How I find balance — December 2016

Priya D’Souza keeps balance in her life thanks to her volunteer work with new immigrants.

Priya D’Souza, regulation analyst, Alberta Securities Commission, Calgary

After I completed my CA in Canada, I wanted to give back the benefit of my professional skills to the community. When I came to Canada, I had to figure out how to obtain the necessary skills and designation to continue my career. By volunteering with CPA Alberta’s foreign-trained mentorship program and the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association, I’ve been able to use my experience to help new immigrants so they don’t have to figure everything out on their own. (I’ve also served as an exam facilitator with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta and am on the board of the Calgary chapter of CPAs.) At the same time, I continue to seek career guidance from mentors. I usually have three or four meetings a week related to my volunteer work.

Volunteering has allowed me to learn a lot of skills, including leadership, meet people from various backgrounds and expand my professional network. It’s also very satisfying to see people you’ve mentored go on and succeed — that’s a wonderful feeling. I want to continue to expand my leadership and management skills, and volunteer work nicely rounds out my professional life.

To help find balance outside of work, my husband and I like to head out to the mountains and go hiking, or travel — we might take a couple of vacations a year. We also like to try out new cuisines and check out different restaurants — we share many other common interests, such as reading articles and books on business and marketing. I enjoy painting landscapes, too, although I admit, it’s been a while, and after the next week or so, it might be a bit longer before I can find the time to do so again, since we recently had a [tiny] new addition to the family.