Updating Results

EY New Zealand

  • > 100,000 employees

Christopher Hayes

I have had the opportunity to work across multiple industries and functions which in my opinion, is a great way to learn.

Tell us more about your job.

I am currently working with a New Zealand retailer on their transformation programme, helping EY clients to define and design how businesses operate.

A large part of what I do includes synthesizing information acquired from the organisation to identify where the opportunities for improvements are. Sometimes this means diving into large data sets to identify issues and trends, and other times, it could mean sitting in a project room brainstorming ideas on a board.

A major challenge in consulting is to ensure the outcomes, no matter how complex, are communicated in a way that is easily understood – which could mean different things to different people.  

What’s your background?

I was born and raised in Singapore, and now based in Christchurch. After I completed my military service, I returned to New Zealand to complete a commerce degree in Auckland.

Before coming to New Zealand, I was already involved with social enterprises and found my passion in the intersection of business and impact, particularly in the space of effective altruism. The next logical step was to learn, upskill and build career capital. Consulting quickly became the natural option, one that provided the platform to learn and possibly, the potential to generate impact.

I joined EY Consulting as an intern back in 2017 and returned as a graduate in early 2019. In the last year alone, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with some incredible people from around the world – something I am very thankful for.  

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes, absolutely. We have people from all kinds of backgrounds and everyone brings something unique to the table. That said, there are some fundamental skills that are essential. Communication and teaming will be top of the list, followed by problem-solving and business acumen.

The dynamic nature of consulting will quickly prove that it is not how much you know right now, but how fast you can learn. Therefore, being intellectually curious and having a good attitude is crucial.  

What’s the coolest thing about your job?

The coolest thing about my job is the opportunity to work with some of the leading companies in New Zealand on some of their toughest challenges. I have had the opportunity to work across multiple industries and functions which in my opinion, is a great way to learn. Another benefit is the chance to work with some of the brightest people, both in the organisation and with EY clients. 

What are the limitations of your job?

Consulting engagements are often dynamic, and at times the type of work may be unpredictable. This has encouraged me to learn about a methodology, or an industry, in a short period of time. Depending on the engagement, travelling could be required.  

What are 2 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student?

  • You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems – James Clear. 
    Be intentional about designing your life and build habits that will take you closer to your goals. Start small and make tiny increments daily, and with time, you’ll be surprised how far that momentum will take you.
  • When you are a student, there are is no such thing as stupid questions. The fastest (and easiest) way to learn is to ask those around you and the experts in the field. Go on LinkedIn, get connected with people you want to model your career after and ask away. And as a student, there is really nothing to lose!