We're gearing up for Beyond Pink 2012, and we're doing a throwback interview with one of our co-chairs from 2009! Read on to learn more about Jithmi Lokuge - an interview by Darya Niknamian. I had the opportunity to sit down with Jithmi and I didn’t want our conversation to end. I learned a lot from her and have started a bucket list as a result. Take a moment to get to know Jithmi and her involvement with YWiB; it may inspire you to try something new.
Getting to Know Jithmi
Jithmi is the only person I have ever met who lived in Brunei and who has also met some really cool people including Queen Latifah, Steve Nash, and Wayne Gretzky. She completed her BComm at UBC and is currently working as a project manager in an all male company – you go girl! She has seen Michael Jackson live in concert, danced in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympics, and has bungee jumped... twice, somersaulting in mid air the second time around!
Involvement with YWiB
Jithmi first heard about the organization from two of her friends, the founders of Young Women in Business. Knowing how great they are, she had no doubts about the success of the organization. Relating to the vision and values of YWiB and attending Beyond Pink 2008 drove Jithmi to get involved as the co-chair for Beyond Pink 2009. Looking back at her experience she told me that “YWIB is like an alma mater, they have done too much for me to walk away.”
Jithmi – “one of the biggest lessons I learned from the Beyond Pink conference was saying no.”
Working full time, volunteering and making time for friends and family will fill up your day! YWiB taught Jithmi how to control her ambitions, and it sometimes requires saying “no” in order to lead a balanced life. Another big takeaway was having to work in groups and interacting with people of different personalities. We all work and communicate differently and volunteering as a co-chair at Beyond Pink exposed Jithmi to various scenarios. This has helped her in her current role working with professionals in many different fields. She also mentioned that “patience, chocolate and bourbon” can help along the way!
People, People, People
Jithmi told me that “people who have a connection with YWiB have an ambitious personality.” She met many people volunteering as a co-chair and the relationships she created are ones that will probably last a lifetime. In fact, her best friend is actually someone she went to Beyond Pink with, an event and experience that helped drive them together.
Jithmi is currently enrolled in a ballroom dancing class, which I am pretty sure she loves. She has many interests but would love to pursue culinary school and eventually open her own restaurant – a venue I am looking forward to dining at in the future.
What I learned from Jithmi
Make a bucket list with goals. It can be as something simple as buying a pair of shoes or doing the Grouse Grind. Get involved with things you like and are passionate about and you will get more out of it. Take the time to seize opportunities, we are so busy in our lives, we don’t even realize an opportunity when it comes to us. Procrastination is okay. Peer pressure goes a long way, Jithmi may have not bungee jumped if the other 20 members of YWiB did not go with her!
My Favourite Question and Answer
What was the hardest decision you ever had to make and how did it turn out?
Jithmi – I was asked this question recently and I don’t think I’ve had to make it yet. I’ve had struggles but don’t we all! There are people who have gone through harder things and don’t have as much and have made a bigger difference.