Who from your past can change your future?

3 minute read 30 Sep 2022
By EY Global

Ernst & Young Global Ltd.

3 minute read 30 Sep 2022
Related topics Alumni Alumni

Holli Fernando, EY alumna, discusses how taking a risk in your career is less daunting when you have a support network to help you succeed.

In brief 
  • EY alumna, Holli Fernando, shares her experience at EY.
  • Holli’s reflections on coming back to the EY organization and the support and guidance received from the EY network to give her the confidence to embrace new opportunities.

Holli Fernando has made a few calculated risks in her career before landing her latest role as controller of Mountain Equipment Company. She’s not typically comfortable with risk, laughing “I am an accountant after all,” but says her time at EY has given her the tools and confidence to embrace new opportunities.

“I think how they've done that is by giving not just myself, but everyone else, the opportunities to explore things that they are either really passionate about, or some things that they aren't sure about, and to equip them with the tools to learn,” she says.

That support has given Holli the confidence to leave the EY organization not once - but twice. Each time, she reached out to EY colleagues who gave her the advice she needed to try new things. The first time Holli left the EY organization, she had just received her Certified Public Accountant designation and felt her next move should be in industry. She worked for a retail company for just under a year, before realizing she wanted to return to EY.

“I left because I thought I was ready, and then I realized I was not ready to leave. And so, the reason I re-joined the EY organization was because I felt like I had unfinished business, that I still had a lot to learn, and that I was fairly confident that they would have me back,” Holli remembers.

She returned to the EY organization and learned more of the soft skills she needed to succeed, including managerial and project management skills. After three years, Holli felt it was time to leave once again: “This opportunity at MEC came along, and it was going through some change, and it sounded really interesting to me, and it sounded like an opportunity I really couldn't pass up.”

I have made some of my closest friends here. It's so comforting to know that I am welcome back.
Holli Fernando
EY alumni

Holli left confident that she would continue to have the continued support of EY teams and still reaches out to colleagues and the EY alumni network – both for personal and professional reasons. “I would say that I have made some of my closest friends here. It's so comforting to know that I am welcome back. I've been to a couple of events and some EY member firm partners and others always jokingly say, ‘So when are you coming back?’”

“I think my biggest takeaway from my entire time at EY, both the first time and the second time, is that I really learned how to help resolve problems and how to ask better questions. And I think that that has really set me up for success in my current career.”

Holli is excited about helping MEC grow and the opportunities ahead. She is also confident that the EY organization has given her the skills and confidence to tackle whatever challenges lie ahead.

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Holli shared that having an organization like the Global EY organization behind you to support you on your career journey can really set you up for success. Also returning back to an organization like EY was made easy. The support you receive from your former colleagues can give you the confidence you need to embrace risk and thrive.

About this article

By EY Global

Ernst & Young Global Ltd.

Related topics Alumni Alumni