As a boy I always wanted to be an electrical engineer, but fate stepped in. Soon after completing secondary school, I was employed to perform bookkeeping duties at Rumphi Education Aids Project, a non-governmental organisation set up by my maths teacher Merv Michalyshen and his wife Sonia. I was pinpointed for this job due to my love for mathematics.

I was hard-working and achieved the good grades required to study for the electrical engineering degree. However, under the university quota system in place at the time for selection to public universities in Malawi, I was obliged to follow another course.

The change of direction awakened the accountant in me and the ACCA Qualification provided a launching pad for a career I never dreamt of. In 2008 I joined Deloitte as an audit associate in Blantyre and instantly knew that it would provide me with multiple career opportunities. After 12 years, including a secondment of nearly two years in Johannesburg, South Africa, I became a partner earlier this year.

Making partner at Deloitte has been one of my biggest achievements so far. It feels good to be part of this great family of experts and advisers.

My parents had a huge influence on my life and career. My dad always pushed me to focus on education, and ensured that I had the necessary resources such as books. The influence of my mother, a teacher and later an education administrator, cannot be understated.

My failure to study the programme I worked hard for awakened the accountant in me and ACCA provided a launching pad to a career I never dreamt of

During audits I was fascinated by IT environments. I took a decision to study for the Certified Information Systems Auditor qualification, which challenged me to think differently and this, combined with my ACCA Qualification, has propelled my career.

My secondment to South Africa took me out of my comfort zone. The role focused on audit technical, an aspect of the practice that was new to me. From a technical perspective, it stretched my knowledge of systems of quality control, causal-factor analysis and interpretation of International Standards on Auditing.

The first few months were quite difficult. However, my director believed in me and that transformed me. It was an unforgettable experience and I gained priceless knowledge. The experience also put to the test my skills as a critical thinker and public speaker.

I really enjoy meeting people from diverse backgrounds and having productive discussions. My job allows me to interact with directors and C-suite executives, where I get advice and learn from the best. It is fascinating to listen to a range of views and be part of discussions that transform businesses.

I also enjoy nurturing young accountants. It’s intriguing to watch them grow in our firm and leave to become corporate leaders.

If I weren’t an accountant, I would have been an electrical engineer, or a computer scientist. In my spare time I enjoy travelling, jogging, golfing and hiking.