Vinoth Vykunthan: Interview with the Director of Emerging Professionals

Single Goal in Mind: Creating Value for Emerging Professionals

Vinoth Vykunthan just completed his last year as a member of the Board for the Canadian Tamil Professionals Association as the Director of Emerging Professionals in 2017. His passion to uplift the community’s gap in professional development and creating opportunities for aspiring professionals has been the driving force during his tenure.

From Bay Street to Motivating Young Professionals

Vinoth recently joined the high yield team at TD Asset Management(TDAM), one of Canada’s largest money managers. Prior to TDAM, he worked for Moody’s Corporation, a leading provider of credit ratings and research, where he worked on over $50 billion in debt transactions, analyzed companies in various industries and met C-Suite executives for some of North America’s largest corporations. Outside of work, Vinoth enjoys being active, and plays in a recreational basketball league.  He also enjoys exploring different restaurants across the city and watching foreign films and documentaries. 

A Quick Q & A With Vinoth on His Experience:

Tell us 3 things you gained from being a BOD for 2 years.

New relationships. As a member of the 2017 BOD, I had the pleasure of serving with a group of ambitious, young professionals, who have a genuine interest in moving the organization forward. We had an environment where it was easy to discuss ideas and build friendships, as we were aligned in our common goal to make the organization better than how we received it. Working on the board, you not only form relationships with the Directors, but also the team of volunteers, the keynote speakers, CTPA members and event attendees. It’s not hard to form new relationships when you are part of a team that fosters good ideas and organizes great events.

Diverse Network. Most of the new connections you build in your career are with colleagues at your company, in your industry or the clients you serve. CTPA gave me an opportunity to build relationships with people outside of those groups and from a plethora of industries and fields. Given that most of us can expect to change careers at least once during our lifetime and work for multiple companies, it’s always good to have a diverse network.

Optimism about the future. When you have talented, determined, young professionals working together to drive the community forward, you can’t help but be optimistic about the future. This year, we attracted hundreds of new faces to our organization through various marketing efforts, events, workshops and community outreach. In a community where mostly grey-haired men are dictating the direction of the community, the rise of young men and women from various backgrounds is a welcoming sight.

Tell us something you lost from being a BOD for 2 years.

Sunday ball runs. #ballislife

Did you see growth in your career during your two terms? If so, how do you think CTPA contributed to this?

Yes, I learned to manage people and organize events. Having sole responsibility of managing a specific portfolio, gave me an opportunity to plan and organize workshops in a team setting, with a single goal in mind: creating value. In my day job, I’m an Analyst, which is heavily independent work, with rare reliance on other stakeholders. This role, highly contrasted my day job and allowed me to develop a different skill set.

How would you describe the Directors on the Board you have worked with?

Young and High Caliber. We had a strong board, where each Director took their portfolios seriously and accomplished a great deal in the last year. Their energy and focus was infectious, which motivated me to do my part. I’m looking forward to fostering the relationships we built over the last year and seeing what all the directors achieve in their careers in the years to come.

People must have asked you why you’re doing this (and for free). What was your motivation?

Two degrees of separation. We are a relatively small community, where every Canadian-Tamil is probably 1 or 2 degrees of separations from each other, and 3 or 4 degrees of separations from the most influential people in the world, given some of the great success stories we hear about the diaspora community across all fields. Strengthening the community, strengthens the value of our networks.

What do you think is the most exciting thing CTPA has in store for the future?

A platform to grow. The most exciting thing about CTPA, is that it has a great platform to grow the organization and change the lives of many professionals over time. There are a lot of great young volunteers around the organization, who believe in the organization’s mission. This will help propel CTPA to higher levels.

What makes CTPA different from just any community or professional organization?

CTPA fills a void. Most community organizations typically do not address the needs of working professionals. Most professional organizations are niche to specific fields and do not provide network diversity (people from other fields) or organize non-industry related events. CTPA operates in a sweet spot, catering to the needs of the community and working professionals. It’s also worth noting, that CTPA is an inclusive organization and our events and membership is always open to members outside of the community.

And finally, what do you have to say to your successor?

Set Goals early. Be clear in what you want to accomplish and make sure it aligns to CTPA’s mandate. Understand your demographic and cater the event accordingly.

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