Students vote EY as most attractive employer in Lebanon, KSA and UAE

12 December 2018 4 min. read

Business students have voted EY as the most attractive professional services employer of its kind in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Business students from Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have followed the lead of their global counterparts in ranking professional services firm Ernst & Young as their most preferred employer among the Big Four firms in employer branding consultancy Universum’s latest annual survey – which quizzed over 20,000 students and recent graduates from 80 local universities.

Globally, in a survey among almost 230,000 business and engineering/IT students in the world’s 12 largest economies, the firm was considered the world’s third-most attractive employer overall behind just Google and Goldman Sachs, with fellow Big Four members Deloitte, KPMG and PwC together with management kings McKinsey & Company crowding out the top of the list – and Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Company featuring in the top twenty.

While further down the overall individual country lists locally, which were dominated by Apple and Google across the board along with national leaders in the banking, aviation, construction and resources sectors, EY also managed to crack the overall business/commerce top ten most preferred employers list in the Emirates, again ahead of KPMG and Deloitte in at 8th place.Business graduates vote EY as preferred employer in Lebanon, KSA and UAE“We are extremely proud to be named the most attractive employer among the Big Four by business students in KSA, UAE and Lebanon,” said EY Chairman and CEO for MENA Abdulaziz Al-Sowailim, who joined EY after graduating from King Saud University in 1986 and has been with the firm ever since – appointed as chair and regional managing partner in 2010.

Al-Sowailim, a regular university lecturer, continued; “Youth are an incredible asset to our organisation and play a vital role in our success. In today’s business environment, you cannot survive without a focus on innovation; youth are a key driver of innovation. We take great pride in supporting the growth and development of graduate employees and progressing their careers.”

To arrive at the rankings, Universum assessed local student response as to 40 characteristics motivating their employment desires, including work life balance, innovation and purpose-driven responsibilities, a welcoming working environment, career progression, and opportunities for professional training and development – with management consulting cited as the most desired sector overall, followed by financial services, banking, auditing and accounting.

For the upcoming crop of graduates who selected EY as their most desired employer, they’ll be hoping to follow in the footsteps of the more than 300 who have joined the firm over the past year across 12 countries in the region – among the some 65,000 new faces in total who were brought in to the firm globally last year, taking its overall headcount to over 260,000 world-wide.

Regionally, EY – which has had a presence in the Middle East for over 95 years – boasts a local workforce of more than 7,000, with the proudly diverse firm noting that of its recent graduate intake nearly half were female and over 95 percent were Arabic speakers. As a further breakdown, 60 percent of the new graduate recruits in Lebanon were women, while its entire intake Saudi Arabia were Saudi nationals.