EY Manager: To Emerge Stronger Professionally, Veterans Should Employ the Same Resilience Learned While Serving

Ben Bing, Manager in EY's Advisory services practice, talks about how he applies what he learned as a Naval aviator to his role at EY.

Ben Bing is a Manager in EY's Advisory services practice and based in the firm's New York City office. Prior to joining EY, he was an Officer in the United States Navy, where he spent 11 years as a Naval Aviator and staff officer. Ben is currently on a one year U.S. Navy Reserve mobilization at the United States Central Command Headquarters in Tampa, Fla., where he is working in the Operations Directorate as a Joint Fires Element Planner. He earned his B.A. in history from the University of North Florida and is expected to earn a MBA from the Keenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in the Spring of 2018.


  1. What tips would you give to other veterans looking to enter the professional services industry?

Whether someone served four or 24 years in the military, transitioning from active-duty to a professional services firm career will be a challenge in many ways. My tips would be:

• Build your résumé to articulate past roles and responsibilities that easily translate to the civilian world.

• Take advantage of veteran-focused hiring and networking events sponsored by the organization you're interested in to establish contact with the right recruiters. Most professional services firms, like EY, have recruiters that specialize in hiring veterans. Seek out these specific individuals!

• Prepare to interview in a concise manner that demonstrates your capabilities through practical examples from your military career. Explain how you worked with diverse groups or how you led a team to success on a specific task or job.

• Once you join an organization, be ready to operate outside of your comfort zone and meet other veteran colleagues to learn more about how to best succeed in your new role and within the organization — don't forget, they went through the same process you did!

As veterans, we possess strong leadership skills that we honed during numerous overseas tours or deployments, which can help us succeed in the professional services industry. However, veterans tend to lack industry or firm-specific subject matter, so it's important for them to aggressively aim to learn the business and job responsibilities. Patience is essential during this learning process, but as long as veteran professionals employ the same resilience learned while serving, they'll emerge stronger professionally.

  1. What are some key skills you learned in the military that have helped you succeed in your current role?

The two most applicable skills I learned were how to bring order to chaos and the ability to make decisive decisions in challenging situations. As a Navy EP-3E Aircraft Commander (Pilot-in-Command), I had final decision authority for safety of flight onboard a 24-person, multi-engine reconnaissance aircraft. We tirelessly trained to pilot the aircraft safely, perform during emergency situations and make authoritative decisions. The ability to be decisive has routinely applied to my current role at EY.

Service members are too often dropped into highly chaotic situations with little guidance and are expected to achieve results immediately. This situation is so common during a military career that it is essentially considered normal. I honed my ability to bring order to chaos while serving in the Navy and have adapted this skill to help plan, organize and prioritize projects in my current role and with my teams.

  1. What tips would you give to veteran professionals in terms of looking for a mentor or sponsor?

Take advantage of all resources at your disposal. Numerous non-profit organizations exist to help veterans connect with mentors and sponsors. Find the right organization and allow them connect you with a mentor or sponsor. Use LinkedIn to build your professional network and be confident when requesting connections and reach out to people you might not know. Most will be excited to assist a transitioning veteran. Lastly, within your organization, attend as many networking events as you can and ask your managers about new assignments that you're interested in or would like to learn more about. Through internal networking, you may be able to find a mentor or sponsor within your organization as well.

Middle-market Companies Seizing Growth by Embracing AI, Diverse Talent Pools and Sweeping Regulation Over Next 12 Months

EY survey shows 87% of middle-market companies plan revenue growth of more than 6% this year, significantly outpacing GDP forecasts

Originally Published by EY.

Middle-market companies across the globe are significantly more optimistic about business conditions and opportunities than last year, according to the findings of the annual EY Growth Barometer released at the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Forum. Growth prospects for all major economies are finally improving in 2018, with International Monetary Fund GDP forecasts currently at 3.9% for the year. Amid this positive background, business leaders are bullish about revenue growth.

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Regulatory Complexity is the Greatest Barrier to Widespread Blockchain Adoption, While Regulatory Changes are the Primary Driver of Broader Integration, According to EY Poll

Organizations are making an active effort to integrate blockchain into their business functions as they look to reap the benefits of the technology, with 60% expecting the financial/professional services industry to see the most blockchain breakthroughs in the next two years.

Originally Published by EY.

Regulatory complexity is having a significant impact on widespread blockchain adoption, according to an EY poll of senior professionals who attended the EY Global Blockchain Summit in New York. Sixty one percent see regulatory complexity as the biggest barrier to widespread adoption, followed by integration with legacy technology (51%) and a lack of general understanding of blockchain's capabilities (49%).

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Originally Published by National Organization on Disability.

On November 1st, the National Organization on Disability held our Corporate Leadership Council Fall Luncheon and Roundtable. Hosted at Sony's New York offices, the event centered on the topic of mental health in the workplace.

Members of our Board of Directors and executives from nearly 40 companies held a candid conversation, heard from business leaders, and participated in an insightful Q&A where successful strategies were discussed to accommodate and support employees with mental illness in the workplace.

"Mental illness is the single biggest cause of disability worldwide," said Craig Kramer, a panelist at the event and Chair of Johnson & Johnson's Global Campaign on Mental Health. "One out of four people will have a clinically diagnosable mental illness at some point in their lives," he continued. Another 20 to 25% of the population will be caregivers to loved ones with a mental illness.

The costs are staggering. "In the coming decades, mental illness will account for more than half of the economic burden of all chronic diseases, more than cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases combined…. It's trillions of dollars," said Kramer.

From an employer's perspective, the need for a successful strategy to deal with mental illness in the workplace is clear. But what are the most effective ways to confront this challenge? Roundtable participants discussed a wide range of ideas and success stories aimed at de-stigmatizing mental health and incorporating the issue into wider conversations around talent, productivity, and inclusion.

6 KEY TAKEAWAYS ON MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE:

  1. Be empathetic. "The most important workplace practice [with respect to mental health] is empathy," said NOD President Carol Glazer. Empathy is critical for normalizing conversations about mental health, but also for maximizing productivity. "A feeling of psychological safety is important," said Lori Golden, a panelist and Abilities Strategy Leader for Ernst & Young; and this sense of safety requires the empathy of colleagues to flourish.
  2. Tell stories. "Nothing is more activating of empathy than for people to share their powerful stories," said Dr. Ronald Copeland, NOD Board member and Senior Vice President of National Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Policy and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Kaiser Permanente. Copeland's organization partners with the renowned nonprofit, Story Corps, to capture the stories of Kaiser Permanente employees, and also provides a platform on the company intranet for employees to communicate in a safe space. Both Craig Kramer and Lori Golden also shared examples of how their companies provide opportunities to share their stories and "start the conversation, break the silence," as Kramer put it.
  3. Model from the top. Carol Glazer received a standing ovation at the luncheon for her account of her own experiences with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This type of executive-level modeling sends a powerful message that a company is committed to improving mental health for all employees. Lori Golden shared how EY had experienced great success with a program where top-level managers host office-specific events and share stories of mental illness or addiction that they are personally connected to – either about their colleagues or loved ones or, in a surprisingly high number of instances, about themselves. Senior leadership setting the example conveys that this is a forum in which employees can feel comfortable sharing.
  4. Communicate peer-to-peer. "We all know that there's greater trust of our own peers than there is of the organization," said Lori Golden. So to build trust, EY "took it to the grass roots," creating formal opportunities for employees to have conversations about mental health and asking other ERGs to co-sponsor these events. Craig Kramer also noted that Johnson & Johnson had simply folded mental health issues into their global disability ERGs, eventually building the world's second-largest mental health ERG by piggy-backing on existing infrastructure and leveraging existing connections.
  5. Be flexible. Accommodating [the fact that people live busy, complex lives] gets you better buy-in…and keeps production pretty high," suggested Dr. Copeland. A representative from one Council company concurred, explaining how their company has recently instituted a new policy of paid time off for caregivers on top of federally-funded leave. "Being in a culture in which we measure what you produce and not whether you show up in person all day, every day, and where if you can't be there, you negotiate how the deliverables will get done and in what time frame…is immensely helpful to people who themselves have mental illness issues or addiction or are caring for those who do and may need some flexibility," summarized Lori Golden.
  6. Build a trustworthy Employee Action Plan. Many employees do not access or even trust their organization's internal resources. According to Craig Kramer, the percentage of calls placed to most company Employee Action Plans (EAPs) regarding mental health is "in the low single digits," while "if you look at your drug spend, you'll find that around 50% is [related to] mental health." The people answering those calls must be trained in mental health issues, and employees also need to be assured that EAPs are truly confidential.

While revealing and accommodating mental illness remains a massive challenge in the workplace and beyond, a number of successful strategies are emerging for tackling this challenge – many of them pioneered by companies in NOD's Corporate Leadership Council.

EY: Women CEOs’ Growth Ambitions Significantly Outpacing the Market, Despite Their Ongoing Challenges in Accessing Capital

The EY survey, based on views of CEOs from middle-market companies across the globe, showed that this optimism is in line with improving business conditions internationally.

Originally Published by EY.
  • 30% of female-led companies are targeting growth of more than 15% in next 12 months, compared with just 5% among rest of market
  • 52% of women-led companies have no access to external funding, compared to 30% of male-led companies
  • 17% of respondents think that access to capital is the biggest barrier to growth

Despite encountering more obstacles to accessing capital, female-run businesses are targeting more ambitious growth margins than male-led companies, according to the EY survey Is the x chromosome the x factor for business leadership?, unveiled at the EY Entrepreneurial Winning WomenTM Asia-Pacific and Japan conference this week in Tokyo. The survey, based on views of CEOs from middle-market companies across the globe, showed that this optimism is in line with improving business conditions internationally.

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Here’s How Trump and Obama Honored Memorial Day

Veterans group calls Trump's tweet "the most inappropriate" Memorial Day remarks from a president.

President Donald “Cadet Bone Spurs" Trump and his predecessor sent very different messages on Twitter in light of Memorial Day.

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