Working Mom Nitasha Gupta Makes Lifelong Learning a Personal Priority

Book on a table

“My kids are four and six, and juggling between work, their learning needs, and my course was tough...I worried that my professional development would feel like a burden, but to the contrary it was a way for me to focus on myself and my needs. I enjoyed taking the time to myself and delving into the curriculum. I learned to be really patient with the situation, and with myself.” - Nitasha Gupta, SCS learner

Nitasha Gupta was ready to gain new skills to take her career to the next level. After working at CIBC for over eleven years, she was eager to try something new, and enhance her business communication abilities. “I’m always striving to challenge myself and hone my skills,” says Nitasha. “I’m currently a consultant for front-line effectiveness in the banking industry. Communicating—specifically writing emails—is a huge part of my job. I often need to make requests and negotiate with people who are in a position of authority. This can be tricky to navigate, and I was keen to learn ways to manage delicate communications, and be powerful and succinct in my messaging.”

In 2019 Nitasha began working towards her Business Communications Certificate at the School of Continuing Studies (SCS). “I really appreciated learning from industry experts; my instructors were always providing real-life examples of how to communicate and present information effectively,” reflects Nitasha. “I was able to apply everything I was learning the next day at work, and I noticed that seemingly simple strategies had the power to make a big difference in my ability to influence, communicate, and present information to senior leadership. My colleagues noticed as well, and I started receiving really positive feedback.” One of the greatest benefits of her learning experience was getting to connect with other learners from different industries. “Interacting with people from different backgrounds was invaluable. At work, I am typically surrounded by the same people in the same industry,” says Nitasha. “Learning with people from different backgrounds allowed me to hear different perspectives, challenges, and solutions.”

Part way through her certificate, the pandemic hit. Suddenly Nitasha was working from home while navigating online learning with her kids. “It was a huge challenge at first. My kids are four and six, and juggling between work, their learning needs, and my course was tough,” recalls Nitasha. “I worried that my professional development would feel like a burden, but to the contrary it was a way for me to focus on myself and my needs. I enjoyed taking the time to myself and delving into the curriculum. I learned to be really patient with the situation, and with myself.”

While taking courses as a working mom was overwhelming at times, Nitasha’s commitment to lifelong learning kept her motivated and focused, and she earned her certificate in late 2020. “Continuous learning is something that was engrained in me since I was a child. Back in India where I grew up, my family taught me the importance of always growing my skills and learning new methodologies to stay ahead of the curve,” says Nitasha. “It’s really a part of who I am. And I like setting an example for my kids that learning doesn’t stop at a certain age. Challenging yourself doesn’t ever get old; it makes you look forward to an even better tomorrow!”