Meet Katie Merelie, Senior Manager at Ernst & Young LLP (EY)

Katie Merelie is a Senior Manager in EY’s Insurance team, focussed upon Specialty and General Insurance. Katie is responsible for client relationships and developing our market view across the General and Specialty Insurance Industry. Her background is Finance consulting, but as Katie’s career has developed is has become more Technology focussed. Katie is also a keen runner and D&I advocate.

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and current role

I work in the Ernst & Young LLP insurance business development team – which means I spend time supporting our insurance clients by connecting them to what they need help with (most of which is now technology-related or has a technology spin around it).

I started my career in finance consulting through a graduate scheme and eventually decided that I wanted to broaden my experience from just looking at finance functions. I had the opportunity to undertake a secondment to our markets and business development team and loved the new role so much that I made the move permanent.

On a typical workday, how do you start your day and how does it end?

I love running, so always try to start the day with a run, gym class or a cycle – it keeps me energised and sets me up to be positive all day. My role is now hybrid and very flexible, so I split my time between the office and home depending on the priorities of the day.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

No! I used to get really anxious when people would ask me about my five-year or ten-year plans, but I’ve now realised that it doesn’t need to work like that – I have goals and aspirations, but in a way that works for me. I’ve changed teams and companies over the years to help achieve that.

What do you love about working for EY?

The variety of what we do is amazing! Talking to C-suite individuals, trade bodies, international businesses – no day is the same. It gives me the most amazing opportunity to talk to some interesting, inspirational and fun people. I never get bored!

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Have you faced any challenges along the way, and if so, how did you overcome these challenges?

Yes, I am not always the loudest in the room, and often I feel like I don’t have a seat at the table. I’ve worked on this by reaching out to people I admired and who had a similar personality to me to ask them what their approach in these situations was, and how I can develop my personal style.

Have you benefited from coaching, mentoring or the sponsorship of others?

Yes – so many people. I came to EY because I had two very good female sponsors, and I have changed teams and roles into something I really enjoy that was supported along the way by mentors, coaches and sponsors. Most of these relationships are informal, and I’ve been really lucky that I’ve happened to work with such energetic and inspirational people.

Do you believe in the power of networking? If so, where do you network?

Yes, I do (but I also dislike the word network as it can seem really scary!). I believe relationship building is important, especially in my role, but I also believe that this doesn’t have to be through traditional ‘networking events’. You have to take something you like – for me, it’s meeting clients and colleagues for runs and breakfast meetings as I am such a morning person and need to make that work for me.

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