Shawn A. Pride
Principal | Financial Services–Asset Management, EY
What do you consider your greatest strength, and how do you think it benefits your business?
Focus and Determination. Along the way, I’ve faced many challenges but always stayed focused on the vision I had for myself and my career. When faced with challenges or realized the path I was on was not working, I shifted gears and dealt with obstacles proactively, determined to realize the vision I had for myself. These qualities have been the key to my success in launching a small business, and continue to propel me forward as I build a practice at EY.
How do you give back to the African American community?
The ability to build a culturally diverse and inclusive environment that reflects the broader world we live in is critical to our continued success. Whether it is mentoring or sponsoring African America leaders at EY, staying connected to my Alma Mater, Spelman College, or supporting the development of young African American professionals, I view mentoring and sponsorship as part of my responsibility to the professional African American community. Sometimes the difference between a “star” performer and someone that falls through the cracks is having access to a sponsor who is willing to invest in his or her success. I like to coach and push people to be better than they think they can be. Along the way, it shows them that the easiest path is not the one that usually causes growth.
What advice would you give to someone just beginning his or her career?
Always lead with great work; always ask yourself, “What can I do to make this better?” Always be impeccable with your word—it is the ultimate reflection of who you are. Be genuine in your interactions. Be willing to work hard, push yourself into as many learning situations as possible and be proactive about what you want and your career management.
Surround yourself with people who either reflect who you are or who you want to become. Build quality relationships and seek sponsors or others that can help you along the way, learn from their mistakes. Don’t wait until you need something to seek a mentor—network to create deep, impactful relationships that will serve you throughout your career, not only just for immediate gain or crisis.