Through our value of inclusion, Protiviti fosters an environment of continuous cultural learning and celebrates our employees, who each have their own unique identities. For Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month this May, we had a chance to catch up with some of our employees who share their perspectives and experience.

Chintan, R&C Managing Director, Dallas

Share more about your cultural identity.

As an individual born and raised in India, I have experienced firsthand the country’s diverse ethnic groups, religions, and languages, each with its unique traditions, beliefs, and values. This upbringing has provided me with exposure to a multicultural environment from a young age, shaping my perspectives and experiences.

How do you celebrate your culture?

Our culture is celebrated through a variety of means, including festivals, traditional clothing, cuisine, music, dance, and art. Festivals such as Diwali, Holi, Eid, and Christmas are widely celebrated in India, with individuals decorating their homes, adorning traditional garments, preparing customary cuisine, and engaging in cultural festivities.

Chintan and his family at a Diwali celebration.

What is something you wish people knew about your culture?

It is my hope that people would recognize the diversity present within Indian culture, and acknowledge that comprehending Indian culture cannot be achieved through a one-size-fits-all approach. Additionally, it is important to dispel some of the common misconceptions regarding India, such as the notion that the country is exclusively characterized by poverty, spirituality, or arranged marriages.

How do you think your culture has influenced you in your professional life?

The cultural influence of India is visible in various aspects of people’s professional lives. For instance, the value placed on community and respect is reflected in the workplace, where experience and knowledge are highly regarded. Additionally, the emphasis on education, hard work, and discipline also shapes the work ethic of many professionals from India.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a young Asian American professional?

As a piece of advice for young Asian American professionals, I would suggest embracing your cultural identity and utilizing it to your benefit in their professional endeavors. Embracing cultural heritage can provide a distinctive viewpoint and valuable skills that can set you apart in the workplace. Additionally, it is crucial to seek out mentors and cultivate a support system that can provide guidance throughout your career journey.

Jennifer, IAFA Senior Manager, Houston

Share more about your cultural identity.

I am a first generation Asian American with cultural roots from China. Although I was born and raised primarily in the states, my parents have always balanced my education and upbringing to help me stay close to my roots and traditional Chinese values. As a result, I speak fluent Chinese and have often been mistaken as someone who has only recently moved from China.

Jennifer repping her Protiviti gear in China!

How do you celebrate your culture?

Chinese culture values community and family through food and gatherings; therefore, I naturally celebrate my culture largely through cuisine and time with family. During the pandemic, I attempted to start making some classic Chinese treats from scratch, including mooncakes, glutinous rice desserts, etc. with assistance from my parents at times, and it’s become some of my most valued memories. Due to distance, I am only able to see my extended family every few years, but I always look forward to bonding with them on my travels to China and through our regular video calls.

What is something you wish people knew about your culture?

Many broadly refer to Chinese as a singular culture background, but little do they recognize that China itself is composed of 56 ethnic groups, different dialects and varied lifestyles depending on the regions or provinces. For example, I often get asked whether I am used to eating spicy food as many people expect Chinese to have high spice tolerances, and sorry to disappoint, but my taste buds don’t do all that well with spicy food. From where my parents originated, our preferred flavors lean toward sweet and sour.

Jennifer and her mom having tea in Singapore

How do you think your culture has influenced you in your professional life?

Growing up, some of the traits that my parents have engrained in me include working hard, paying special attention to details, and listening before you speak, which all have influenced my leadership style in my professional life. I make sure to set an example for my teams through personal hard work, deliver quality deliverables through creating detailed guides for my teams and proofreading end products carefully, and I always make sure that my teams have an outlet to express themselves and listens to all relevant perspectives before making decisions/conclusions.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a young Asian American professional?

We have often heard that extroverted leaders tend to be more successful in growing their careers, but that’s not necessarily the case. We can all pave ways for our careers through different leadership styles, so don’t be too quick to hide your true self and discredit your skills/personalities for what seems to be the “right way”. Louder doesn’t mean better, and quick growth may not be what you need to succeed in the long term. We are all assets in our own way, and we all should and can support one another in our endeavors to collectively shatter the stereotypes and bamboo ceilings. Stay authentic, stay open minded, and let yourself shine.

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