Jo Aleh, EY Advisory

EY Australia

I come from a rather different background to most people here at our office in Auckland – well actually, different to most people at EY! I was an Olympic athlete for twelve years prior to beginning my EY journey late last year as a Manager in the Performance Improvement team within Advisory.

I’m frequently asked by other sailors and people from the sporting world about what I do here at EY, and to be honest, most days are different! Last year, my typical day was spent at a dairy factory wearing a hairnet, orange jumpsuit and gumboots, observing and coaching a team on a business improvement system for their cream cheese line. Whereas the last few weeks has involved much more time in the office working on a benefits scoping project that I have on the go, and various internal meetings with colleagues in my area.

I enjoy getting out and about to client meetings and when I am in the office I try to meet at least two new people each week who work in areas that I’m interested in. I am happy to report that no one has ever replied to my request for a coffee catch-up with a ‘no’!

My transition from professional athlete to EY has certainly been a big change and I am enjoying the challenge and new opportunities. I see this first year as a chance to learn what interests me, and what sort of direction I want to take with my career. Unlike most lateral hires, I don’t come with a stock standard industry background with a directly applicable skillset ready to go, I have to pave my own way in terms of finding the speciality that best suits and interests me as well as our clients. This variety and ability to constantly meet new people is part of what I enjoy most about life at EY.

I am still actively involved in sailing. This year alone, I have coached New Zealand teams in Spain, Germany, Denmark and Japan at World Cup and World Championship events. I also have responsibilities as a committee member of World Sailing, the world governing body for the sport of sailing, and was required to attend meetings in the US and the UK. EY makes it possible for me to take time away from work and give back to the sport that I competed in for 12 years. With this experience, together with my new experiences at EY, I look forward to seeing how my career continues to take shape.

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