Heather Rondorf, EY Americas Experienced & Executive Recruiting Director, is here to remind you that Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) is more than a financial services firm. For her, it has been the unique place where she “drives the bus” of her career — taking risks and seeking out opportunities to grow her career — while still having the time and space to practice mindfulness (and play lots of golf).
Heather shared with us the most interesting and rewarding aspects of working at EY US, where she draws her inspiration from, and the books she can’t put down. Then, she gave us her best piece of job search advice.
What’s the most unique or interesting aspect of your job?
I lead a team of more than 200 exceptionally talented recruiters who fuel growth and help transform the EY workforce.
What’s something you think most people (perhaps even current employees) don’t know about your company that you think they should?
Our identity, historically, has been tied to our deep finance and accounting experience. When they learn the vast array of business issues we are helping our clients solve, and the variety of work our people can pursue, their response usually is, “Wow — I didn’t know EY did that.”
For example, we have:
More than 7,000 data and analytics practitioners, with more than 2,000 data scientists
Invested more than $500 million in analytics capabilities
More than 1,100 robots working for us, both internally in our back offices but also in our services for clients
At work, what’s something you’re especially good at?
I learned early on in my career to surround myself with really smart people and learn from them! Over the years, I have honed my listening skills — mainly with the objective of understanding my colleagues’ strengths, their points of view and their aspirations, so I can find some way in my role to help them test their ideas, gain experiences and grow.
What about outside of work?
My hobby of choice is golf — I’ve been playing since age 5 and played competitively in college. Being on the golf course is my happy place, and it doesn’t hurt that most of my male friends ask me to give them lessons!
What are you trying to improve on?
One of my colleagues recently encouraged me to study mindfulness, as she is becoming a certified trainer. Life pulls me in so many directions. I find myself reacting to one thing, then the next. I have been really trying to “be present” at work and at home — practicing being in the moment and giving my full attention to the person or the project in front of me. It does take practice! So far, so good. I feel better about my personal interactions and find I have more energy to dedicate to myself and others throughout the day.
What do you love most about your job or your company?
After working here for almost 20 years, I am grateful to have built lifelong friendships with my colleagues, who are truly supportive, caring, trusting and nurturing. I feel respected and cared for as an individual. EY US is a special place — I am proud to work for this company.
What makes EY a great place to work for women, what are some of the challenges?
I have always operated with the mindset that “I drive my own bus.” I am always taking risks to push myself to learn, and seek out opportunities that I want to help grow my career. The EY environment has afforded me the opportunity to do that — I don’t feel I’ve ever had the same job year after year. I’ve also had to make my aspirations known and work hard to seek out mentors and sponsors who will advocate for me along the way. Women who take this approach will find that they have wonderful opportunities to evolve and grow.
In addition, we also provide a wide range of benefits that empower our people to engage fully at work and in their personal life. Beyond the typical benefits like medical, dental and paid time off, we offer our people:
16 weeks of parental leave for all primary caregivers
Paid time off for personal/family care
A variety of health, wellness and quality of life benefits like work flexibility, mental health and stress-related support, and reimbursements for health club fees, classes or exercise equipment
Advanced reproductive technologies and adoption assistance
Benefits for same and opposite-sex domestic partners
Learning, development and coaching resources
What’s your No. 1 piece of advice for women who are looking for jobs right now?
Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself — telling your mentors or sponsors what you want in a new role and why you want it is critical. Ask for what you want, back it up with a fact-based rationale and don’t sell yourself short!
Who is/was the most influential person in your life and why?
Hands down, my father. He had an amazing career as an attorney. From when I was very young, he encouraged my competitive spirit, taught me how to work hard and set goals, and pushed me to “think big.”
He also advocated for hiring and promoting women in the legal profession — even at times when that was not the norm. In the early days of his career, my father lived in Washington, DC, and worked as a law clerk for Sandra Day O’Connor, who eventually became the first woman Justice to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. I believe his experience working with Justice O’Connor helped shape his passion for mentoring and sponsoring women to achieve their aspirations in what was, at the time, a male-dominated profession. Since then, so many women ― especially myself ― have been helped and inspired by my dad.
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