December 01 2020 at 12:00AM
December 2020 | Volunteer Spotlight: Priyanka Kale
e-Blast Manager, Marketing
at the PMI San Francisco Bay Area Chapter.
What is your story?
I moved to the United States around four years ago after my wedding in India. Here, I decided to pursue my master’s degree in information technology at Golden Gate University, with an interest in project management. Earlier in my career, I worked on the operations side. In operations, I worked on various need-based projects and that is how I developed my interest in the technical aspects and core skills required for project management.
While pursuing my master’s degree at Golden Gate University, I got introduced to PMI and PMI - San Francisco Bay Area Chapter when the university co-sponsored some of the events. This is where I met Vijay. I was intrigued to know more about the chapter. Not only attending the events as a future member but I also wanted to be part of the volunteering team, to contribute to what the chapter does and giving back to the community. That is how and why I decided to become a volunteer and I have been doing this for almost a year now.
What was your first impression of the chapter and its volunteers?
It was just not about getting some tasks and you are responsible to complete them. You are celebrated for your work is and you are given kudos for all your additions to the team.
After being with the chapter for almost a year, even before attending the chapter, what I felt was everyone was supportive of you, as a candidate or even of you as a student. They were very motivating, which is why I thought maybe this is one of those platforms where I get to learn a lot about not only the project management space but also about understanding what the US job environment looks like. I got to know a lot about team collaboration, understanding different time situations, and it was quite inspiring and motivating to learn from each of my reporting managers and my peers about their backgrounds and their experiences. One thing that I always feel about being with the chapter, the volunteers do not just do work, they celebrate their work. I have seen that in one of the volunteer appreciation events that happened by the end of the year.
Outside Project Management, what are you passionate about?
Biking and music are my deep passions right now. I like singing. I learned of classical Indian music for five years. That is one of my passions. During this pandemic, I developed a passion for biking. I got a bike for myself and I do 100 miles in a month at least. Me and my husband, go on biking trips. It is a good experience since we cannot meet people during these times. We need to come up with things to entertain ourselves.
With all the challenges we faced in 2020, how are you reflecting on this year and what is your outlook for 2021?
I have been job hunting for quite a while now in 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic has added to the strenuous efforts. But I think this year, although it is a year of challenges, it is also a year of opportunities. You must come up with things or options that you have never explored or tried before. Along with looking for a new job, I think I have been utilizing this time to work on my certification and I also joined Toastmasters to work on my public speaking skill.
A lot of things went hand-in-hand in 2020. I look forward to 2021 because I have developed really good habits, earned many achievements in 2020, and I look forward to continuing to achieve more. I think with these challenges in 2020, I feel 2021 is a year of hope and enthusiasm.