From Chef to Senior Analyst

Learn how Simen went from training as a chef at a gourmet restaurant to working as a Senior Analyst in EY's Oslo office.

Simen Haavaag Bjørnsen | Senior Analyst | EMEIA Financial Services

Simen Haavaag Bjørnsen is Senior Analyst within the FSO Advisory services team in our Oslo office. As a financial expert we follow him in his journey to where he is now at EY.

Simen's EY road to success

Tell us a bit more about yourself.

I started my career as a chef in Norway, working at a gourmet restaurant in Oslo for two years. Feeling like I wanted a new challenge, I pursued a bachelor’s degree in business and economics. During my bachelor’s degree I spent a semester in Singapore, applying to do a dual master’s degree program, simultaneously completing a master’s degree in finance from BI Norwegian Business School in Norway and a master’s degree in strategy from EDHEC. Living and studying abroad equipped me with an international mindset which I’ve been able to apply to my role at EY.

Why did you choose EY?

EY is a highly reputable organization and gives me the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects across the world. However, my main motivation for joining were the people. When finishing my master’s degree, I interviewed for several companies at the same time for similar positions. However, I found the people and the culture at EY somewhat different than other places. Working as a consultant can be demanding, but working with not only capable, but likeable professionals makes all the difference. When walking out of my final EY interview I was sure that these were the people I wanted to work with.

What do you like most about your role?

I enjoy that my role has always given me a lot of responsibility. I also enjoy the fast pace, my diverse team and being able to engage with the client on a daily basis. At EY you are continuously challenged with new problems. Because of this, I can develop and learn new skills and even after working at EY for several years, no project is the same

How does your team influence your work?

At EY teamwork is everything and projects are staffed to bring out the best competencies in everyone. Working with such highly qualified and skilled people is very motivating.

How would you describe the people at EY? How have they contributed to your experience so far?

EY is people. The people in the company are generally very open and eager to support. The company is very focused on training and building its personnel and everyone is open to helping each other excel. I’m still amazed of how much knowledge everyone at EY has and how easy it is to reach out to someone to receive support. Being able to sit at your desk and reach out to experts around the world results in a lot of learning and personal development.

Tell us more about the training programs at EY.

We have a lot of training including official training abroad, seminars and self-training. When I first started at EY I spent seven days in Spain with all the new employees in the Nordics learning the basic skillets required to be successful at EY. A few months later I did a weeklong valuation course in Germany, in addition to several other professional training programs. The overseas training brings a lot of people from EY together and it’s a great way to build and maintain your network.

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