Dawn de Villiers moved from South Africa to Dublin to work with our Financial Services Consulting practice – read her experiences here, or watch her short video at this end of this post.
I’m a big believer in upskilling. Constantly learning and developing or improving your skills is so important, and a career in consulting is a great way to do that.
I’ve always worked in financial services, and I have a lot of core banking experience. I started my career with a South African bank in 1991. I worked in a number of different positions before moving into consulting with EY Financial Services in Johannesburg. My focus was on digital banking.
I always wanted to live and work abroad, and that was part of the attraction of working for EY. I spoke about global opportunities with my partner and he advised me to apply for the mobility programme. This allows you to move from country to country to work on secondment for a number of years.
Moving to Ireland was a great decision for me. Ireland is going through a fantastic transformation in banking, and working with the Irish banks is going to be an exciting time.
I found the transition so easy. There is a lot you have to do when you first arrive and I got so much help and support. I really enjoy the culture here. It’s very friendly and completely supportive. My team is made up of an amazing bunch of people. I’ve met, worked with and made friends with people from all over – from the US, from Brazil, from Poland and from Ireland of course. People ask me about living in Ireland; I always tell them, I’ve found where I belong.
My role depends on what my financial services clients need. At the moment I’m working as a project manager on an enterprise change project for a large bank. I’m based full-time on the client site but I do come into the office regularly for training and meetings, which keeps you very connected. There are monthly breakfast sessions with the partners, as well as regular meetings and forums for project managers. We share ideas and discuss where we’re at and where we’re going. It’s important to network, and there are also regular social events and functions.
I’d encourage anyone interested in a career in consulting to just do it. You won’t go wrong. You’re guaranteed to be challenged, to learn something new and to constantly develop your skills. EY gives you so many opportunities to learn and develop. There are training sessions every month, there are web learning programmes, and I have also completed a virtual degree. With the rapid changes and digital transformation, you’ve got to stay ahead of it.
If you are interested in a career with EY Financial Services Ireland, browse our current vacancies here.