Jessica Lönnqvist, Manager, Transactions Diligence, Helsinki
All I wanted to do was to get under the skin of corporates. It wasn’t about a fancy job title or prestige. While completing my Masters in Finance, I discovered that I really enjoyed working out what made corporates successful, by exploring their financials and understanding the industry specific drivers behind their financial development. I wanted to work in an interesting and dynamic role at a global company in my field of studies. Working in transactions with financial due diligence at EY allows me to do just this.
EY is a meritocracy: if I perform well, I will be rewarded. I started at EY as an entry-level analyst. Since then I’ve been promoted twice and I’m now a manager. EY is meritocratic – both in terms of compensation and career progression – so I feel like I am in charge of my own destiny. The added bonus is that with each step-up comes new challenges and responsibilities.
It is important for me to feel a sense of purpose in my work. My personal interests and success at EY are encapsulated in one, clear purpose: helping clients make their deals successful in order to achieve their strategic goals. It is equally important to know that this ethos is shared by my company. I believe it is.
I’m a realist: tight deadlines are part of working in M&A. But flexibility can work both ways. In M&A I need to be prepared to work intense hours. However, I’ve learned to take time to rest between projects, which is encouraged. EY recognises the importance of flexible working in terms of where and when the work is done (as long as it gets done), which makes it easier to manage personal commitments.
My three-month secondment in Milan with EY was an invaluable experience. It exposed me to new, bigger clients and stretched my technical knowledge. I also gained experience in a new sector and was able to really explore my personal interest in getting to know how companies work by looking at their financials. The coaching and mentoring from senior peers also really helped me to grow professionally.
The global mindset of EY people is really inspiring. The open, international and collaborative environment is so valuable. As well as my own experiences in Milan, I’ve seen several colleagues transfer to other EY offices, either temporarily or permanently and I regularly work with people across the world, depending on my client.
My motto: do everything to the very best of your ability, with pride, and the rest will follow. With this mindset I feel like I can become a partner if I choose. I’m confident that I could manage my work-life balance by prioritizing my work and trusting my team. But, there are still plenty of decisions to make before then, both in my personal and professional life.