From basking on the beach to back into the business world in just a few weeks, PAS Senior Manager Anne-Lise tells us why she re-joined EY as part of the Reconnect programme and what she gained from it.
“I was on a career break for two years while completing my MA in Psychotherapy and Counselling. I spent two days a week on the course and the rest of the time looking after my children.”
Having worked at EY before her career break, Anne-Lise kept in contact with her old Partner with whom she went running on a regular basis. It was during one of those running sessions last summer where she first heard about the EY Reconnect programme.
“I mentioned to her that my children were going back to school in September and that I felt ready to return to work. She told me about the programme so I sent over my CV that very day.”
The recruitment team were impressed with Anne-Lise’s background and experience, and conducted interviews with her – while she was on a family holiday.
“My first interview was round by the pool and second interview was on the beach. My parents - who were on holiday with us - found it hysterical!
“My first day on the programme was literally my first day back in the UK.”
Since embarking on the EY Reconnect programme in September, Anne-Lise has become heavily involved in the bid process, leading teams to deliver proposals for different clients, and is also Engagement Manager on a large-scale transformation project for the Ministry of Justice.
“It’s funny that a couple of months ago I was making sandcastles with my children in the South of France and now I’m engaging with the CFO at the Ministry of Justice! It’s intense but so very enjoyable.”
What Anne-Lise finds most enjoyable is spending time again with her colleagues at EY and getting back into “work” mode.
“In some ways EY is the same as I remember: the exhilaration of starting a project from scratch, being supported and building connections with your team. It’s being surrounded by really exciting people.
“What has changed is the firm’s flexible working mentality: it feels like it’s now ingrained into the culture at all levels and not just for working mums – anyone is entitled to their own flexible agenda.”
Anne-Lise also recognises the challenges of returning to work after a career break.
“Overcoming my own fear of not being able to do this has been the biggest challenge. Although balancing work and home life remains a challenge. I’m so happy and excited to be back that it’s just about me trying to make time for the family.”
For Anne-Lise, this is what makes returner programmes such as EY Reconnect so important.
“This programme has made me realise my skills and knowledge haven’t gone away, they’ve always been there. EY Reconnect has given me a perfect environment to test them. Now, it’s not just a test whether I can fit within EY’ but also whether it will work for my family life.
“I’ve had the 3 month coaching and support to make me feel comfortable that I can restart my career. It is the beginning of a new journey!”
Anne-Lise has now been hired back into the firm on a permanent basis – congratulations to her and long may her journey continue!