Rimla Akhtar MBE CA: Five things I have learned as One Young CA
The 2016 ICAS One Young CA Rimla Akhtar MBE shares her experiences and lessons learned over the past year.
It feels as though the 2016 35 CAs Under 35 awards took place only yesterday; I had the chance to meet a vibrant group of young CAs that evening, as well as some of the wider ICAS family; I heard some fascinating insights into their journeys; we shared some of our early CA stories and hopes for our futures; and then felt extremely proud and humbled to be named the One Young CA for 2016.
Somehow, seven months have passed since that evening and much has happened in that time. I experienced the largest global youth conference in One Young World and the wonderful hospitality of the Canadian people.
I visited Edinburgh twice and attended three very unique events in the ICAS calendar; the CA Dinner, the Presidents’ Dinner and the Admissions Ceremony for new CAs, all with their own charm and memories. Each provided me with the opportunity to spend time in the company of current and future ICAS leaders.
Winning the One Young CA competition has refreshed and renewed my connection to ICAS.
The lasting experience and legacy of the past seven months for me, however, has been in helping establish the ICAS Young Leaders Board and contributing to the development of the organisation.
Overall, winning the One Young CA competition has refreshed and renewed my connection to ICAS and for that, I am very grateful. How quickly time passes and how much there is to learn from each and every experience if we only reflect.
I look forward to continuing to contribute to the growth of ICAS and would encourage all young CAs to give themselves the opportunity to have these wonderful experiences by putting themselves forward.
I’ve learned a number of lessons on my journey to where I am now and, as we focus on the 2017 awards, I have the following reflections for the next group of 35 CAs Under 35, as well as the next One Young CA.
1. Pay attention to your intention
Our actions begin with our intentions and motivators. As young CAs we have the time, skills and dynamism to make our contribution to the world within which we live.
When we do it for the right reasons, its impact is amplified both within our own lives and in the lives of the people with whom we’re working.
2. Never stop learning (even if it means changing your perspectives)
Much of my growth can be attributed to wanting to understand, rather than be right. Meeting more people from across the world through the title of One Young CA has further widened my perspective of issues to give me a deeper understanding.
3. Build your community
Your community begins with your family and can extend as far as you wish: to local, regional, national and international levels. Being a part of a community is about challenging each other to be the best we can all be, raising each other, passing the baton on when needed and being as one.
Given the state of the world, we need this more than ever. I build my community globally through my work in sport - you will have your own unique contribution to make.
4. Be generous
This can be with your time, your resources and your knowledge. As CAs, we have a strong skillset that can help all parts of society grow and I feel we have a duty to use it.
5. Be proud of being a purist
There have been times where I have been called a purist in a negative sense and I’ve simply smiled and agreed that I am!
In business, we are being asked to constantly evolve and grow and aim higher and I believe we must do so from an ethical and moral standpoint as well. My work in the Inclusion and Diversity space can be a challenge for many. However, I will always push people, beginning with myself, to be better than they were yesterday in order to do the right thing. And I hope you will too.
Rimla Akhtar MBE CA: My experience at One Young World
Your final chance to enter One Young CA 2017
Nominations for this year's One Young CA and 35 CAs Under 35 awards close at midnight tonight (Friday 12 May).
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