Q&A with EY

2015-2016 Issue 2

EYheadsFor students who attend the School in hopes of elevating their job prospects, it’s encouraging to hear that your skills are in demand. That’s the feedback provided by EY, one of the world’s most respected professional services firms. Their Montreal office has consistently recruited accounting students from the School’s programs.

“McGill’s academic programs are well reputed and recognized internationally,” says Georgia Tournas, Senior Manager in Assurance at EY and leader of campus recruiting. “The quality and professionalism of its graduates has not gone unnoticed.” As a result, she and Ingrid Chénier, People Consultant and Campus Recruiter at EY, have a formal recruiting relationship with the University for CPA internships in their external audit department. “We hire approximately 50 new graduates a year in Montreal,” says Chénier . “We want them to reflect diversity in their skills, perspectives, backgrounds and cultures.”

We asked Tournas and Chénier to tell us why our students stand out from the pack.


EY is a global firm. Can you tell me a bit about the Montreal office?

Globally we have over 210,000 employees. We’ve been in Canada for over 150 years, and what started with just a few employees offering restructuring work has grown to 800 people in Quebec. We’re much more than an auditing firm; our offerings include taxation, transaction advisory and other advisory services that continue to transform amidst the changing environment.

What are you looking for when you’re hiring someone?

We’re looking for people interested in pursuing their CPA Auditor designation. After that, we’re looking for high-performing individuals committed to reaching their full potential while helping our clients achieve theirs.
We also look for well-rounded people who have previous work experience, are successful academically and get involved, whether it’s in an organization, a committee or a personal activity. We are focused on making sure our recruits share our values and vision.

Why do you actively recruit from McGill University?

Our national recruiting leader is based in Toronto, but he’s said that if he could hire everyone from McGill, he would! You can spot them – they are globally minded.

What do new recruits do when they start working at EY?

Graduates begin by building their core competencies in accounting and auditing. They work in teams, and are given responsibility early on for building their relationships with clients and completing quality work. We really view external audit as the launch pad to their career.

Are there any McGill alumni currently on your staff that stand out, and why?

There are so many McGill alumni who stand out I don’t even know where to begin! McGill alumni are among our staff, managers and partners, and they continue to demonstrate their commitment to the firm, our clients, and our communities every day through their hard work.

Would you recommend hiring a McGill School of Continuing Studies student or graduate to others?

Absolutely, which is why we actively hire them ourselves! Mature and international students bring a different understanding. We want well-rounded individuals who can apply their experience to their work. One of our colleagues at EY had a first career in biotechnology; now he’s a manager here. When we meet with scientists to discuss their business, he brings his past expertise to the table, and that’s an asset.

What advice would you give to a potential or current McGill student who aspires to work at EY?

We want recruits to stay true to who they are. Be yourself, be authentic, and show people who you are. You want to work in a place that shares your values.
Take the time to identify your strengths, and what sets you apart from the crowd.
Participate in as many recruiting activities as possible to make connections and get to know the people who work at the firm. Take the time to research EY to make sure you understand who we are, and what values our firm is based on.

Any final words of advice?

At EY, all of our activities collectively play a role in building a better working world. It’s the pride in what we do, more than the economic gain. We’re looking for individuals who are ready to join us on our journey.

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