Assistant Director, BD Operations I Asia-Pacific Accounts and Business Development
Three years into my time at EY, and I’m suddenly one of the most important people in the room. How on earth did I get here?
In Ohio, all things are possible
To realise how far I’ve come, I need to go back to when I joined. A former HR Consultant, I switched career paths to become a Markets Coordinator. For the first three months I bumbled along trying to understand how everything worked in this strange new environment and questioning whether I had made the right choice. Then, after a while I saw the bigger picture and the complexities of our systems started to fit together.
Soon my technical knowledge grew - as did my role. I steadily carved a niche for myself as a specialist in business systems. I also assisted on our Priority Accounts program, where we have the challenging task of linking up all our people on global accounts so we can be more efficient and effective.
Then suddenly I found myself in Cleveland, representing Asia-Pacific in developing a key element of our future global corporate strategy.
Hold on a second.
I’m the most junior staff member at a table in Ohio and I’m making decisions on behalf of a whole region. Whose idea was this?
And that’s when it clicked. That’s when I realised something that my managers had seen a long time ago. My potential. I could do this and do it well. I’d been given autonomy, trust and opportunity. Whatever doubts I had meant nothing to my managers, who knew all along what I was capable of and had obviously put their reputations on the line to make sure I got the experiences I needed. That day I was able to make a contribution, challenge the thinking of executive stakeholders and convey the needs of our region. Nobody cared what level I was at. They were interested in what I had to offer.
Finally, the evening rolled around and just when I thought I could relax... I’m seated next to one of our Global leaders at dinner. But not only did we get on well, he also wanted my guidance on key parts of the strategy solution.
It seems a far cry from those uncertain early days, but just goes to show how far you can go when people believe in you.