I started my professional journey at KPMG in Canada over 10 years ago and moved to the UK on what I thought would be a two-year audit secondment. Nearly eight years later I’m still here and I’ve developed a passion for London and a passion for transport!
I’ve been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to move geographies and change career path within the same company and have met many amazing people and mentors along the way. Particular highlights have been getting a call from a client to say they had been awarded a rail franchise that I had spent a number of intense months supporting, experiencing a flight simulator on a visit to an airline training and engineering facility as part of my business development role, and seeing my mentee get promoted to Manager this year.
What does your current job involve?
Helping clients (mainly transport operators or public sector transport bodies) grow or improve their business through financial excellence – this could range from helping clients better understand and optimise their cost base to supporting clients looking at acquiring a business or entering a new market.
Have you been involved in any major transport projects that you would like to tell us about?
There have been many exciting and challenging transport projects over the past few years including helping clients to shape their global expansion strategies in the rail, bus and ferry transport markets and supporting clients on three winning rail franchise bids in the last four years.
How did you become involved in the transport industry?
I’d have to say that the transport industry found me rather than the other way around. I was looking for a career change after four or so years as an auditor and moved into our consultancy practice. The first project I was assigned to was supporting a client bidding for a UK rail franchise and the rest is history!
What do you like about working in transport?
The transport industry is complex but ultimately can simplify our daily lives. I find it interesting and challenging to help clients deal with the complexity from a professional perspective and at the same time see the impact from a personal perspective.
How did you get to join Women in Transport?
I joined Women in Transport as a member when I started working in the transport sector as an opportunity to expand my network.
What is your role at Women in Transport?
I sit on the Memberships team as a project manager. Our aim is to raise awareness about the organisation and the many benefits of becoming a member.
What are you most proud of?
Completing the National Three Peaks Challenge in 2017 with eleven colleagues was a big personal achievement. Nothing like 24 hours in a cramped mini-bus or racing up a mountain to foster team building! From a professional perspective, I would say that completing my Chartered Accountant designation was a very proud moment for me, especially as I didn’t necessarily follow the most straightforward path to get there.
What would your advice be to women interested in roles like yours?
In the early stages of my career, I was generally open to taking on new roles or projects that weren’t necessarily in my area of expertise and this led to a number of really interesting career opportunities. It has also helped me build a strong and wide network which I can now leverage when there are specific opportunities that I am looking for. So my advice would be to say “yes!” or put yourself forward for opportunities, even if you are not 100 per cent certain.
How should we encourage young people to pursue a career in transport?
Giving young people exposure to relevant and strong role models in the sector is a great way to attract the next generation of talent. I have certainly benefited from having great role models and mentors and hope that I am providing the same value to my mentees.