Susan grew up in Forres and went to St Andrews University, obtaining a first-class honours degree in Applied Maths. She then worked with both an accountancy firm and then Grampian Health Board whilst completing a qualification as a Certified Chartered Accountant (FCCA). She then joined a large oil company in Aberdeen, working in a variety of roles and finding the time to also get married and have three children. Subsequently, she worked in the London and Hague offices in global Internal Audit, developing and rolling out a worldwide risk policy and guidelines and a set of common internal audit standards. She finished up as Governance and Risk Advisor to the global tax function. She obtained a further qualification as a tax advisor (ATII).
When not working, Susan's main interest is music, beginning with piano lessons and playing the flute in the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and other local music groups. At St Andrews she joined the university orchestra. She then progressed to playing the harp and Clarsach, competing in the Mod. She also played in a local ceilidh band for some years. She has been an elder of the Church of Scotland and the organist for Birse & Feughside Church for the last 27 years. As part of this church role she runs a small church choir and a large and very popular ukulele group.