Melissa Wilkinson

What are the highlights for you of your time at CA?

My time at Coxswain Alliance was a significant and defining moment in my professional career. I am incredibly proud to have started the company with my colleagues and be a part of its growth.

Through Coxswain Alliance I had the opportunity to work in a diverse range of industries, including some I never thought I would. I’ll never forget the projects in the resources industry, looking around shocked and in awe, wondering what on earth I was doing there! However, it was this type of experience that broadened my horizons and allowed me to learn and grow both professionally and personally.

Another highlight was collaborating with clients and supporting them in achieving their organisational and individual goals – this is why I became a consultant in the first place. I also worked with a highly competent and capable team, who I greatly admire and respect. The fact that I remain connected with my former colleagues and several clients today is an indication of the values and culture that Coxswain Alliance has fostered.


Do you have any regrets about choosing to shift career direction?  How did CA respond?

I am currently completing my psychology internship program and achieve general registration as a registered psychologist. The decision to change the careers was an extremely difficult one as I struggled to walk away from everyone and everything I knew so well. Coxswain Alliance responded with understanding and flexibility. I was able to take career break to explore my new profession in psychology, including pursuing further study. This enabled me to determine if my career shift was the right decision for me.

My experience with Coxswain Alliance honed my transferrable skills and made me more resilient. I have been able to utilise these skills and knowledge of organisations in my psychological practice, from goal setting and collaborating with clients, delivering sessions and webinars on organisational psychology topics, to structuring my own day and week.

My career shift also opened the door for others to change their role in the company and as a result, Coxswain Alliance continues grow from strength to strength.


What advice would you give to young people, women, or people from diverse backgrounds about working in consulting?

In my experience, my race, age, and gender have never been a barrier to doing the type of work I wanted to do or at least I have never allowed it to be. My advice to others would be to take the initiative, play to your strengths, and cultivate relationships with others who can be your sounding board, coach, mentor, and/or role model. Finally be your strongest advocate – trust your skills and capabilities, set clear boundaries, negotiate for what you need, and take pride in your accomplishments and what you bring to the table.

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