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Community Building, BD & Strategy for EY

Corporate initiatives to foster business relationships among the EY's employees, and Go To Market strategies for various EY departments; shaping of new EY Advisory services and centres for innovation; recruitment and talent retention strategies for EY; bids responses to requests for proposals (RfPs)

Our Consultant who worked on this project: Cristina


Cristina prepared a strategy and a delivery phased plan to retain more EY summer interns from Teach First into ACP roles (Advisory Consulting Program employees of the EY graduate scheme in management consulting. To be retained, the summer interns had to re-apply and pass the selection to become employees the year after).
Cristina also participated in the bi-monthly meetings for this EY initiative, where the participants brainstormed ideas about possible improvements of this already great initiative, and a core team including Cristina was trained for running competency-based interviews for the next year's intake of summer interns from Teach First. She was scheduled to interview 6 candidates and was also trained - as all the other candidates - in bias awareness, interviewees's evaluation and answers scoring.
This initiative was excellently led by Michelle Gifford and Alex Tunnicliff during Cristina’s first 12 months at EY.


Cristina supported this Go To Market marketing initiative for the infrastructure and capital projects consulting sector, helping the senior manager Joanna Magee and the director Vince Fihosy with on-demand assignments.
Initially, Cristina had to identify EY internal meetings open to external guests, and also external events, that could attract senior decision makers who worked in the infrastructure and capital project sector. She prepared a calendar with the date and times of these opportunities, to make sure the EY consultants working for that industry were aware of the events and could schedule time to attend and foster business relationships.

In the second part of the year, she also supported the writing of papers about this industry by conducting some subject matter research about its present and future trends and forecasts. She also researched the strengths and weaknesses of various software used to project manage infrastructure and construction mega projects, considering the various project management aspects that each software could best manage at each project phase, from conception and initiation to planning, execution, monitoring and project close.


This Go To Market piece of work for EY growth in the area of infrastructure advisory consulting for Government and Public Sector clients (GPS) was focused on how to best present to these EY clients the EY offer in infrastructure advisory, targeting the sub-sectors of Transport, Power and Utilities, Social Infrastructure and Defence, served by the EY Government & Public Sector (GPS) and Energy & Infrastructure (E&A) sector units of EY UK & Ireland Advisory Services. The first step in this initiative was to prepare a pitch book to inform new potential clients about EY’s decades of consulting expertise in advising those sub sectors across the entire lifecycle of big infrastructure projects, helping them with program and portfolio management and processes optimization, thanks to a collaboration between the Transaction Advisory Services and the Performance Improvement Services of EY Advisory UK&I. The pitch book also identified trends and challenges, to show to the clients EY’s understanding of their industry and pain points.
Cristina had to help define more sector challenges and the EY value proposition, building upon the work she had already done in this space for the Commercial Due Diligence of a construction company which had several projects with EY GPS clients.
She also had to identify potential new clients to contact, or clients who had already been in talks with EY and had not yet closed a sale. To do this, Cristina used the EY Global Information System (GIS), a 'knowledge repository and knowledge management platform', as a main source of information, and the EY Client Look Up, another platform to track sales and build a sales pipeline, with forecasted sales values weighted according to the likelihood of closing the open sales interactions. Cristina also prepared a road map and timeline for this initiative, which was led by Claire Handby and Juanjo Perojo (both Partners at Deloitte for the last few years).


Cristina coordinated and led a group of 10 colleagues for 1 year, to produce 9 out of 12 publications of the EY monthly ACP Newsletter, digitally distributed also to the EY UK&I leadership (the other 3 out of 10 yearly issues were coordinated by her colleague Saavan Thakrar when Cristina was on annual leave).

She project managed the initiative and provided guidance to all her EY collaborators, who then guided secondary participants to complete their columns, enabling everyone to rely on her support when they were not sure about how to proceed, or if they faced some challenge;
she engaged the team in discussions to propose new columns and features, implemented these, innovating the newsletter and creating a sense of community also among the team, which resulted in 3 new features on all 9 newsletter issues which she led, some regular and some as 'special edition' sections;
She encouraged and expressed gratitude for the great work each collaborator contributed, energising and motivating the team (according to their written feedback), and making sure their good work was recognised;
She optimised the cost and time production, achieving a 500% productivity increase, as the newsletter went from being biannual to being monthly, with production cost reduced to zero;
She received very positive written feedback by the team members, and by various readers who expressed appreciation for the revitalised, more varied and content-rich newsletter;
She also led development of a SharePoint page to feature all the past editions and describe the initiative to future graduates who would have to substitute the columnists and editors after one year, in order to rotate the roles;
She promoted in person the initiative at the training for the new graduates' intake, to find additional columnists and collaborators during her 12 months as an editor;
She made sure the work of all team members was visible to the EY Advisory leadership, by publishing the names and profiles of all the collaborator on each newsletter and on the dedicated page on the ACP Share Point;
She delivered all issues on time and met the expected high standards;
She fostered a sense of community also among all the ACP hires, as the newsletter focused on them, enabling the graduates to know more about each other on a professional and personal level, knowing also on which project their colleagues were working and in which cities they were based when on client site, sharing also the type of work for which they were accountable or responsible in their projects, to raise awareness about the roles of the ACPs across the firm.


Cristina curated the "Thought Leadership" column on the monthly EY Growth Newsletter, distributed to the Corporate Strategy and Customer Strategy EY employees in EY UK&I Advisory, and to the leadership of these advisory departments (called the Grow community). To do this, Cristina liaised with senior colleagues working in those consulting capabilities who could write articles about relevant topics for their working area. She timely sourced in this way at least 4 articles per month for the column she was responsible to curate. Occasionally she contributed also to other columns, such as the coverage of some EY events for the Grow Community. In one instance, she used the ah-hoc article she had to write about the annual Grow meet-up event as an opportunity to acknowledge the authors of the work that was presented by her colleagues, as at the event, for lack of time, the work was attributed only to the presenters, without giving visibility to all contributors (which included also the herself and another ACP, and the 5 other EY colleagues they coordinated for a Grow piece of work).


As a collaborator for the Customer Strategy department’s Go To Market, Cristina had to help to shape the strategy and methodology definition for delivering engagements in this consulting capability in a more consistent way to all clients across industries and sectors. To do this, Cristina had to analyse a multitude of relevant precedents of work delivered to the EY clients in the past. She had to identify the common delivery steps for a few types of engagements that had previously been delivered in this area, and she produced a proposed consistent delivery methodology to shape and pitch future engagements of the same type. Cristina also engaged and added value in conversations to innovate the EY Customer Strategy advisory practice Go To Market channel strategy.


As part of the initiatives to create a sense of community across advisory sectors, and across consulting capabilities business units, Cristina actively participated in monthly events (such as the “All hands call” for the programme management capability and energy and assets sector) and in quarterly meetings (such as those for the Oil & Gas sector and for the supply chain and operations consulting capability, as well as the Growth community meetings called “Quac”). These meetings were an occasion to network with other colleagues across departments and were also an opportunity to be updated about each department's commercial and performance KPIs, acquired and prospective new clients in the sales pipeline, trends in the type of projects most in demand, and challenges to face. Cristina also participated in weekly to EY-wide Faith network meetings.


Cristina also supported for a few weeks the shaping of the EY PPC 4i: a new offer to Go To Market for the EY Programme Management consulting capability and Infrastructure sector.

The creation of this new EY service offer was led by the Director Vince Finhosy and was meant to function as a repository of knowledge and EY capabilities, in order to best serve its client and add more value when helping them to deliver large transformation programs, aligning teams and projects in a unique platform, enabled by cloud technology. As part of this, Cristina mostly had to produce some research and slide decks, as assigned (while working also on a EY’s JV project for other EY Partners and Directors).


Finally, Cristina provided ad-hoc support also on the production of responses to clients’ requests for proposals (RfP) which were delivered in the form of bids or scope of work (SoW). Clients for which she collaborated on bids production included GSK, Aramco, BT.


What People Say

All 30 written comments regarding Cristina's work are evidenced in writing by their original MS Outlook files and a S.A.R. received via email, archived in its original delivery email.

“As a project manager Cristina has consistently worked at Senior Consultant level.

She has managed the rollout of our biggest process improvement project.

The training guide she produced for the process improvement project was excellent and will be a key enabler for the transition phase.

I have been particularly impressed with her analytical skills and her ability to break problems down into key components and identify workable solutions.

Her briefings have been well researched and to a very high standard.”

— Stuart Bourn, Managing Director at Ernst & Young LLP


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