Operational Transaction Services
Emma Snow, Senior Manager, Operational Transaction Services, London
I wasn’t sure what I wanted from my career when I joined EY. I started as a graduate after really enjoying the summer internship program. I knew joining EY would develop my core skill set: analytical thinking, report writing and stakeholder management.
I thrive in a fast-paced environment, so being part of Operational Transaction Services really suits me. I love that every project is different and I learn something new each and every time. In recent years, I have focused on advising clients in planning and providing advice on complex carve-outs, integrations and performance improvements. It blends financial rigor to support deal valuation, with the pragmatism of helping clients plan and deliver a smooth transfer of ownership, with no disruption to business as usual.
The majority of my projects have been global in one form or other. Usually, I’m working as part of cross-border teams for a client that operates in multiple countries. It’s amazing how easy it is to pull together a diverse team from around the world to provide a truly exceptional client service.
I’ve supported over 30 transactions and I still get a thrill from a successful closing. Our work is complex, time-critical and core to business strategy. To see a client negotiate a deal well using our advice to support them is hugely fulfilling.
My role requires me to perform a balancing act. Transactions are hard work but luckily, flexibility is embedded in our team’s way of working. To keep things in balance, I focus on meeting client expectations and those of my team while ensuring I’ve sufficient time for family and friends. If things get out of sync, especially when a deal is closing or I’m traveling on site visits, I can take some time back when things quiet down. I also try to work from home a couple of days each month — these tend to be my most productive days due to the relative peace and quiet, and easy access to a nice cup of tea!
I’m supported and wholly encouraged to build a better working world in a way that fits with my own values. For example, my client base includes a number of non-profit organizations, and I’m a trustee for Carers Network in London. I’ve also seized the opportunity to do two skills-based secondments with charitable organizations: in Ghana, I planned, recommended and launched a new software platform to connect local SMEs [subject-matter experts] with multinationals, and in Palestine, I developed a strategic plan to support the charity in continuing to grow and obtain investment funding. These experiences were nothing short of exceptional.
I am, to put it bluntly, indifferent about “being a woman at work.” Gender shouldn’t matter and, thankfully, in my team it doesn’t. I have never been treated differently, nor would I want to be. I take comfort from the fact that my successes to date have been through hard work and I always want to feel that way. I am proud to be part of a team that celebrates all kinds of diversity — it’s embedded into our culture and makes our team thrive. That said, there is always more to be done and I am actively involved in our recruitment process to help remove any misconceptions about working in transactions. It’s a challenging, but thoroughly enjoyable career, which is why I am still here eight years later!
My team delivers on its underlying promise of acting as a meritocracy. We work together for the good of the whole, from the most junior new joiners to the most senior partners. I have been promoted three times in six years, each time at the earliest opportunity, because I demonstrated the skills and experience required to progress to the next level.
Do I want to be a partner? I think I do. Right now, I am focused on developing my skills and shifting from hands-on projects to client relationship management. But taking the longer-term view, my key career goal is to be a leader in an organization where I feel I can make a difference, am regularly challenged and enjoy the work. Partnership at EY looks to offer this in abundance.