In this installment of Women Who Wow, learn more about Suzanne Koch, the Director of Engagement Solutions at Fulcrum GT. Suzanne is an experienced legal finance and financial systems technology strategist.
I met Suzanne at the LMA P3 Conference a few years ago when she came to a social media program that I gave. We then sat together at a group lunch, and we had such a lovely conversation. We’ve kept in touch through LinkedIn – of course! Another testament to how social media can help you build relationships long after you meet someone in-person who is from another part of the country.
I hope you enjoy getting to know Suzanne.
Which woman most inspires you and why?
Barrier breaking women such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Kamala Harris are definitely an inspiration to me. But the women who inspire me the most are the ones in my tribe; the women who I witness daily pushing themselves to be better or making the world a better place. I have friends who have bravely left a physically and mentally abusive relationship and learned to stand on their own. Friends who actively fight against the social injustices that have been plaguing our nation for so long. Women who have found a voice in politics and are pushing for change. When I see these women in action, it makes me want to be a better person. I want them to be as proud of me as I am of them.
Why did you choose your profession?
This one is a little embarrassing. I chose accounting because I flunked out of college chem. I thought I wanted to be a pharmacist (because I enjoyed an internship at a pharmacy in high school). Turns out, I’m terrible with chemistry and what I really enjoyed about that internship was counting out the pills.
But I love the accounting profession and have never regretted this career. I started at an international manufacturing company that allowed me to move from Iowa to Chicago, IL. Once in Chicago, I moved into legal. I’m blessed to have worked at several fantastic law firms meeting great people along the way, had the ability to travel internationally, and have been mentored by some very supportive men and women.
Because of the opportunities in legal (and a slightly more extroverted personality than most accountants) my focus has changed from debits and credits to operations management and business development. And I love this next chapter in my profession and the growth that I’m experiencing.
Any advice to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
The best advice that I ever received was to act with confidence. That doesn’t mean that you can’t ask questions or ask for help. It simply means to rely on your experience and your knowledge. Don’t second guess yourself.
The second piece of advice that I’d give is to ask for what you want. No one can read your mind and the worst thing that can happen is to hear “no.” And the third piece of advice, don’t stay in a job that makes you miserable. I recently read this quote and love it “We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” Don’t waste your life being miserable in a job.