Working at EY-Seren offered me an introduction to service design, and first-hand insight into the world of financial technology consulting. I learned so much in five weeks, and owe the depth of my experience to being fully integrated into my team and being treated with respect and trust. Being encouraged to participate fully gave me confidence during the early stages of my internship, and shadowing senior Directors and Consultants set an example that I could attempt to emulate.
I felt like a respected member of the team working under Mark Coombes (Experience Director), having the freedom to actively collaborate on important documents and presentations. I wasn’t just handed off boring tasks; I joined two client workshops, which pushed me far outside my comfort zone, and I helped with research - interviewing prospective users of an online platform being tested for a major bank.
Listening to first-hand feedback from users was eye-opening. It provided our team with the insights that influenced the direction and outcome of the project. It also gave me an end-to-end understanding of the problems we were trying to solve; from the technical glitches and bugs experienced by users at a granular level, all the way through to the fundamental principles of design and layout underpinning the platform. Having these opportunities enabled me to build a holistic picture of EY-Seren’s customer-centric approach to projects, but also to discover my own strengths and weaknesses.
The EY-Seren office is a really welcoming place, and it was such a pleasant surprise to meet people so willing to go out of their way to help. Anna Herdman was kind enough to give me a whole range of hints and tips to apply in interview situations and shared her own experiences with me. Dimitri Berti took the time to show me how to use some editing tools on Photoshop, despite having a busy schedule. From my first day arriving at the front desk, where Sarah offered me tea and coffee and told me where to find all the best spots for lunch in the area, I was made to feel comfortable. More than comfortable though, I felt integrated. I’ve developed some invaluable skills as a result.
I think the key to feeling integrated was that my opinions were genuinely valued, and my contributions were honestly appreciated. Richard Sedley (CEO), and Peter Neufeld (Partner), both took the time out of their busy schedules to come and ask me how I felt I was progressing here, and to assure me that the work I was doing was having a positive impact. I think this inclusive attitude is reflective of the company’s ethos as a whole, that everyone here has a role to play, from intern to executive.
Ultimately, what sets EY-Seren apart is the mutual respect colleagues have for each other. Everyone recognises the unique skillsets of their co-workers and the distinct point of view that each can bring to the table. It’s this attitude that drives truly effective collaboration and creates a working environment where people are appreciated for the contributions they make.
I have taken on a number of work experience posts in the past, but can honestly say that none were as engaging, testing and rewarding. I’ve really enjoyed my time working here and, if a future opportunity arose, I wouldn’t hesitate to do so again.
Josh is a third year philosophy student, studying at Warwick University. His dissertation focuses on artificial intelligence and consciousness. He'd like to pursue a career in technology or digital consulting. He has completed internships at EY and EY-Seren, and has volunteered at The Fairtrade Foundation and Missing People.