Jennifer's Networking Story

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  • Jennifer Wytcherley

How do you typically network?

I find the strongest relationships are where I have taken the time to connect more socially with my clients and contacts, outside of a formal meeting environment.  I often utilise the opportunities that are created by the firm to invite connections to events, such as the EY Art Sponsorship events at the Tate, or sports events, such as the Rugby World Cup, or the Olympics.  I take the time to find out what my clients are interested in, which could be as simple as tickets to an exhibition or the theatre.

I also attend wider networking events, and a great way to do this is through one of the firms networks such as the EY Womens Network,  which creates many opportunities for us to network with our female clients and contacts across all sectors and at all levels, from female entrepreneurs to FTSE Directors.  Additionally, I try to attend events that are organised out in the market, for example with London strategic partners such London First, or the CBI, that are really well attended and create the opportunity to make new contacts.

When it comes to arranging a meeting with a specific individual, particularly for the first time, I find it can often be less formal to do so over coffee or lunch, and this can be a great way to build a relationship, whilst discussing the menu!

How important is networking to you and why?

I see networking as absolutely crucial in today’s environment in professional services.  It can open up so many opportunities, and you never know who you will meet, and also who they might be able to introduce you to.   At the end of the day, ‘people buy people’, and building strong relationships is key.  Plus, networking can be great fun – and can take you places you wouldn’t normally go to, and you meet some very interesting people along the way.

What advice or top tip would you give for networking more efficiently?

Always remember when networking that you’re there for a reason, and think consciously about what you want to achieve.  Is there an opportunity to organise a follow up meeting?   Think about the mutual benefit of the connection, and how it can be built on for the future.   Also, try to be a good connector for other people – don’t always look at it as a personal opportunity, as you often find it will be reciprocated.  Finally, you never know who knows who, or where they will go next, so never discount a new connection!

 

Jennifer and Joanna Santinon receiving award on behalf of EY Women’s Network

  • Jennifer Wytcherley

About the author

Jennifer Wytcherley is an Executive Director for EY, specialising in Tax. She also runs EY's external networking programmes aimed at female entrepreneurs and FTSE 350 board directors.