My name is Jane Fennelly. I am a graduate consultant in the IT Advisory practice in EY Dublin. Prior to joining EY, I completed a Bachelor of Business Administration, specialising in Management Consultancy in the University of Notre Dame in the United States. I interned at EY Dublin during the summer of 2015 and immediately felt right at home here. This encouraged me to come back to join EY Advisory team full time not only because of its rapidly growing practice but because of the supportive and inclusive culture.
I received my first Irish Senior Cap in 2013, playing on three further occasions since then. My performance at last year’s event in the Federation Cup in Moldova, The World University Championships in France in November and strong results in domestic tournaments over the past year earned me a spot as the second singles player and doubles player on the team.
In the two months prior to the event, we had team training every weekend and trained individually during the working week. For me, this meant practicing early morning before work with my coach Owen Casey and other members of Fitzwilliam tennis club followed by strength and conditioning after work. This meant long days but was necessary in order to be in the best shape possible going into the tournament.
While tennis is an individual sport, when you play in team settings, it is vital that each player’s individual goals, foster ultimate team goals. Our team goals were clear and simple - to win the group and get promoted. We were very happy with the draw we got as we had avoided the two strongest teams in the tournament, South Africa and Montenegro. In our group, we drew Malta, Morocco and Uganda.
However, our first two days of competition saw us starting slow, losing narrowly to Malta and Morocco. The result in the first two matches ruled out promotion for us but we were determined to finish strong. We beat Uganda convincingly and were delighted to beat the hosts Montenegro on our final day of competition to finish in 5th place. While the ultimate result was disappointing, it was still an honour to play for my country and I was proud of our team’s resilience, fighting hard right till the very end.
My competitive tennis career is certainly not over. I will be competing in many domestic tournaments over the summer months including the Irish Close Championships and the Interprovincial tournament. I plan to continue training and improving to make myself eligible for selection for future international ties and competition. However, training at this high level while working full time is tough.
I could not do it without the support and kindness of my colleagues both on client site and within Advisory at EY. I was overwhelmed with messages of best wishes and was welcomed home to many excited faces eager to hear how I got on. I am lucky to work for a firm that supports both my career and sporting endeavours. I have been able to participate in one of the country’s finest graduate programmes whilst also pursuing tennis and for that, I am incredibly grateful.