- Omena Ukeleghe
Omena graduated with a degree in fashion promotion and illustration from the Surrey institute of art and design University College. Omena joined EY in 2017 as an Assistant Director within our core business services. Her top tip for joining EY is to just be you! Here Omena tell us how EY has supported her since joining.
What were the key factors that made you choose EY?
The people, the team and the opportunity to work for a company that would fully support my development choices.
How has EY supported you in your career so far?
When joining EY, I received a lot of support not just from the Mental Health Network and the business but also from EY leadership and members of my team. I suffer from lower back problems and was provided a standing desk a month after joining. I also receive therapy and CBT sessions via the employee benefits scheme. I suffer from depression and mild anxiety so it really helps and gives me the confidence to speak openly about my mental health issues and have the support in place to cope when times are hard.
EY also has supported me in my career so far in many other ways too. I’m keen to pursue a secondment in 2019, I’ve had conversations with my line manager and Counsellor who have been very supportive of my plans. I have also started building relationships with senior people in Melbourne, Stockholm and Amsterdam to make this happen. They’ve all been very supportive and open to having me in their team in 2019.
Having a Counsellor has been very beneficial! He is fully supportive of my aspirations and where I want to take my career at EY. My line manager is also very open, listens and offers advice on how I can push myself to expand my experience and skills as a pursuit manager. This has supported me to be successful in my career so far.
How do you feel EY empowers its people from diverse backgrounds?
At EY there is an open culture which gives people from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to take part and drive career choices by putting structure (i.e. training or networking) in place to help that individual grow within the firm.
How has working at EY helped you to be yourself?
I can totally be myself at EY – I came from another organisation who preached ‘bring your whole self to work’ but I never felt that I could. That’s not the case at EY, I can be me and I am slowly building up a network of not only colleagues but also friends within the business. People are easy to talk to and will help, if they can’t they know someone who can!
How do you feel EY has helped prepare you to make an impact in your career so far?
At EY you have access to senior leaders. In my first pursuit I worked with the COO of UK&I Assurance which was a great learning experience and baptism of fire for someone who had only been at EY for 2 weeks. There is lots of training available and I get to work on interesting pursuits. At the moment I’m travelling back and forth between London and Glasgow. This is great because I’m building my network in the London office but also in a regional office.
Outside of your client work, are you involved in any initiatives that you feel allow you to make a difference either to EY or to the wider community?
I’m involved in a number of initiatives. I’m part of the Communications team in the Mental Health Network and I am the Mental Health Network coordinator for our More London Place office. I’m also the social secretary for the UK&I Assurance pursuits team…I’m a busy busy bee!
What would you like to achieve in your career with EY?
In my career with EY, I’d like to go on a 12-18 month secondment at one of our global offices and be promoted or more in to a role that is client facing in pursuits.
Finally, what advice would you give to someone looking to join EY?
The advice I would give to new joiners, looking to join EY is to just be you! The EY culture is open, accepting, fun, varied and down to earth!