Wind back the clock six years, you would find me, like many, in a job I fell into out of university. I joined an electronics company on their graduate scheme and found myself selling lighting and as I used to say at the time to amp up the glamour…’lighting up people’s worlds’.

At the time I recognised that I’d reached a ceiling – the next step was sales management, which wasn’t for me. So, what did I like doing? I liked working shoulder-to-shoulder with clients, solving their biggest business challenges and I found technology, all aspects of it, fascinating.

A colleague and Big 4-alumni suggested Technology Advisory. But there was a catch. I could tell you chapter and verse about LEDs, but I had no real technology or consultancy experience to speak of. Like many, I’d also applied to the Big 4 (and then some) graduate schemes after university without any success. Not disheartened, I leant on my network to help make connections. When invited to interview I sold the merits of a junior candidate with sales experience – the rest I could ‘easily’ learn. Before I knew it, I was a Technology Sourcing SME at KPMG. I took a big step back in terms of level and compensation at a time when my peer group were starting to progress in their respective roles.

Had you asked me on my first day where my technology and KPMG career would take me, I’d probably have said I was just happy to get a foot in the door. But, in six years, I’ve been promoted twice. I led a multi-million-pound network sourcing engagement for a multinational retailer. I helped design the new technology organisation at KPMG, creating a growth engine with an integrated technology capability of more than 1,500 people. On my return from maternity last May, I became the COO for our Powered business, focused on tech-enabled business transformation.

My latest bold move is to become the Strategy and Growth lead for our Technology Alliances practice, which enables up to 1/3 of the UK Consulting business. I’m responsible for developing and assisting the execution of our plan to grow our alliances business and I’m also the Alliance Lead for SailPoint, one of KPMG UK’s primary cyber alliances.

Not bad for a former lighting sales specialist.