It was supposed to be a gap year before beginning a law degree.

But the job Suzanne Miller took at Trust Bank in 1995 to tide her over until the new academic year started took an unexpected turn.

“I started as the receptionist, followed by roles in human resources and accounts,” she says. "Then, one of the senior managers asked me what I really wanted to do. I said I wanted to be a software developer.”

That led to a junior developer role for Suzanne. Her timing was perfect. In 1996, Trust Bank merged with Australian banking giant Westpac.

What followed was a period of modernisation at the bank that presented Suzanne with plenty of opportunities to put her newfound skills into practice.

“This was still the era of COBOL (common business-oriented language, such as Java and C#), mainframes, and green screen,” she says.

“I started by working on the bank's front-end systems, developing them for the branches to use.”

She would ultimately spend 12 years at Westpac before vocationally spreading her wings. Along the way, she spent six years at Datacom, helping bring major public sector customers on to Datacom's private cloud.

The art of the possible

As a director — growth practices at Datacom, Suzanne is responsible for spotting the potential for growth in some key areas of the business, including cloud platforms, intelligent workspace services, and managed networks.

“I’m looking at what future technologies and services we invest in to help our customers move forward,” she says.

Suzanne helps combine the best technologies with Datacom’s expertise to practice what she calls the ‘art of the possible’ — figuring out what can actually be achieved for customers.

“This is the bit I most love about my job. My ultimate goal is for Datacom to move further up the value chain in IT services.”

It’s the most strategic role of her career and one that has reinforced the importance of people when driving change.

"We need to make sure that we attract and retain the right kind of people and then develop them in the right way."

Suzanne is this year finally undertaking some university study but in the area of anthropology rather than law.

“I have a real interest in people and culture, particularly in what drives our behaviour,” she says.

What I’d tell my younger self

Strong mentors have been important to Suzanne's career all the way back to her Trust Bank days, and it's something she's embracing today.

“Seek out people that you look up to and trust and ask for their advice,” she says.

“It is something I feel a responsibility to do myself, certainly in the last few years, offering that sort of mentorship to others.”

Finally, says Suzanne, it is important to remember that “good people know good people".

"So, do a great job and trust that you will be rewarded for it. You will be recommended to others. New opportunities will emerge. That’s so important to your career.”

Datacom is hiring for a range of roles. To find out how you can make the most of a career in technology with Datacom, see our latest roles.

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