1. Tell us a bit about yourself
Rewind to before I became a Six-figure earner by the age of 24, a Manager at a Big 4 Consulting firm at the age of 25, and virtually tripled my salary within a year, I was just a girl with a dream.
I grew up in London, England and moved to the United States when I was 15 or 16, still going through puberty and had just graduated Secondary School (or as they say here high school). I took a gap year, then started Uni, became a National LSAMP/STEM Scholar as well as the Director of Marketing & PR for the organization, was elected the Senator for American Minority within Student Government and graduated at 20 or 21 years old with a Bachelors degree in Business/Management Information Systems.
I then decided to move back to England to get my Masters degree which was from Cass Business School, one of the top business schools in Europe and one of the very best in the world. My Masters degree was in Marketing Strategy & Innovation and whilst I was there, I was on the board of directors for multiple professional associates, I worked with numerous fortune 500 companies including Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, Louis Vuitton, etc.
Since then, I’ve moved back to the United States where my career has been focused on Business Architecture and Analysis and have worked in the industry for 7+ years. I have since worked at several reputable companies and I currently work as a Manager within the Global Data & Analytics team at Deloitte, the #1 and largest “Big Four” professional services firm in the world by revenue.
Having achieved much career success and helped a few friends to do the same, I decided to become a Career Coach/Strategist. I help professionals who are unhappy their jobs (or just want a career change) learn to become the perfect candidate for their dream job so they can have a sense of purpose, get a salary increase, network with ease, and enjoy waking up to go to work each day.
With the help of our dynamic and success-driven community, Strategic Career Success, our pioneering career success strategies, and coaching programs, Sophia Duchess & Associates has helped numerous professionals to create a unique success-driven strategic career path. Building a career that’s set for prolonged growth, career advancements, insane monetary perks, freedom, passion, and happiness they’ve been dreaming about.
Learn More about me here.
2. What was your first job and how did you get it?
Well, technically it was a volunteer gig but I still consider it a job. I used to be an Academic Tutor when I was in Uni completing my Bachelors degree, I tutored at the University, Adult and Commuter Student Affairs Learning Centre. It was at the Learning Centre, Adult and Commuter Student Affairs Center. I tutored a variety of subjects including, Statistics, Finance, Algebra & Applied Calculus, and Information Technology & Systems.
I’d meet with students on a daily basis to provide learning assistance. I remember my first student, I was incredibly nervous because I was good as school, but I wasn’t a teacher so I was terrified that I’d suck at teaching others. Fast forward after the first few lessons, and several recommendations later, I had become a pro at teaching others how to be successful.
3. How did you decide and get to your career today?
I have a Business and IT background, but I didn't always know what I wanted to be. I shuffled through a few declarations in university, and it took me quite some time to identify what I was truly passionate about. I quite literally moved between several degrees. At one point, I was an Accounting Major, an art major, a psychology major, a music major, you name it. Well, except Science because it just wouldn't work and I don't particularly like it.
Because of my background in business, having had parents that specialized in that field and introduced me to the industry, I decided to go that route. But despite not knowing what career I wanted, I'd always had a thing for technology, and I knew I wanted to stay in business as I had the knowledge and had developed an entrepreneurial mindset. Hence, I chose a career that was a bridge between the two disciplines so I could still use my technical expertise as well as my business savvy to help companies reach their strategic goals.
I still work full-time at my corporate job because I love what I do, but I also have my Career Coaching business which I am incredibly passionate about because I want to help other corporate professionals achieve the same career success and more with the passion and purpose for what they do. 261 days a year, we’re expected to go to work and I believe that life would be easier if we all genuinely enjoyed waking up to face those 261 days per year. In order to do that, we need to work in our dream role for our dream employer as well as have the passion & purpose for what we do.
4. What advice would you have given your younger self? Or what is the best career advice you have ever received?
This is a tough one, but I’d tell myself “take a minute to enjoy it all”. I’m a Driver, a type A personality and I’m always wanting to achieve something. Not to brag or anything, but through sheer hard work and resiliency, I’ve achieved an incredible amount for someone my age: secondary/high school graduate at 15, Uni graduate at 20, masters holder at 22, six-figure earner and so much more. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt, it is that time flies, never to be recalled. I can’t get any of those moments back, and because of who I am (always wanting to achieve something), I never really got to enjoy each of those moments.
So, my advice to my younger self: Stop, take a breath, take it all in, enjoy it and be proud”. Time is fleeting.
5. In 5 years, where do you hope to be professionally and personally?
Personally, I’d hope to have learned my 4th language and travelled to 10 more countries. For me, life without travelling is a life without colour. I enjoy experiencing different cultures whilst building relationships with its’ people, I believe it makes me a multi-faceted/dimensional person who is cultured with experiences to share. I’ve travelled to 20+ cities so far and several countries so I hope to add more to the list.
Professionally, I want to increase the impact my Career Coaching business has on the lives of people all over the world. I want to inspire more people and support them on their journey to achieving career success. Success is hard work and definitely not for the faint of heart. I want more professionals to feel secure in their careers, to feel inspired every day because of the true passion they feel, and I want more professionals to earn the salaries that they are worth based on the value that they offer to their employers. My goal is to continue to increase the impact my business has on the careers of corporate professionals, to give them the jobs/careers that they crave, the passion & purpose that they long for, and the salaries that they are worth.
Stay connected with Sophia!
Coaching Program: Strategic Career Success Program