lines, making connections and establishing networks that will be useful to all us in our future careers.

Now, after the trainings and kick-offs, it is time to get down to the real work of an associate auditor. All in all, I am very happy that my first real job out of university is at EY, and I am enjoying learning the ropes of working in professional services here.


Joanna Suomalainen

Associate, Assurance

M.Sc. (accounting), Aalto University School of Business, 2017