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Advice to my younger self
London partner Emmie Jones reflects on her career

Emmie Jones is a partner in our London Private Equity team. Here she reflects on what she wishes her younger self had known.

Be true to yourself
I've felt pressure to fit someone else's ideal of what a Private Equity partner should be and how they should act. I realised that you can define success on your own terms. I don't have to change who I am.

Being amongst other female partners and leaders matters
The area that I work in is still male-dominated. But that's changing. When there are multiple female partners, our views and our personalities can't be taken to represent all women. There's a lot of pressure to speak for everyone when you're in a real minority.

Being part of a growing firm is exciting
One of the things that appealed to me about White & Case is the fact that it's a Firm that's on an exciting growth trajectory. We have a clear vision about where we want to be and that makes for a dynamic environment.

Diversity really matters to our clients
It's not just a box-ticking exercise. It's also about mirroring our clients' own diversity. I can spend many hours every day on the phone to my client when I'm working on their deal. Everyone prefers interacting with people they feel they can relate to.

Networking goes beyond your personal circle
I'm Chair of Alliance, the White & Case women's network in London, and I've always been proactive in networking with other women, especially in the small world of Private Equity. I've learned that it's not just the people that you meet personally that can ultimately help you develop new business. As your contacts change jobs and have different experiences, they can offer advice, make introductions and share their networks with you.

If you feel that you don't fit in, change your situation
As a hard-working associate, it's difficult to maintain perspective on what success looks like for you personally. Ultimately, if you find yourself feeling that you don't fit in, you're not the problem. Make the changes you need in order to find an environment where you feel comfortable.

Go your own way
There's a lot of pressure in the run-up to making partner. It felt like I was being pushed and tested almost to breaking point. When I did get there, I realised that fundamentally some aspects of the job would not change, but I was in a position to make different choices about what I really wanted. Ultimately, that's why I decided to come to White & Case.

Mentoring takes many forms
What matters is that you feel heard and valued. Going for coffee with someone and helping them feel involved with the team and the wider Firm counts more than dispensing occasional words of wisdom.

I'm a role model for my son
Associates often ask me for advice about having a career and family. There's no perfect solution. You just have to do your best. As you become more senior, you have more control of your diary. I want to be a good role model for my son and show him that both men and women can have important jobs. Besides, if I didn't work, I would be bored and miserable.

Office life is changing
One thing that the coronavirus crisis has shown is that it's possible to do your job away from the office. I am sure this will ultimately impact how we think about work, everything from office space to how we use technology and tools. But there will always be value in meeting people face-to-face too.

Working in the City of London will never get old
I can't imagine working anywhere else. It's exciting, it's the hub of so much activity and it's where many of our clients are. Having said that, we really encourage associates to go on overseas secondments. We're a global business, and spending time on the ground in other cities is a real advantage.

Find out more about career opportunities in London