My Career Journey: Cindi Panganayi

Suhaib interviews EY Foundation team member, Cindi

Written by Suhaib Habibullah.

Please note: since completing the interview, Cindi has completed her Kickstart placement with EY Foundation and we are excited to see what she does next.

Hello and welcome to the final part of my three-part blog series, where I interview different members of the EY Foundation team about their career journeys and their experiences job searching.


I am Suhaib Habibullah, a law student at the University of Manchester. Last year, I completed an internship at the EY Foundation as a Programme Delivery Coordinator. If you want to catch up on previous interviews, you can see what Digital, Database and Analytics Lead Lauren Holmes and Employment Coach Sarah Batty had to say. This time, I’m speaking to Cindi Panganayi. 


Hi Cindi, why don’t you tell us a bit about your role at EY Foundation?

I joined the EY Foundation through the Kickstart Scheme, and my main responsibilities are administration (tracking DBS checks and NSPCC training) and programme delivery.


What have you done previously and how did you get into this role?

I never planned to go to university and wanted to be financially secure, so I’ve been working in a range of industries and sectors since high school. I started off working at Burger King and then moved to Spinning Jenny’s at Manchester Airport. After some time, I wanted to try something new, so I worked as a care worker for agencies, and I was also working in a call centre at Concentrix.


Craving a change in scenery, I went to the Job Centre and attended a job fair. I was exposed to lots of different jobs and was involved in speed networking. After interviews with a range of different employers, I was interviewed by EY Foundation and was offered this role. 

Do not put yourself in an environment that you are not happy with.

A very different journey to EY Foundation than Sarah and Lauren! What would you say you learnt the most from job searching?

My job searching experience hasn’t been too bad. When I was in high school, I would get disheartened very quickly when I would not get a response from a place where I applied and question myself. However, I soon started to realise that not hearing back was not a personal reflection/reflection of my capabilities, it was simply part of a very competitive application process. Additionally, friends and family can be very useful contacts to help you find opportunities so do not be afraid to ask them for help. 


Finally, what is your advice to young people applying for jobs? 

Firstly, I would say apply for jobs that you are interested in, do not put yourself in an environment that you are not happy with. Moreover, do not be scared to apply and be shy to give out speculative CVs, even though it could be hit or miss. Always set up a realistic goal when you are applying for the job (is it to get to the interview stage or get an offer?) Never underestimate yourself and never be too harsh on yourself. Finally, everyone’s path is unique, there is no pressure to follow the crowd for the sake of it. 


Thanks for that advice, Cindi! You gave a very good reminder that not everyone has to go to university and that there are alternatives available out there.


This marks the end of the series, I really enjoyed interviewing the team members and understanding their different career journeys. I hope you learnt something along the way, I know I certainly have!


Thank you for reading.