Diversity Ambassador Reflection: Sehajdeep Singh
My tenure as Diversity Ambassador started with Red River College, with almost two months already into the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a rather unprecedented start to 2020. While already trying to adjust to the new normal, I could see the greater opportunity to give back to the community and being involved in the changes which were essentially going to become THE new normal that we all are a part of now. I have always looked forward to social service, volunteering, promoting diversity, learning about different cultures and religious backgrounds. Becoming a Diversity Ambassador with Red River College, gave me great opportunity to experience the same.
Reflecting on my tenure as a Diversity Ambassador, I can’t thank Red River College enough for this opportunity. I have great reverence for the experiences that I gathered during this tenure which were not only learning about Canadian culture but also integrating in it. It was more about giving back to the community, being an integral part of the culture, providing a helping hand for someone who is new to the country, organizing virtual events as a host and even representing the college for a national conference. All the experiences throughout last year, I truly feel I have become more receptive, empathetic, and humble towards diversity in many areas including ethnicities, ideas, appearances, genders and beliefs. My greatest takeaway has been that, ideas come naturally to life and solutions are easier to find in an environment where Diversity and Inclusion are imperatives. It takes so much to produce good and meaningful work, and it all becomes so easy with the help of a diverse team. I am very thankful for the support from my fellow Diversity Ambassadors.
With everything virtual and as oxymoronic as it may appear, addressing a greater audience felt like being out of my comfort zone, while still being in my comfort zone. I felt out of my comfort zone because I was living through my fear of being in the spotlight on a stage. Since it was a virtual event, not actually being on the stage was making me feel a little more comfortable, hence that kept me inside the comfort zone. Now I feel more confident in large audiences for presentations and speeches. Taking my public speaking experience to another level was when I got the opportunity to represent Red River College for the “Perspective Live Video Session” organized by Colleges and Institutes Canada, Ottawa. In this session I spoke about all the college resources that I personally have used and are very helpful to get access to as an international student. Managing the volunteering hours with studies as well as work has contributed significantly towards my time management skills. I feel great, reflecting on how I have learned to manage my time for work meetings as well as hosting college events.
As an aspiring Project Manager/Product Manager professional I understand that communication and change management form an essential part of such jobs. I learnt that leading through an open conversation while being receptive to diverse point of views and making everyone feel included is very important. Such conversations/discussions lead to a better solution and having everybody on the same page becomes frictionless. I have always wanted to experience this firsthand, and I am glad I was able to be part of such meetings and discussions. I even feel more comfortable and confident to start conversations or take the lead in group discussions which is a big win for my leadership aspirations.
All these experiences have contributed greatly towards my personal as well as professional aspirations and I hope it will help me better fit in my coming up professional life. Throughout my tenure, I got the opportunity to put across my ideas and work on them under the esteemed guidance of Norman Umali, Vera Godavari, and Norlan Page. I look forward to passing on the ideas which I think will be great for student engagement as well as helping the new students to break the ice amongst their peers.