From Molecular Laboratory Sciences to Leading by Example: How did Sujani’s Leadership Experience with CTPA Inspire Her Work?
Sujani Ganesh is currently serving her last year as a member of the Board for the Canadian Tamil Professionals Association as the Director of Established Professionals. She stepped into the organization during a period of structural and strategic change, and rose above the challenges to deliver events that resonate. We’re thrilled for Sujani to have been a part of CTPA’s journey – here’s what she has to say about her experience.
Sujani’s Professional Journey Navigating a Career in the Sciences
Sujani is currently working at the University Health Network (MaRS) as a Research Technician with the Toronto Organ Preservation Laboratory. In addition to the technical work, she manages the day to day operations, financials as well as the molecular biology capabilities of the lab.
Sujani Ganesh graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree from the Molecular Genetics and Microbiology specialist program at the University of Toronto in 2008. She then continued on to Graduate Studies in a multidrug resistance laboratory, under the direction of Dr. Ayush Kumar, at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT).
Combining Science, Education and Writing
Upon successfully earning her Master of Science degree in 2011, she pursued her interests in education as a teaching assistant at UOIT and an instructor at Centennial College. In 2014 she was given the opportunity to design the laboratory component of a pilot course in the Medical Laboratory Science program at UOIT. The following year, she took on a number contracts to explore various scientific industries including reference diagnostics, at IDEXX Laboratories, and medical writing as a freelance medical writer.
Outside of the lab, Sujani is a competitive board game player who brings the fun to the table, and a regular attendee of fitness classes. She also enjoys interior design, baking and DIY projects.
What was her relationship with CTPA?
Having had networking play a major role in her own career, Sujani strongly believes in the mandates of CTPA. Coming on as a volunteer in 2016 and transitioning to a Director soon thereafter, Sujani was excited to play a role in the advancement of careers of among Canadian Tamil professionals.
A Quick Q & A With Sujani on Her Experience:
Tell me 3 things you gained from being a BOD for 2 years.
1) Transferrable experience and skills in a non-scientific environment – serving on the board is like being on a team of highly motivated and passionate individuals from a multitude of professional backgrounds; there is ample room to take on projects and learn/challenge yourself to grow as much as you set your sights to.
2) An impressive network of Tamil professionals – between organizing and attending events, one is exposed to quite a wide variety of professionals; both in profession as well as demographic.
3) A sense of pride and accomplishment in contributing to the tamil professional community – working with a team to plan and execute highly demanded events that create the space for professionals to come together and have powerful conversations has been a very rewarding experience
Did you see growth in your career during your two terms? If so, how do you think CTPA contributed to this?
Yes, as I mentioned, the transferrable skills and experiences is exactly what I needed to navigate some of the challenging situations that arise in the workplace. In addition to this, the personal growth that comes from leading a team also greatly helped in building a sense of confidence needed to take on greater responsibilities.
How would you describe the Directors on the Board you have worked with?
Highly motivated and reliable individuals, as I said before, it is akin to a team. Both years I got to work with an incredible set of professionals whom I am still in contact with and don’t doubt will have a relationship with for a long time to come. There is definitely a sense of family at the Sunday morning board meetings!
People must have asked you why you’re doing this (and for free). What was your motivation?
To contribute to the young tamil professional community by organizing and executing events that I felt were missing in my early career – both for a specific skill set as well as general networking. I personally gained a lot from attending various events held by the LIfe Science Career Development Society based out of the University of Toronto and wanted to bring some of what I saw there to CTPA.
What do you think is the most exciting thing CTPA has in store for the future?
Over the last two years that I served on the board I had the privilege to see the birth and execution of events that were sorely lacking in our community (Golf 2016 and Cooking 2017). I am very excited to see what we/they will think of next!
What makes CTPA different from just any community or professional organization?
CTPA has access to a broad range of professionals, allowing them to be “jack of all trades”; while still maintaining a strong sense of community such that at every event you are greeted and made to feel welcome.
And finally, what do you have to say to your successor?
Welcome to the CTPA family, buckle in as it will be a challenging but rewarding ride!