I wondered when this day would come. I didn’t think it would be so soon, but here it is. It’s Ankita Roy’s last day with the e3 team. It’s a weird feeling when someone resigns. Part of me feels like I’m losing an arm. I’m certain that a little bit of the e3 soul is dissipating. Ankita has been in my life for about 653 days, and I already can’t imagine life without her.
It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that Ankita is leaving us to go and live in New York City. Not because she’s leaving, because she is going to live in New York City! Jealous? Yes! There are few things better in life than a fresh start, and I am filled with joy for Ankita (honestly, I am).
To mark her send-off and to do her farewell any justice, I thought I would reflect on what she’s taught me. She’s had a lasting impact on my life, and I owe it to her to honour that.
Listen to learn and solicit people’s opinions before you give yours
Ankita is possibly the best listener I have ever met. At 22 years of age, she has mastered the art of listening. I don’t mean ‘listen’ like the rest of us do (as in, we don’t listen, we half listen, we make assumptions and we hear what we want hear). Ankita actively listens and asks wicked questions. She is never the first to proffer her opinion. She will ask yours first, and listen to what you have to say. Then she’ll ask more questions, and then seek to understand what you are trying to say, and then she’ll share her thoughts. Not very many people do this. Not very many people are interested in other people’s opinions. Ankita has taught me how to listen again, and she’s altered my perspective on conversation.
Seek feedback. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
In her 1.5 years with us, Ankita frequently sought feedback. But not in the annoying ‘Gen-y’ attention-seeking way. She would have prepared thoughts, jotted down notes, and reflected deeply before we caught up. She would discuss what she thought she could improve and then ask for feedback on what she can be doing differently. And she did this often. She never waited for us to do it. She took ownership of her own development and came prepared to every conversation. It’s easy for days, weeks and months to slip by without even noticing. Ankita frequently made the time to get feedback. And she gave it too. She would have always thought about how we can do better and would give us feedback. I really appreciated this about Ankita. She’s helped me become a better person.
Curiosity is the antidote to fear
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Ankita grow and develop over the years and I’ve observed one quality that surpasses all others in terms of her brilliance. It’s her curiosity. She is one of the most well-read 22 year olds on the planet, she is constantly scouring books and articles that bear no relation to our day to day work, but that add great value. She is the first to share a statistic or reference a TED talk, and when new projects come her way, she dives straight in and embraces the unknown. Most people would be scared to death with the type of work Ankita gets involved in. We’re constantly throwing her monumental challenges, like how to raise awareness of money-laundering and corruption to the branding of an ultra-high-tech-infrastructure project in Malaysia. Ankita hasn’t been held back by fear; instead her curiosity guides her to incredible outcomes. We’ve come to rely on her curiosity and we will greatly miss it.
Thank you Ankita, for believing in E3, for turning up every day ready to embrace the chaos, and for bringing sunshine to all of our lives. NYC is ready for you, and we have no doubt that you will rock it. Enjoy every minute, be grateful, take in your surroundings and never forget what a fabulous person you are. You have enriched my life and I am forever grateful.
All my love