Prior to joining EY-Parthenon I taught for three years through the Teach First program and completed a Masters in Comparative and International Education. Consulting has always been something I have been interested in as I felt that the skills you learn and the exposure you have to multiple industries aren’t easily matched in other jobs. Whilst teaching and studying I undertook a number of summer internships and became interested by the growing role of the private sector in education. EY-Parthenon, with its combination of having an education practice (alongside others) and flat, open culture, meant it seemed like the right fit for me.
Compared to some of the larger consulting firms, our London office only consists of ~80 people and case teams tend to be smaller. This results in a flatter hierarchy, more opportunities to develop new initiatives and allows for greater exposure to senior managers during cases. The hours can be long but working within a friendly, professional environment helps make some of the late nights seem less painful!
As a first year associate there have been plenty of opportunities to get involved with initiatives outside of the case workload; recruitment, training, pro bono cases and client development to name a few!
Professional development is highly valued by the firm. After an initial 3 week training session, run in Europe, we have had fortnightly associate coaching sessions that cover skills from across the Associate Toolkit (Excel, Slides, Interviewing, Modelling, Surveys, Presenting). However, it is on the job that I feel I have learnt the most. The tight case team structures and working relationships you build with managers means that there are ample opportunities to learn from others and develop.
What I’ve really enjoyed about my first year is the diversity that the job entails; not only in terms of the projects and tasks you end up working on, but also the people you work alongside. Over the year I have interviewed Academy CEOs, surveyed hedge fund managers and built a regression model for the fast food industry; a year ago I wouldn’t have expected to have had such experiences!