From marketing to pursuits

Monique Shaw, UK

Monique Shaw has been with EY almost 4 years and is a member of the EMEIA Financial Services Strategic Pursuits Team.

Tell us about your current role. 

I am part of the EMEIA Financial Services strategic pursuits team and essentially what we do is, if you think about all of the client services in the business, we support the pursuits of the most strategically important and most valuable opportunities, specializing in financial services. For the last couple of years, I have focused exclusively on banking and capital markets as well as assurance. Prior to my current role, I was part of the global marketing team at EY. And one of the key projects that I worked on in that role was the global rebrand, so I was responsible for the rollout across EYG, EY Global. And it was through that role actually that I ended up joining my current team, which is a really great example of how networking can shape your career. And prior to that, prior to joining EY, I ran the marketing department for a Boutique Insolvency Firm.

How did you find the transition from marketing to pursuits? 

I've always really tried to focus on my strengths and transferable skills. And a lot of people, not just women, but a lot of people will focus on where their gaps are. Nobody is expected to be the finished article in every iteration, that’s impossible or there wouldn’t be room for growth and development. So, when I came into the pursuit’s team, I recognized that I did not have previous tender experience, so there was no point trying to define myself as somebody who was a tender professional because that’s not where I was. My skill set was my strong communication skills; my branding knowledge and also my existing network. So, when I joined EMEIA FSO, I brought with me my existing network from Global and also my existing network from the EY Women’s Network. I have retained those relationships and still now rely on all of the different relationships that I’ve built through my time at EY to get fast results and to connect to people. It’s important. So, I think the way that I made the transition was focusing on my strengths and being very honest about the areas that I wanted to develop, and being really open with my team and taking every opportunity to learn, so not trying to know it all.

How has your experience been with EY thus far?

Love it. I absolutely love it. I’m really lucky to work with senior leaders in our team and to have the kind of leadership that we have within the team. Our team is very much about working really, really hard as a team but also having lots of fun. And really just rolling our sleeves up and we get to enjoy the tangible outcome of winning big opportunities that can transform our brand.

Can you tell me a bit more about the EY Women’s Network and your role within this?

So the network has existed since 2008, and has grown both in volume and sophistication over the past 8 years, we now have over 3000 members. We are in regions all across the UK and Ireland, but also have reached globally through our social media channels. So we’re plugged into a lot of the conversations across the globe. And the reason we exist is to remove barriers to success for everyone. Unconscious biases, conscious biases, personal barriers to success are a number of different barriers that can prevent women having the same opportunities as men. So, we exist to help remove those, and the way that we do that includes, we run development programs.  So, we run events, we bring in an inspirational speaker to talk about different skills that can be developed from personal branding to communications, etc.  We provide access to role models, men and women. So, we run a breakfast series, where a partner director or senior manager will talk to a small group of primarily women, but also men, they are welcome. It's important to note that men are welcome at all of our events. We also run events that connect our people to their female clients and so that provides another point of conversation which is another way of having a client conversation with our clients beyond business and business conversations. And running throughout all of that is just recognizing that EY really champions attainment and achievement for everybody, and the women’s network makes it their purpose to ensure that from a gender perspective, there are no limitations.  My role within the women’s network, I started out within a couple of weeks after joining EY, just helping out with some daily news articles, using my communication skills. And over the course of the next 18 months, I took a role as the communications lead for the entire network and sat on the women’s network senior leadership team, and currently do sit on the women’s network senior leadership team. So since I already sat on the senior leadership team as someone from FSO, my responsibility turned to communications. I now sit on the team representing FSO.

What would you advice be to anyone who’s looking to get involved in networking or wanting to network more efficiently?

Be interested in people, who people are, and what they’re doing, and also often try to find ways that I can help. So I think everybody that you come across in some way, you can probably help them, inspire them, or connect them to someone. The ones that will have the best opportunities will be the ones who stand out from their peers. So, in order to stand out from their peers, they need to understand what they stand for and also be visible. So, articulate in your own personal brand and then sort of sharing it with the world through visibility networking, getting involved in other opportunities, being vocal about what they’re excited about, being interested in people, having conversations, all of those sorts of things. Those are the sorts of things that get you opportunities.

Do you think the rise of social media in this digital age has either helped or hindered our ability to efficiently network?

I don’t think it has hindered networking. I think it can be a false economy if you like, that you are networking with lots of people when really you are broadcasting your social media messages to your online network. From my perspective, nothing can replace face-to-face contact. I use Facebook purely to keep in touch with friends and family, who are all over the world. I use LinkedIn purely to ensure that I have an online presence. I think that social media can only help networking if there is a point to what you’re saying. Meaning that if you want to broadcast have a point of view. If you want share an article, have a point of view about it. If you want to share an article with a contact, give them a reason why. It’s a hugely powerful and influential media, but only when harnessed it in the right way. So being interest being interested in people, what this could do for someone and being of service.

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