Tell us about your educational background
I completed a double degree in Design and Innovation (Interior Design & Creative Intelligence and Innovation) at the University of Technology. The interior design space is very competitive and the majority of the projects are led by architects. As a result, I focused on the innovation aspect of my degree as it had some emphasis towards technology which I was really interested in.
Why did you decide to join FDM?
I always knew that I wanted a career within the tech space, but I was afraid that I didn't have enough qualifications and training to pursue it. I came across FDM and saw that they provided technical training and deployed their consultants to work on-site with their industry-leading clients. It was my FDM training and own perseverance that allowed me to build that bridge of opportunity to work in the world of technology.
What challenges did you encounter during the training? How did you deal with it?
Coming from a non-tech and non-STEM background, it was hard to keep up with my peers who were already equipped with a certain level of technical skills. I found myself constantly comparing my abilities to other trainees in my class and I really struggled with seeing how I fit into the role. I expressed my doubt to my trainer and he set up meetings with the account manager who interviewed me so I could hear first-hand why I was picked for the program. With the support from my trainers, peers and account managers, I was able to overcome my self-doubt and achieve so much more than I could’ve imagined. Overall, I definitely went through a few hurdles with learning the content and process, but it prompted me to become more independent, to work harder and collaborate with my peer who was experiencing the same difficulty.
What are your responsibilities on client site?
My role as a Technology Migration and Integration Consultant at KPMG involves data migration for various clients which includes moving data from legacy systems to their new systems or helping with mergers and acquisitions. I am currently involved in a very large migration project where I handle the reconciliation of data, so I essentially help to make sure that the data that we are migrating matches the source systems from KPMG's clients.
What is the highlight of your role?
My team consists of other senior FDM consultants which creates a sense of familiarity and community, which I find to be great in my role. Another highlight of my role is the autonomy I am given. I really enjoy being allocated a section of work to build on or reconcile and being able to work through it at my own pace. I am then able to combine it with my team’s work and see how it fits into the bigger picture.
It is truly rewarding to work with such large clients where I get to contribute to the development of real-life projects and see them come to life. There are so many opportunities to continue to learn and grow, which is something that I find valuable and important in my work. It’s definitely a highlight to be at a company that has such an emphasis on accountability, self-improvement and skill development.
What advice do you have for others with a non-STEM background pursuing a career in tech?
Find elements or transferrable skills that are present in the roles that you can build on. Identifying and improving these skills will give you an upper-hand and a point of differentiation from others. With multidisciplinary teams becoming more common and important, it is paramount that you acknowledge the value that you bring to the table and to be confident.
When you come from a different background, you bring with you a host of skills and knowledge that can be translated in different ways in the STEM world. For me, it is knowing how to work closely with and communicating well with clients, as well as my people skills, making sure that what we are doing is aligned with their needs and requirements.
Working hard is essential but enjoying the learning experiences along the way is equally as important. Find and understand what your passion in STEM is so that you don’t lose focus or give up too easily.