Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and brought up in India in a very progressive family that valued education. When I finished high school, I received a scholarship to study abroad. My fascination with the Russian language led me to Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine. This university was well known for philology and language studies. In Kyiv, I finished my Master of Arts and Philology degree, with a specialization in Russian language. Being fluent in three languages created an opportunity for me to explore Europe and fortunately I managed to secure a job in London, England, where I worked as an interpreter for an export and import company. It was a great learning opportunity for me. I learned a lot about the business world. While I was working in London, I saw an advertisement about Canada as “The best place to study and live.” Something about that poster struck me and I could not get it off my mind: I started to do research about Canada and got enchanted by the descriptions of Rocky Mountains and country’s natural beauty. Based on my work experience as an interpreter, I qualified for immigrating to Canada as a skilled professional.
After submitting my documents to immigrate to Canada, I found out that my immigration process could take two to three years. I saw this as an opportunity to learn about Canada and its culture by being a student in Canada. I applied to various universities but ended up choosing the University of Lethbridge for a management degree. Back then the Dhillon School of business was just the Faculty of Management. The late Dr. Kate Chiste hired me as her research assistant in my very first semester. Due to my work as a research assistant, I ended up spending a lot of time in the library which I loved: the building was beautiful and the friendly staff members all made me feel welcome and supported. I soon picked up a second job as a student library assistant. I graduated in 2005 and by then my immigration papers had also been approved. I began to consider full-time employment, and I saw the library as a great option. I obtained my Library and Information Technician Diploma online through Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario. Shortly after obtaining my diploma, a job posting came up: I applied and got a full-time position working as a library operations specialist.
Within five years of moving to Canada, I had graduated with a management degree from ULethbridge, had two jobs on campus as a student employee, obtained my library diploma, had a permanent full-time position in the Library, and had met the love of my life, my husband Tony!
How long have you been at ULethbridge and what do you do here?
This year, I will complete my 15th year working for the library. My job title is Library Operations Specialist. Over the years, I have fulfilled multiple roles in this position: cataloguing, acquisitions, reference services helping students to make a sense of their research assignments, and of course library outreach working with our international students. For the past couple of years, I have gained a specialized skill set by doing some permissions work for the copyright office at the library. Over the years, I have learned a lot from our students and from my talented colleagues. Fifteen years later I can proudly say Ancora Impora “I am still learning.” In addition to my work in the library, l have been teaching for the Modern Language Department as a summer sessional instructor since 2019. I am very grateful for all the opportunities to make a difference on campus and contribute to our students' success in their academic journey.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is helping our students, staff, and faculty members with their information needs. I love meeting students from various backgrounds and various disciplines and understanding their different perspectives towards information literacy. Working with the University community and seeing the positive impact on our students is the most rewarding part of my job!
Our students are our future. The more we focus on helping them to become informed citizens and teaching them how to navigate accurate and inaccurate information, the better our society will be. I am very proud of our University’s core values of liberal education that prepare our students for our complex, diverse, and ever-changing world.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
For Tony and me, our family is very important, and we love spending family time together. We have two daughters aged 12 and seven. As a family, we do Taekwondo year round. During the winter we skate together. In summer, we look forward to our camping, hiking and picnicking expeditions. Tony and I met at the University while we were students here. We met in the Latin and Ballroom dance class and we keep our love for the ballroom dances alive by throwing an occasional concert for our girls. Our girls love to watch us do our waltz routine!