19 years at EY

Celebrating nineteen years at EY, Liz Maguire, Learning Development and Coaching Lead, talks to us about her career journey to date.

Tell us a bit more about yourself.

I am from Ireland and have one child, his name is Pádraic and he’s nine. I’ve been back home in Ireland for eight years now. I worked in London, at EY, for 11 years prior to that. To date, I’ve been with EY for 19 years. On the more personal side. I really like walking and reading. I also like to catch up with friends on the weekends. However, I do find that challenging with my busy work schedule, but I really do commit to making the effort. In addition, an active nine-year old keeps me quite busy. He’s a very active nine-year old who quite happily tells me that, “mummy, you haven’t been home this week,” if I have been travelling, which only makes me want to make more time for him in my life.

If you were a movie character, who would you be and why?

This is a bit of an odd one but I would probably say Piglet. He’s always been the person who’s there for his friend, kind of behind the scenes, pushing ahead and on occasions conquering his fears!

What would be the one thing that makes you get out of bed and come to work every morning?

My true motivator is my family. My husband is a stay-at-home dad, meaning I am the breadwinner, and wanting to make my family proud is what gets me out of bed in the morning.

What would be your top tips for someone who’s about to start their career at EY?

Be authentic and reach for the stars, because everything’s within your control.

Tell us more about your background.

My story starts with me leaving school and going to college. Once I had finished, there was a real downturn in Ireland. With that in mind, I came to the UK to get work experience at a printing company - plus I had family in London as well. In that role, I worked my way up from the admin support right up to the EA of the managing director. After three years, I decided it was time to go back home. There I spent the next nine years working in various different companies in temporary roles. After a few different jobs back home, I decided I wanted to return to the UK. This is when I interviewed with EY, and chose to work here mainly because of the link they had to back home in Dublin. My first role at EY was in UKI. Shortly after joining the firm I moved into a resourcing role.

After two years, I moved into a Financial Services (FS) manager role. I always say FS was the catalyst to my career because they believed in me, they gave me the opportunity, and actually supported my career development, which were three really important things for me in my career. In 2007, I moved into a more talent-focused role to manage what’s now the Advisory graduate programme. In 2010, I had the opportunity to move back home and head up the FS HR function.  I was the FS HR lead in Ireland up until 2016. I felt that I had taken this role as far as I could and felt it needed fresh perspective. I also really wanted to specialise in leadership development and coaching which is where I am today. In my current role, I lead the FS EMEIA leadership development and coaching team. It is a busy, challenging but very enjoyable role. I'm fortunate that I get to work with some very dynamic people. 

If people had said to me, you’re going to work for a company like EY, I probably wouldn’t have believed them. However, I'm a true believer that if people offer you great opportunities, grasp them whilst you can. I was very fortunate to work under some amazing people in all my roles and I’ve had to work hard to get to where I am today. I have taken ownership of my career and really happy with the result so far.

What do you absolutely love about your role now?

I love to see people grow and develop. I love being part of their career journeys and seeing people getting promoted. I also love to see the teams at EY grow. I really enjoy the interaction I get to have with people at all levels, regardless of their service line or sector and regardless of their immediate role. It’s a very different organisation from when I joined 19 years ago, and I like that I have been able to be a part of that EY journey.


What's made you stay at EY for 19 years?

I get asked that a lot actually. Nineteen years is a long time. This sounds a bit cheesy, but honestly it is the people and the opportunities. I am someone who, after a few years, is ready for something different. And the fact that I can move around within EY is something I value a lot. I get the opportunity to try new roles, meet new people and create my own career path.

You need to own your career. You have to take responsibility and understand what you want to achieve in life. The EY values, around respect and team, integrity, courage to lead, are very aligned to my own values. And I know that everybody can say organisations’ values are very similar, but for me EY truly lives them. I wouldn’t want to work in an organisation that makes me feel inadequate or makes me feel undervalued or that I'm not part of something.