EY Provides Trajectory

EY IT Class Spring 2013

Students in the spring 2013 Trajectory class present their findings on cloud computing to EY senior management in their New York City offices.

With one semester of the EY Trajectory class successfully completed, and one in progress, the program has already planned an expansion – the School of Business hopes to offer two classes simultaneously in January.

The class enables undergraduate sophomores with an interest in information technology, to work in a team environment on a simulated client IT engagement. The three credit class is taught by Associate Professor Sanjay Goel, the Chair of the Information Technology Department. A weekly conference call with EY professionals and a formal presentation complete the experience. Dr. Goel said, “The class operates as if students are working for the firm. When you motivate and challenge students they can do amazing things.”

EY professionals work with Dr. Goel and PhD candidate Damira Pon to ensure that the students get a clear picture of consulting work while they learn about the subject at hand, this fall it is social media. According to student Karrina Lam ’16, the fall class, was off to a good start. In less than three weeks the students had already researched the risks, challenges, and potential advantages of social media, and wrote a paper addressing customer relationship management, privacy and brand management.

A team of EY professionals, most of whom are UAlbany alumni, mentor the group. Lara Frankoski, ’10 is the lead contact for the students.   Akiem Rose, ’09, ’12, Calvin Chan ’08, and Laura Boccio ’08, ’10 served as facilitators for the first round as well as the current semester. The program is overseen by Jason Ellsworth ’05, the Senior Manager, and Partners Evan Maltese’90, Tim Purtell, and Ed Daswani. The same group worked with the inaugural class last spring.

An important aspect of the class is career exploration.  The students get a true picture of what it is like to work for a consulting firm on a consulting project. Ellsworth said, “When I was in school I didn’t know what a career in IT advisory was. These students have that opportunity.”

Laura Frankoski ’10, who served as a facilitator for the first round, said, “It gives students a chance to find out what they like to do and whether advisory would be like as a career. Courses are not always related to on-the-job experience.  This one is.”

Students agree. Cara Smith ’15, and Troy Torres ’15,  took the class in the spring. Smith said, “Even though it was a serious amount of work, it gave me more real, hands-on experience than any class I've ever taken. We weren't reading out of a textbook or listening to a lecture. We were legitimately working on a client, and doing real research and tasks that we would actually be doing if we worked at EY as IT consultants.”  

Zachary Singor’15, a current trajectory student, and Torres feel lucky to be able to work with EY. Signor said, “It’s a big deal to present to one of the biggest accounting firms in the world. When I was in high school two years ago, I had no idea that I’d have this much opportunity.” Torres added, “Being able to visit and present in the NYC office was an opportunity I never expected to have as a sophomore in college.”

It’s a two way street. EY appreciates the opportunity to identify candidates for internships and their summer leadership program. EY lead recruiter Jena Burgess said, “The earlier we can have these conversations, the better.”  Smith and Torres will intern at EY next summer.

Burgess noted that the class is moving in the same direction as EY. She said, “The trajectory course is a great example of our Vision 2020 strategy implementation. As we serve our clients in the market, it is critical to support skill sets that represent all our services, beyond just Tax and Audit. The trajectory course creates a new pipeline of talent that suits our Technology Advisory practices. The trajectory class aligns with our dedication to diversity of thought, background and skills. The inclusion of these students and course will allow us to be even more successful in the market."

The EY Trajectory program started at the University of Binghamton, expanded to the University at Albany and, according to Ellsworth, has the potential to go nationwide. He is thrilled by how well the UAlbany students have done.  He said, “It’s a great start to a great future program that we hope to expand.”