Susanne's story

Even though I work in an advisory role at EY, I don’t see myself as a ‘consultant’ – I see myself as part of the client.

I spent 14 years at Dell Computers where I led 11 buy-side integrations across front and back office, sales and sales operations globally. I managed a small group of programme managers working on big transformation change programmes. We were really successful because we owned the problem and the solution, we didn’t have external consultants.

After Dell, I spent two and a half years in TalkTalk, running a large team of 2,000 offshore and 120 onshore staff. I led the delivery of their new operating model as part of their five year plan, as well as two new product development programmes as part of their innovation strategy.

I’ve always worked this way. Which is why when I joined EY, it was really important to me that I provided value to our clients, by immersing myself into their businesses and fundamentally improving them. I think about their problems as I would if it were my business, which creates a very different mind-set.

So, why did I join EY?

At the time I wasn’t actively looking. However, with the help of a business coach (and friend of mine), I identified my criteria for the “best job in the world” for me. While I loved many aspects of my job – the transformational change, the optimisation, working with teams and getting the best out of them – what was missing was the client relationship management.

I was attracted to Operational Transaction Services at EY. I felt that the key difference between OTS and competing firms I’d researched was that we not only offer ideas and solutions, we DO the implementation, and we get to understand our clients more because of it. Being able to offer pre deal and post deal advice, and leaving a legacy behind – that really works for me and I get tremendous satisfaction from seeing things delivered.

For example, I’m currently working with a finance company in Epsom. We’re setting up the right infrastructure in place for them. It has such tremendous opportunity for growth and it gets me really excited to think we can be part of their journey.  There’s an amazing energy and honesty in the OTS team – a genuine passion to be the best, to be the team clients turn to for advice. And providing that extra spark needed to deliver.

That passion goes beyond the day to day role. People generally care about development and that really speaks to me. I didn’t join EY to be a passenger; I wanted to be an active participant – a driver. And I’ve been given opportunities to push myself to the next level: I’m diversity & inclusion leader for the team, support business development and am part of a group creating a wider vision for the team.

I’m doing what I love to do but in a new context and with greater accountability. That makes me more than a consultant – it makes me a better leader.

 

  • Susanne Vanner

About the author

Susanne Vanner joined EY as a Director in Operational Transaction Services after spending 16 years in the IT industry.