Meet the Trailblazers

We spoke to some colleagues across our region who have completed various levels of an EY badge – from bronze all the way up to gold (and aiming for platinum!).

Christina Chiana, FS Belgium

Hello, my name is Cristina, I’m originally from Romania, and I have joined the RPA (Robotic Process Automation) group of EY Brussels this year in January. I have an IT Account/Project Management background, where my focus has been on RPA projects implementations over the past year.

 

Tell us about the badge you’ve just achieved?

Ever since it was launched, I was very interested in the RPA Gold recognition level. In the beginning it felt hard to achieve, but I pulled myself together and started aligning with the requirements for Learning, Experience and Contribution. Looking back, I must admit that I wouldn’t have made it without the great support from my manager and our great partners. Looking forward, I am already aiming for Platinum level.

 

We talk about the future of work and the skills we will need for the future – Why do you think that something like EY Badges and the skills being offered are important?

I think that the EY Badges program is really well structured as it’s not just focusing on the learning skills as standard certification programs do, but also on your experience and the most important point in my opinion, on what you are giving back to the community by using your knowledge. Contribution is very important in our jobs, as technology is continuously evolving and we must keep up by sharing the knowledge everyone has and thus creating a big EY “brain” that we can all use to our advantage.

 

What do you think the future looks like for work and learning / skills?

Being involved in the Robotics domain, I can see how automation and artificial intelligence is gaining power in our work and personal lives. We’re moving towards an entirely digitalized culture and we need to learn to use it to our advantage. Jobs are transforming and we need to keep up by learning to bring the value that machines cannot do yet, and that is by creative thinking and continuous innovation.

Alexandra Bottern, FS Sweden

Hi, I’m Alexandra: I’m a travel enthusiast living and working in Stockholm, but originally I’m from the south of Sweden. I have been working at EY for a little more than 1.5 years now and my main area of interest and contribution is within Data & Analytics. Before joining EY, I took my MSc. in Engineering Physics, after which I worked in the risk department of a FinTech here in Stockholm.

 

Tell us about the badge you’ve just achieved?

I took the bronze badge in Data Science. To explain Data Science simply, it is the process of analysing and processing data to gain valuable insights using different tools and methods. Some commonly known topics involve Machine Learning and Data Mining. For my badge, I focused mainly on data processing and programming in Python. My overall experience of earning a badge has been great. I think it has been very fun to get to work with something I’m interested in and to get some credit for it afterwards is just a bonus.

 

We talk about the future of work and the skills we will need for the future – Why do you think that something like EY Badges and the skills being offered are important?

The world we live in today is changing rapidly and it is important to keep up to date with the tools and technologies that are the future. Not only for personal growth and development, but I also believe it is important for EY to try to stay ahead to be able to meet the needs and to go beyond the expectations of EY clients.

 

What do you think the future looks like for work and learning / skills?

There is so much information available online and it is very easy to get access to a lot of knowledge. This is a huge difference to how it was just some decades ago and I think the accessibility of knowledge will continue to increase over time. Learning new skills throughout your career will be what gives you that edge in the market.

 

Clement Robert, FS Luxembourg

My name is Clement. I was born in Marseille, South of France, and did half of my studies at Kedge Business School and the other half in the UK at Nottingham Trent University. I have been with EY Luxembourg since September 2015 where I started in the Accounting Compliance and Reporting team. After a year, I have decided to take on a new challenge in September 2016 in advisory, focusing on regulatory projects (MiFID II, GDPR…) for the banking industry.

 

Tell us about the badge you’ve just achieved?

I have achieved my bronze badge in Robotics Process Automation. Among other things, I had followed a 1-full week training given by one of EY colleagues from the EY WaveSpace in Madrid that came to EY Luxembourg and I had the chance to participate in the PI-FSO Learning week in the Netherlands on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.

 

We talk about the future of work and the skills we will need for the future – Why do you think that something like EY Badges and the skills being offered are important?

For now, EY Badges are focused on “emerging” topics: RPA, analytics, artificial intelligence… It might look “futuristic” to EY clients but the world is changing fast, the business is moving forward and we will need to be ready to help EY clients when they will try to look into it. As business consultants, we need to continuously look forward and prepare ourselves for any change. This is the real value we can offer. EY Badges is one of the best ways to learn about such things and to let people know you have such experience.

 

What do you think the future looks like for work and learning / skills?

Business models are evolving, new market players are entering the market every day and we must not hold what we know as something stable. We hear new words everyday: FinTech, Blockchain, uberization, bitcoin, we hear about Watson and Alexa… but if we don’t make the effort to learn about it, we won’t be able to create and offer value for EY clients. Course offerings, such as Udemy, are very practical for busy professionals to help us keep track with these changes at our own pace.

 

Kenneth Nielsen, FS Denmark

I’m Kenneth, a manager in QAS within FSRM working out of the Copenhagen office. Before joining EY, I worked 3.5 years in Nordea Markets as a quantitative analyst, prior to Nordea I did a PhD in applied mathematics and worked a few months as an adjunct in mathematics.

 

Tell us about the badge you’ve just achieved?

My latest badge was bronze in data integration. Essentially, you can learn how to work with data in different ways and scales (regular database querying to big data modelling), but also gain insight into Hadoop and cloud concepts.

 

We talk about the future of work and the skills we will need for the future – Why do you think that something like EY Badges and the skills being offered are important?

10 years ago you were home-safe (in many places) if you had good Excel skills. If you still believe that today, then you’ll soon find yourself out of a job. And it doesn’t really stop there; you may learn how to automate your Excel sheets using, e.g., VBA or even better Python. However, what if you get to work one morning and it turns out that for some reason no one is interested in an Excel output anymore – the party has gone next door to where Tableau dashboards are being setup or perhaps the human factor has been taken out of the equation altogether. What do you do then?


It may sound contrived, but living in a world of disruption, RPA, AI, IoT and so on means that we constantly need to be aware of how we stay relevant and take action accordingly, especially as consultants. For this reason, I find it very important for employers to offer their employees easy access to not only upgrade themselves but also acquire new skills outside their area of expertise, and I am very happy that EY has chosen to do so. The fact that we have badges adds an extra layer to our training as it provides a means of substantiating the individual employee’s, and thereby EY’s, commitment to keep up and evolve.  

 

What do you think the future looks like for work and learning / skills?

I think the time from when an idea is conceived to it becoming a trending topic, to manifesting itself as part of a disrupting technology or method is only going to become shorter, which means that we need to become faster and better at picking up on that journey from inception to cultivation, so we (meaning EY) can offer access to training that will ensure we can offer the right combination of skills and understanding. EY badges are definitely a step in the right direction, but I think offering more bite-sized learnings (i.e. 5-20 min lessons) that are available on-the-go will become increasingly relevant.