I’m not so narcissistic to toot my proverbial horn all that often, but this is good stuff: I won a writing contest. A contest with a cash prize. Yay me.

My beginnings as a writer

I’ll suppose that I can add “award-winning” before “published” before “writer” as I flagrantly market myself.

The contest was sponsored by my company and centered the entries around the theme of “Best Days.”  And mine goes a little like this:

With my first EY anniversary coming up, it’s with a retrospective eye that I look back at my best days, of which there’ve been quite a few.

Twenty days after I started with Ernst & Young on 09.09.09, I found myself working on my first global SCORE editing project. Football meets finance is a fine example of solid EY writing, and it — despite being in draft form — really impressed me. As an editor, getting a project across my desk already at that level of quality … Quality … was welcome.

The fact that soccer was the subject matter of the piece made it all the more enjoyable, pictures and all! I’ve played since I was 5, and my son plays now. Getting to go home that day and tell him what I was working on was fun, and he seemed to dig it.

On a somewhat personal note, some advice I got later that afternoon really motivated me in my new role. I had the chance to interview Oscar Suarez for an FTEE-themed article I was writing for Connections. At the end of the questions and answers, he asked me how I was doing a few weeks into the firm. I replied that I was enjoying it, and making headway in learning the EY voice. His reply was refreshing and unexpected when he said to remember that EY wants to hear my voice as well.

After the talk, I began flowing the parlance into prose, motivated not only by those words, but also the fact that I had the opportunity to write, a passion close to my heart. Oscar’s advice stays with me to this day.

Packing up as 6 o’clock closed in, I made my final preparations to travel the next day to Cleveland, where I would train with my fellow copy editor — and soon to be pal — Scott Chapski.

A full day, yes, but it was one I don’t think I’ll soon forget.