How can old friends spark new opportunities?

By EY Global

Ernst & Young Global Ltd.

5 minute read 12 May 2023

Staying connected with former colleagues can open up a whole new world of possibilities.

Three questions to ask

  • When was the last time you checked in on a former colleague?
  • How can you get real value from your  EY Alumni Network?
  • How can a meaningful connection with a former colleague change your career?

Working at EY holds special memories for many. Celebrating team wins, bonding during busy season, building trust and creating authentic relationships – they’re all part of what makes a career truly meaningful. Staying connected with the people who have been alongside you through the ups and downs enriches our lives and can lead to life-long friendships. This is a view expressed in the latest EY Global Alumni Survey which identified relationships, people and culture, and on-the-job learning as the three top benefits of the EY experience.

Leaving the EY organization doesn’t mean you have to cut ties. It is still possible to enjoy these experiences through the EY global community of over one million alumni, where opportunities abound to reconnect with old colleagues, renew relationships and forge new ones.

Kevin Halcomb, an EY alumnus who returned to the EY organization, says, “I stayed connected because of the friendships that I built at EY. We care about one another." For EY alumnus Cameron Fleming, the EY organization was a formative part of his life and a key reason he wants to be a part of the EY Alumni Network. It was his first full-time job out of college and the start of his career. He remembers “long hours, challenges, a lot of autonomy and a lot of fun”, but it was the “social camaraderie, working in teams and collaboration” which stood out for him. It is a sentiment echoed by many EY alumni who look forward to the in-person alumni get togethers where they can cement those special bonds.

I stayed connected because of the friendships that I built at EY. We care about one another.
Kevin Halcomb
EY alumnus who returned to the EY organization

Sparking ideas

In addition to catching up with old friends, the alumni network provides a valuable forum for exchanging information and experiences, keeping on top of industry trends and gaining fresh insights.

Entrepreneur and EY alumnus Robert Boscacci explains, “when you are running a company you can sometimes get a little isolated. I find that the alumni network is good, because you can bounce an issue off someone outside your own industry and say ‘this is what's happening in my industry. What's going on in yours?’ and from that you can get some very good ideas.”

EY alumna Holli Fernando also finds the network to be a useful resource. “When I'm faced with a problem,” she says, “I oftentimes fall back on my EY Alumni Network, or the people that are still at EY. Sometimes informally, through a quick text message of, ‘hey, what do you think of this?’ Or more formally if I’m faced with a real challenge.”

Mentoring and career growth

The mentoring that people receive at EY can be a transformative experience. The right mentor can help you reach your career goals, coach and encourage you and give you access to the right people and opportunities. These often develop into life-long connections that continue to benefit both the mentor and the mentee long after people have left the EY organization.

I have a big emotional connection to the firm because of the mentorship that I had.
Nav Dhillon
EY alumnus

That has been the case for EY alumnus Nav Dhillon. “I have a big emotional connection to the firm because of the mentorship that I had,” he says. He had two mentors during his career at EY who both had a big impact on him and continue to do so. One of the mentors is also now an alumnus and gave Nav his first industry opportunity. Nav says, “the biggest selling point for me was that I would be working with somebody I trusted.” He also stays in touch with the mentor that remains at EY – they catch up regularly to find out what is going on in each other’s lives, how their careers are progressing and to offer each other a fresh perspective.

“I stayed connected because I always felt a sense of belonging to the EY organization,” says EY returner Verena Cunningham, “and always valued using my EY colleagues or my EY network as a sounding board for my next career steps.” Many EY alumni tell us that they particularly appreciate the opportunity to receive advice and support from a network they trust.

The trust that is built between former colleagues also acts as a useful reference point for job opportunities. People are far more likely to hire someone they have worked with, or who comes with a personal recommendation. 

Be part of the global EY Alumni Network

If you are a former EY colleague and have not yet registered, please join the EY Alumni Network today.

Register here


It is exciting to see how many EY alumni value the relationships they made at EY. That is why this year we are celebrating EY Alumni Connect Week in a number of offices around the world. It is a great opportunity to reconnect with both EY people and other alumni.

About this article

By EY Global

Ernst & Young Global Ltd.