EY to Mentor Ulster Rugby Stars

From Boots to Suits

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Northern Ireland’s “Big Four” accountancy firm, EY, today launched ‘Careers After Rugby’, a unique mentoring programme in collaboration with Ulster Rugby, at Ravenhill. This mentoring initiative aims to support Ulster rugby players in considering a business career following their retirement from the game. 

Professional athletes from Ulster Rugby, including; Stephen Ferris, Paddy Wallace, Dan Tuohy and Callum Black, will be teamed up with EY’s senior leadership team and clients, based on their identified areas of interest and long term career aspirations. This programme will offer players one-to-one facilitated sessions with their mentors, which will aid personal and professional growth, by sharing specific industry knowledge and experience.

Michael Hall, Managing Partner Northern Ireland, commented: "Our commitment to continue to build a successful business, and at the same time making the difference to our clients, our people, the wider economy and society, continues to underpin everything we do. This initiative compliments the firm’s long-term strategy in supporting entrepreneurship and education and making a difference in the communities which we operate in.”

In addition to this mentoring programme, EY has also signed an 18-month deal to sponsor Ulster Rugby, where the club will host the firm’s logo on the back of the management team’s laptops during matches.

Hall, stressed the importance of forging such relationships between sports people and the business community. He said, “The talent and dedication that athletes possess including, teamwork, communication, leadership carries over into the professional workplace.  Possessing these skills can be mutually beneficial and as such there is a natural overlap between the business community and players.” 

The initial stages of the mentoring programme will provide a sounding board to players and assist them in developing their thoughts around specific business opportunities they are keen to explore. This support will be provided through mentoring from either certain individuals within EY or teaming a player up with a client. The extensive network which EY has acquired over the years, allows them to put people from all sorts of backgrounds and industries in touch with players which compliment their areas of interest. It is through these business relationships that EY can facilitate openings and career options for players.

Phillip Polack, Business Development Manager at Ulster Rugby commented, "Ernst and Young is a leading professional services company with an enviable reputation amongst corporate clientele around the globe. I am delighted that our two brands will be partnering on this initiative and I’m excited about the dynamic programme of career development that EY is creating to support our professional team. Our professional players demonstrate drive, commitment and leadership everytime that they take to the pitch and I have no doubt that those qualities will put them in good stead as the progress in the world of business.”

Michael Hall concluded: “I am both delighted and very excited to sponsor this team and lead this mentoring initiative. I am a firm believer in developing local talent and believe many of these players will have a lot to offer both as employees and future business leaders.”