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I worked at EY full-time (More than 3 years)
-Good expense policy (appropriate allowances for breakfast/dinner and you can keep all rewards points for airfare, lodging, rental cars, etc).
-Culture is very people oriented. Flexibility and employee work/life balance is stressed greatly by management. EY stresses the importance of taking care of one another. Great maternity / parental leave policies and very flexible work arrangements are available when you need it. I often worked remote from my wife's apartment when we were long distance.
-Work life balance is awesome (don't believe the rumors, if you're a smart person and you produce good work, EY will reward you with a generous work life balance).
-Vacation policy! 21 days for managers plus 3 personal days and unlimited sick days.
-Most teams will work from home on Fridays when traveling
-EY has a program where you can decide not to accept a blackberry and instead have EY pay your personal cell bill (up to $150 / month for managers).
-Events thrown by EY are larger than life (especially the events when you're promoted to Manager, Sr Manager, or Partner). They are truly amazing experiences.
-Opportunity to see many different companies across a broad range of industries
-Lots of professional development opportunities
-High potential for advancement. You do not have to wait for a spot to "open up" to get promoted.
-HR is wonderful
-EY really tries to take care of employees at an individual level. If you're unhappy, you can actually talk to HR and they'll work with you to find a part of the company where you fit.
-In Advisory Services, travel can be up to 90% (but if you like to travel then this is a "pro")
-Often our clients are in pretty remote places that take a long time to get to (ie: Peoria, IL or Wausau, WI) which makes travel exhausting and difficult.
-Consulting in general is very sales-like. As you move up, be prepared to act more like a salsman than subject matter expert.
-EY pays slightly lower than other similar firms
-Annual bonus' are very low (10% is the max allowable bonus for a manager, no matter how well you perform). Bonus' for average rated employees are about 2-4%.
-Lack of leadership training leads to senior leaders who are knowledgable but lack leadership skills
-Projects entirely depend on the Partner and Sr Manager's interpretations of policy. Some are extremely strict with expenses and time-on-site, while others are more lax. You could perform the exact same project with different teams and have completely different experiences.
-You rarely work on your expertise. Advisory services tend to place bodies on projects, sometimes disregarding the individuals skill set in favor of quickly staffing an engagement.
-Although you are asked to choose a secor alignment (technology, consumer products, etc), you rarey work in your sector, instead servicing whatever industry of whatever project needs staffing next.
-Lots of administrative tasks on a regluar basis interfer with clien-work (review process, for example, is very long).
-Work is often repetative and boring. Because they seem to assign resources at random, you may be working on a project which you have absolutely no experience for. You'll then spend your time reading things online and desperately trying to get a clue enough so you can make wahtever deliverables your team has agreed to. Lots of PowerPoint and Excel...LOTS!
Research the consulting industry! Many of the Pro's and Con's of consulting apply here. It's not a 9-5 type of job so know what you're getting into before you join and you'll likely be pleased with EY.
Advice to Management
I know the staffing system is currently being worked on, but any improvement in matching relevant experience and interests with client work would greatly improve morale and help employee retention. Nobody wants to be assigned to an engagement with virtually no useful experience. This creates months of feeling inadequate, frustrated, and eventually, apathetic. Employee apathy is the ultimate business killer. Also, 90% travel is very tough after a few years. All consulting firms struggle with this, but anything management can do, policy wise, to lessen the burden would help set EY's consulting apart from a potential employee point of view.