Kinjal Jethalal

Associate, Tampa, FL

As a first-generation engineering student, I never considered employment by one of the Big Four. I didn’t even know what consulting was. When people say, ‘Big Four’ to an engineer, we think Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Apple.

Teamwork vs. individual work

Fresh from studying computer science, I worked as a software developer. My work was solitary, narrowly focused, and highly technical. When I joined KPMG as a campus hire following the completion of my cybersecurity graduate degree, I was introduced to a new world of human interaction and project work that covered a large spectrum of responsibilities. I still use my coding skills but have developed skills far beyond that. I find working with a team to understand the root cause of a client problem, collaborating with team members on potential fixes, and finally executing the solution—a major and welcomed—mind shift.

Cybersecurity: More than guys in hoodies

I have always been passionate about making tech more diverse. Whether that diversity comes in race, gender, age, sexual orientation, neurodiversity, or anything else, it impacts who you are and your point of view. It should be celebrated. That diversity of thought is to the benefit of the client, the firm, and individual careers.

I’m working with the Women in Cyber to launch a pilot recruiting program conducted at ethnically diverse universities. We’re planning in-person events at these schools to encourage students from a variety of educational backgrounds to consider a career in cyber. When an all-female recruiting team shows up on your campus, it sends a message. And that message is that everyone is welcomed in cybersecurity; it’s not just for guys in hoodies.

Giving back to the community

I’ve always been a big reader, and likely due to that, a strong writer. I recently published my first KPMG blog on continuous monitoring of controls to reduce risk. I thoroughly enjoyed doing the research and challenging myself to turn what could potentially have been a dry subject into one that’s more story-like to capture the reader’s attention. The blog was well-received and has spurred my interest in contributing more thought leadership to the KPMG community.

Outside of work, I’m part of a data literacy program. The program is designed to teach technical skills around analyzing and presenting data. At the end of the program credentialed data professionals utilize these skills to help advance the mission of a nonprofit organization pro-bono. We help the nonprofit derive meaningful and actionable insight into their data.

I’ve benefited greatly from the generosity of others, and the best way I know to acknowledge my gratitude is to pay it forward.