The Heart of Bucks ‘Inspiring Buckinghamshire’ series gives local people from a range of sectors a chance to share their knowledge and insights to help inspire others.
Here we are speaking with Karma Almosawi, Finance Director of Alcom IT.
Tell us about yourself and your connection to Buckinghamshire.
Born in High Wycombe and Aylesbury based for 25 years, I am a true Bucks girl through and through!
My husband and I formed our IT Support company Alcom IT back in 1998 in Chesham. Now based in Aylesbury we currently have 12 members of staff, all who live in Buckinghamshire too. Having originally started as customer services/front of house for Alcom, I soon discovered a love for all things financial too. I retrained and took my accountancy qualifications in my 30’s.
Helping people is also a huge part of my life so later this year I hope to pick up the books again – this time studying Counselling.
As a business Alcom IT are very proud to support a number of local charities in the area too. Giving both our time and financial support feels like the perfect duo.
What personal achievements are you most proud of?
I do a great deal of voluntary work in the Cancer Support sector. Part of this is through my role in a local community support group; Breast Friends. I also act as a Patient Voice throughout the wider Cancer Community through local hospital trusts and Macmillan.
In a throwback to my pre Alcom life as a Careers Consultant, I also take Alcom on the road to local Career Fairs when I can. I feel it’s very important to showcase all careers within the IT Sector and to support students where we can on their journey.
What are some of the challenges you have faced, and how have you overcome them?
Professionally, I’ve had the challenge of being a female in a very male dominated industry. When we opened our first computer shop in Chesham, customers would look straight past me and try to find a ‘male’ to direct ask their IT questions to. This used to infuriate me so I made it my mission to learn as much technical lingo as I could. In those early days I got to the point where I could even fault diagnosis issues. Now that my role is heavily Finance based and much more behind the scenes, I do miss those days of happily proving that it’s not just men that work in IT!
Personally, trying to work through my cancer treatment was a bit of a challenge at times. I had to learn to re-frame my thoughts. Instead of thinking ‘I’m too tired for this’ I tried to think ‘I’m so lucky to still be here to do this’ instead. I won’t lie though, running payroll right after Chemo was an interesting time!
What is the best advice you have ever received?
I’ve found advice comes through in many forms – something a friend says to you, something you might read in a book or via social media or something you may even hear on TV.
There always seems to be some gem that makes its way to you when you least expect it but need it the most.
But if I had to pick one above all others it would be to “always look for the positives”. You may have to dig very, very deep to do so but it really can help during those darker times in life. A close second would be “learn to laugh at yourself”. This comes in very handy if you are an absolute klutz like I am!
What is your greatest hope for the future for Buckinghamshire?
I absolutely LOVE living in Buckinghamshire and feel very privileged to have the Chilterns on my doorstep. However, the road infrastructure is awful in places. I’d love to see this improved so that those passing through Bucks fall in love with the county too, rather than cursing us for our traffic jams!
One of my greatest hopes is that Buckinghamshire can keep it’s beautifully rich historical ties as we move through the decades.
Find out more about Alcom IT here.
Read more of our Inspiring Buckinghamshire interviews here.