25 May 2023

My Internship Experience at Ernest & Young in Auckland and Shanghai | Study With New Zealand

Amy Ma
Chinese Bachelor of Commerce student at the University of Auckland

In this article, I will discuss my internship experiences, firstly at EY in Shanghai and then in Auckland. These experiences were different but equally enriching. I hope to share what I wish I knew prior to embarking on my applications to the Big Four firms.

EY Shanghai

It is hard to believe this was two years ago. I applied for over 50 roles in consulting, progressed to three interviews, received two offers and chose EY. Everything was fast-paced, but I quickly adapted. I organised everything from booking flights, packing, relocating and signing a recruitment contract all within a week!

At EY Shanghai I worked as a project intern, in the PMO (Project Management Office) working on the commercial bank’s digitalisation.

I was responsible for risk management, stakeholder relationship management across five departments and three vendors. I also facilitated the software development life cycle progress from data development, to SIT, UAT then project launch.

This internship was fast-paced and at times highly stressful. However due to some colleagues leaving the firm when I was there, I had the opportunity to pick up some of their work. With this came various challenges which were also rewarding.

The key thing that stands out to me is the trust – the trust I received from my peers, my seniors and my clients. I appreciate the responsibility I was given and I also made life-long connections. I still catch up with them after all these years.

EY Auckland

As you can see, the office is a lot smaller than the Shanghai building, which meant I was able to get to know a lot of people at the firm and build strong connections.

I interned in risk consulting. I was fortunate enough to work on five projects. In Consulting, no two days are the same.

My first client meeting was challenging. I started in the middle of that project. I sat there and typed meeting minutes with lots of question marks. That was actually the same as when I was in the data development department’s internal weekly meeting in EY Shanghai. You just need to ask if you didn’t know!

Even though I was asked to do a lot of different things during the internship and I got very busy. There was always lots to enjoy – from the regular Tuesday shoulder and neck massages, plenty of free food and orange juice catch-ups to great opportunities to hear from guest speakers and attend events to upskill and network with others.

People were willing to share their time with me, even though they were on completely different teams. I received generous help and suggestions and was asked nothing in return. People were simply just nice and willing to build a positive atmosphere in the office.

My two internships were very different due to the nature of differences in location, work title, and project content. The common ground was that they were both in consulting and required a high level of fast learning skills to quickly take in new knowledge, process information and data, and be able to write in a for-profit style. Most importantly, I learned how to think (and walk) in the client’s shoes.

I hope you find my internship experiences helpful for your decision-making, However, like the little horse going across the river, people all have their own preferences, strengths, and mindset. The only way to find out the most suitable option is to try it yourself.

I wish you all the very best with your career development.

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About the contributors
Amy Ma
Chinese Bachelor of Commerce student at the University of Auckland

Amy is currently studying for a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Auckland majoring in Accounting and Finance. Last summer she completed an Internship at EY Auckland in the Consulting team and received a graduate offer. She will be starting in March 2024.