As a female visible minority, I have dealt with my fair share of prejudice from colleagues and clients alike. I have been mistaken as a fellow Associate though I had been a Principal Consultant for some time. I have overheard my client remark that Capco sent a teenager to run the program while referring to me.
I am a career consultant with 14+ years of experience spanning Toronto and New York; almost 10 of which have been with Capco. Early in my career, I discovered a passion and interest in delivery. I focused on developing and honing my business analyst and project management skills through various wealth management projects which attracted the interest of Capco Toronto. I joined the firm as a Senior Consultant in October 2011, where my leadership of 23 consultants across the Conversion and Business Analyst teams earned me a promotion to Principal Consultant in 2013.
Shortly after, I began commuting to New York, eventually deciding to stay. I was regularly leading small teams and proving myself as a highly fungible delivery manager on projects ranging from regulatory compliance and product launches to $425 MM divestitures.
These successes led to my role as the Program Lead for Capco’s first DOL Fiduciary Rule implementation. During that time, I grew my team to 27 consultants, and secured multiple extensions. I repeated that success building out an engagement and adoption function at a Tier 1 Wealth Management firm, another first for Capco, and served as the strategy and advisory Account Manager leading 23 Capco consultants. That sustained excellence earned me a promotion to Managing Principal in 2018.
Today, I am helping a major fintech vendor deliver an upgraded platform to their client as part of a multi-year program.
Needless to say, I am neither an Associate nor a teenager. When these things happen, I always keep in mind the saying, “You can’t control other people. Only your reaction.” In the first situation, a correction and a laugh would probably have them embarrassed and they may rethink their assumptions the next time. It is better to let it go and save your energy for more important things. For the second, I have always been happy to use people underestimating me to my advantage. I have grounded my self-confidence in my self-awareness and successes; I know what I am good at and what I am capable of. Also, knowing that I do not know something or being corrected has never intimidated me or made me feel dumb. It has always just been an opportunity for learning. When I ran the first program level set meeting with the client, they were clearly impressed and may not have even realized they made it easier for me to do that!
While I would not frame my career path as advice, I am happy to share what my approach has been in the hope that it may resonate with others. My professional growth focused on the following three things over the course of my career:
- Leading by Doing: Acquiring credibility and perspective across the project delivery spectrum, from Business Analyst to Program Manager
- Fluency in Domain: Developing a deep and broad understanding of Wealth Management processes and technologies across front, middle, and back office
- Coaching for Success: Being passionate about leadership through team development — building, integrating, and motivating high-performing, cross-functional teams
Consulting provides no end of opportunity for this growth. Developing a combination of skills, expertise and coaching with diligence and patience takes time and the job is never done. Capitalize on each chance to better yourself because no one can ever take that away from you.