• Caoimhe O'Connor

The Final of the EY Business Challenge

During my two month advisory internship at EY, myself and a team of five fellow interns competed in the EY Business Challenge and reached the final.

Our project was entitled ‘What can EY do to achieve an extraordinary workplace in the short and medium term?’.

The competition required each team to perform both secondary and primary research and come up with both short and long term viable solutions to the topic at hand. Following this, we were required to prepare a report and present our findings.

There were two rounds of presentations. The first was in front of EY directors, who chose the top 2 teams from each department to go through to the final, which required the teams to present their findings to EY partners.

Personally, this project allowed me to gain a lot of experience in market research and creative problem solving in a real workplace environment. I believe these skills will be transferrable to any digital marketing role I have in the future.

Although we did not win the competition, we felt that even reaching the final was a huge achievement and was a testament to the great work we had achieved as a team. Not only that, but we all gained invaluable experience in presenting in front of notable figures and large audiences.

The Project

Key Survey Findings:

  1. Employees were largely unaware of EY's core values.

  2. Employees placed high value on friendship and purpose in the workplace.

  3. Employees felt the EY offices were missing collaborative spaces that would benefit their work.

Our Solutions:


  • Put values on the walls of EY offices so people are aware of them - after all, 'Culture eats strategy for breakfast'.

Purpose Through People

  • ME-Y: Bitmoji style graphics personalised to each employee and their interests. Intended to be displayed on personal EY discovery pages and smart desks. Should act as conversation starters and allow people to make human connections much easier.

  • Coffee Connects 2.0: New and improved 'coffee connects' club where employees would be matched with new people to meet every month according to an algorithm.

Collaborative Space

  • Integrate collaborative spaces into all floors of EY offices in Dublin to inspire and invigorate teams from all departments.

  • From talking to the graphics teams that already use such spaces in EY Dublin and Cork, they believe the informal environment encourages them all to think differently and get better results.

Roadmap to Success:

Our initial focus was on Advisory, but we packaged our survey and our roadmap of ideas into an ‘extraordinary toolkit’ – so that something similar could easily be rolled out in TAS, Assurance or Tax.

You can check out the video of the final below.