I always say that I have friends who work for all of our competitors and clearly each firm brings strengths to the market as employers and professional service providers. From the moment I went through recruitment at EY in 2004, it just felt like a natural cultural ‘fit’ for me.
I grew up in rural deep-south USA. After studying accountancy in university and graduate school I qualified as a US CPA and joined EY’s Audit practice in Dallas in 2005. My time in Dallas was focused on serving national & global tech, retail, manufacturing, and airline clients. I began to develop a speciality focusing on the airline industry, which led to an opportunity for a two-year secondment to serve a major global airline based in London.
I made the move across the pond as a Senior in 2009. The firm was instrumental in helping me make the move and get settled in. Whether it was formal assistance such as relocation and immigration support or more informal such as colleagues simply helping me learn the ropes of living and working in London, that support network really helped me to tackle the challenges of moving to a new country and adapting to the new culture.
By the end of the secondment in 2011 London had clearly become home on a professional and personal level. I was fortunate to have the support of my sponsors back in the US and my colleagues in the UK business to make a permanent relocation to London in 2011. I continued in the audit practice for a further two years wherein I broadened my portfolio to include several media, tech, and consumer products clients.
By 2013 I had been enjoying my role in the core audit practice for nearly eight years (3 ½ of which in London), however I was starting to set my horizons on seeking a new challenge. I had several friends in Capital Markets who told me the group was growing. I learned more about the group’s client proposition, and after talking to various people in the team I felt – much like when I decided to join EY in the first place - that it would be a good fit and the firm once again supported me to make a move into the Capital Markets team.
One of the biggest appeals for me was the close linkage to the audit business yet new opportunities to contribute in solving clients’ unique challenges. My time in the team has mostly focused on audit clients’ US IPOs, helping existing EMEIA-based US public companies with technical and regulatory matters, and supporting clients through challenging internal controls over financial reporting issues. Many of my colleagues focus on broader areas such as accounting change and other transformational strategies, so it’s exciting to have the opportunity to contribute to such a large variety of work.
It’s not just about the work of course, there are many cultural factors that have influenced my decision to join, relocate and remain at EY. I have seen the firm deliver on its commitment to leadership in diversity and take tremendous pride in that. I’ve developed my career in so many ways beyond the geographical and service-line moves. For example, through avenues such as their ‘Accelerated Leadership Programme’ for high performers, as well as career coaching and mentoring offered by EY. I’ve benefitted from phenomenal support in my teams over the years and this has really made me passionate about coaching our people in return.
My journey to Capital Markets in London has come via an internal route and has led to some amazing experiences. The best advice I can give to anyone looking to make the move from one country to another is: ensure you’re striking a balance. It’s not simply about moving to a new place – it needs to have a business benefit for the team you’re looking to join and naturally your own career development potential in aligning to your longer-term goals.