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Aman Bansal is a 2nd year Undergraduate pursuing a B.Tech in Civil Engineering.
EY coupled with PwC, Deloitte and KPMG come under the umbrella referent – the Big Four. So all these firms don’t have a standard internship procedure in place, except for aspiring CAs who pursue their articleship here. I managed to get an internship by networking through a dear friend of mine. Excited I was, as only a few people manage to get an internship in a consulting firm, especially in their second year. But since they did not have a proper structure for interns, I was a bit sceptical about the kind of work I would get, not to mention my seniors’ hauntings, “Beta Xerox karwayenge aur coffee mangwayenge”.
EY has multiple offices in Mumbai, and I was supposed to report in a 19 storeyed building in Dadar, the Ruby building, as they say, conveniently located at a walking distance from Dadar station and the tallest in its vicinity. Initially struggling with the lift and finding it difficult to figure out the floor, I somehow made my way to the 15th floor, entering the office at 11:30 AM. My first day of internship and I landed there 2 hours late! I was horrified at the thought of being extremely late. But, to my surprise I was welcomed with a smile by one of the consultants there who took me to the cafeteria for a quick meal and coffee. Now, at this point of time, I was totally confused and could not hold all the cocktail of emotions gushing through my veins. When headed towards the work space, I was given a desk marked “Pool” in Red, (meant for relatively temporary employees or new hires; Big Four have a really high attrition rate) and that offered stunning views of the Bandra Worli Sea Link, changing its moods according to the time of day.
Initially, like every other internship starts, I was asked to research on the project allotted to me. I was supposed to prepare a report on Oil and Natural Gas industry in the world and specifically India, including market dynamics, supply-demand, major oil refineries etc.. Three days passed by with great enthusiasm and some brilliant insights about the industry at the expense of my mobile data (you do not get Wi-Fi access there due to some confidentiality issues) and sipping loads of freshly brewed CCD cappuccino. In a very short time, I made a lot of friends in the team, who would lend me their dongle for browsing internet and with whom I’d chill out in leisure times. As my first week there drew to a close, my work got monotonous and I dreaded it was not going to end soon. Pacing up the research part to get on to a real time project, I compiled one comprehensive report, long enough to not be reviewed extensively by my mentor.
Cometh second week, my mentor, who was the Director of my division took us for a lunch outside. Though impressed by the treat, I was clear in my mind to keep pressing him to put me on a project for hands-on experience. By the time we were done for the day, I was allotted a project to work on and was asked to meet my team lead. After a few briefings, we travelled to the client site in Kandivali.
Living the Consult life:
We would start our day with a few meetings with the CFO and officials from the Accounts Department and gather all possible financial reports. At the heart of risk consultancy lies a challenging role which tests your creativity and analytical skills: defining a problem statement. After tackling a lot of data and playing around on Excel, I figured out the major problem myself, which was a half victory in itself.
One of the best things about working in a consultancy is that you get good food and travel. Since our food was all covered, we had the option to order anything from any place. So while we kept travelling to various client locations from Andheri, Juhu to Kandivali, I savoured a lot of dishes and checked many eateries off my Zomato list.
Back at the EY office, I had made brilliant friends, and hence, working late hours was never a problem. Subsequently, I happened to befriend the Vice President of my team, who sorted my daily commute, dropping me in her car back to insti daily.
Other perks of consultancy are the flexibility of time and place to work. Once we were done with initial meetings at client site, process walk-throughs and data collection, we were allowed to work from our base office or from home as well till we faced a roadblock that would hamper our work.
The work culture was really good and I ended up partying a lot with the friends there. Once our partner took us for a grand team dinner and I could essentially see the bonding in the team and how chilled-out things were in terms of partner-director interactions with the team. I remember a funny quote from my partner, when he offered us a Haigerbomb, “Either you drink or drive, don’t be useless.”
Luckily enough the project got wrapped up simultaneously as my internship period ended.
For getting a consulting internship, you need to have good contacts within the firm. And for getting good quality work, you ought to have really good contacts, since not many interns get to work on a real time project, travelling to client site and dealing with the client independently. I could often see an intern or two, there at base office who used to be photocopying/scanning 1000 pages a day, or something of similar sorts.
Work culture is good and you can easily make nice friends. Flexibility of work hours and place is an added incentive. But if the project demands, you might end up working till late hours or on weekends sometimes.
And lastly, EY has a good coffee machine and a superb cafeteria offering highly subsided food, with a lunch costing as low as 20 bucks.