The past two years have been full of change – and growth. My journey with Vantage Point began having been out of the workforce as well as living abroad for many years. Living in East Africa shaped who I am today and my ability to interact with others is directly informed by my experiences as a South Asian and Canadian woman. During my time in Tanzania, I developed friendships with families from all over the globe – South Africa, Malaysia, India, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates – and this made me more aware of global affairs as it impacted people around me. The local Tanzanian culture showed me the importance of a strong and united family unit where members depend on one another through hardships and elders are highly respected. Learning Kenyan, Tanzanian, Indian, and Canadian culture fueled a desire in me to connect with and appreciate the people around me. These experiences have enriched me and when I came across Vantage Point’s philosophy for embracing diversity and building bridges and capacity, I knew this was the right place for me!
I started out as the Administrative Coordinator and have since expanded my role to become the Executive Coordinator taking on more challenges and learning new skills. What I enjoy most is the variety of tasks that comes my way, for example, scheduling Executive Director’s meetings, bookkeeping, and supporting the board as Corporate Secretary as well as supporting our People Manager. My first few weeks at Vantage Point were challenging as I got familiar with the new software and will forever be grateful for the patience and support from the team.
I see Vantage Point as a leader in capacity building, and as someone who was looking to develop new skills, this was particularly important to me. The pandemic resulted in a lot of changes where I was challenged to develop new skills as we all shifted to working remotely. I had to quickly adapt to Zoom meetings, learn new software to digitize our accounting processes, and even managed to organize our very first virtual Annual General Meeting!
After living abroad and returning to work, the COVID-19 pandemic brought challenges and changes and although this can all be daunting, I have found that if we embrace it, change can be very fulfilling. Like Mount Kilimanjaro – it’s a tough climb but the view is worth it. Vantage Point is all about embracing these challenges, and together as a team, we are able to achieve new heights. It reminds me of the African proverb, “If you want to travel fast, go alone, but if you want to travel far, go together.”
Shemin brings a positive outlook, sense of curiosity, and attention to detail to Vantage Point. As a people person and continuous learner, Shemin is happy to be among a team of passionate people supporting the not-for-profit sector. As Executive Coordinator, Shemin provides key support to the team in coordinating the administrative tasks for Vantage Point’s accounting and financial management. She also acts as a corporate secretary to the Board of Directors and as executive assistant to the Executive Director.
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