I am often asked about how I transitioned from a music teacher to a Data Privacy and Compliance Leader. Reflecting on my journey over the last 15 years, I have realized that it’s the same strengths that I demonstrated as a music teacher that have contributed to my success in the high tech sector. One of the lessons I learned is trying to turn weaknesses into strengths doesn’t work for me. Focusing on my core strengths regardless of which sector I work in is what enables me to achieve my best results. I encourage you to do the same as too often we don’t focus enough on our strengths and what sets us apart. Here’s what’s worked for me:

When I was visiting in San Francisco 15 years ago, I had barely touched a computer. I had not planned on an intense career transition when I went to a BrassRing recruiting event.   And, in fact if I had thought too much about it and the potential hurdles I could have faced, I may have never made the transition.   It was my storytelling skills that convinced my first employer that my skills were transferable to the high tech sector and worth sponsoring an employment visa for. The power of storytelling in a business setting is often under estimated. Sometimes technologists are so focused on the technology implementation that they often overlook the story that connects their audience with the technology.

I am very creative and pair very well with technologists to come up with new concepts and implement them in the marketplace. In general, business innovation benefits from a multi-disciplinary approach and people with different skill sets and personalities. Today, many companies and universities create multi-disciplinary teams to spur on innovation.

I have a strong memory. This has helped me in working on compliance cross mapping and streamlining the compliance landscape. By being able to recall duplication across different compliance frameworks, standards and regulations and I have been able to better focus on areas of harmonization, which in turn the industry has greatly benefited from.

How do you let your uniqueness shine? I am keen to hear your stories.


Evelyn de Souza

Cloud Data Governance Leader

Chief Technology and Architecture Office