Leading professional services firm Ernst & Young LLP announced the launch of a video competition for college students in the U.S. and Canada as part of the firm's enhanced efforts to engage and connect with recruits. The competition, titled "Reel Influence," allows teams of students to make an impact on their peers, faculty, the business community, and future recruits by sharing a vision of their career through video.
The competition, which kicks off at more than 75 college campuses this week, puts a new twist on campus case competitions and asks student teams to create compelling videos around the question, "Why professional services?" The competition creates a platform for students to express their creativity, leadership skills, and point-of-view in a public forum, while educating themselves, their peers, and future students about the opportunities available in the field. In addition, Ernst & Young hopes the contest will generate more interest in the profession and, subsequently, future accounting and business majors.
"We want to empower students, to give them a voice, and to let them know we're listening. We also want to communicate with Gen Y in the ways that work for them," says Dan Black, Americas Director of Campus Recruiting for Ernst & Young. "We want students to know that what they do matters -- their thoughts and actions are important to the future of the profession and the broader business community."
Competition in the profession has become more intense since Sarbanes-Oxley was enacted in 2002. Ernst & Young recruited 3,300 college graduates and 2,200 interns in fiscal 2007, and has increased its efforts to connect with Gen Y in the last year, including launching the first-ever corporate-sponsored recruiting page on Facebook on July 31, 2006. In addition, Ernst & Young continues to hold its International Intern Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida every year to give interns the opportunity to meet with the firm's senior leadership. Recently, the firm also has begun holding internal workshops to foster teamwork among its multigenerational workforce.
Students pursuing accounting or other business majors at designated schools are eligible to submit their videos for the competition via the Reel Influence website, which will be advertised at individual school campuses. Ernst & Young has provided designated schools with newspaper ads, banners, postcards, and other materials. Recruiters will be holding campus events around the competition in the coming weeks and entries will be accepted from September 17 through December 1, 2007.
The grand prize-winning team will join Ernst & Young CEO, Jim Turley, on a business trip during which Jim will share his insights on the profession. Regional team winners, along with finalists, will receive cash and other prizes. The videos from the competition will be utilized at future recruiting events and on the Ernst & Young website to highlight the benefits of joining the profession to potential accounting and business majors.