From January 7-9,EYis holding their ninth annualDiscover EY program and seventh annual Campus Diversity and Inclusiveness Roundtable in Manhattan, as part of their continuing effort to represent minorities in professional services.
EY invited a diverse, talented pool of 150 students from 70 US campuses to develop leadership skills and become more aware of opportunities in both the profession and the firm at this year's event.
Ken Bouyer, EY Americas director of inclusiveness recruiting, addressed the audience on Thursday morning, congratulating attendees on getting to where they are, but to stay determined.
"Don't be happy just to be here. You studied hard to get here, but being here is not enough. You've got to continue to bring it every single day. Average is your enemy."
Working for EY since 1990, Bouyer noted that he lacked confidence in his first couple of years at the firm, and that trying to conform to those around him ended up hurting his ambitions. He cited B.J. Gallagher Hateley's book, A Peacock in the Land of Penguins, to retain one's sense of individuality, in order to not lose a sense of self amongst one's peers.
"It's about bringing who you are to who we are," Bouyer told the audience. "Don't compromise that [or] be something that you're not. You need to go to a place where you can be you and make an impact."
Bouyer also recalled a time at a Las Vegas table that after an early lead, he was slowly losing chips when the dealer interjected and asked, "What is your goal?"
"That taught me a big lesson," said Bouyer. "[Whether] it's Las Vegas, an internship, or you're in a firm - no matter what you do in life, you have to have a goal."
For more information on the Discover EY program, head to their sitehere.