Team Spotlight: Tejal Thakkar, Customer Success Manager
Here at Let’s Eat, Grandma (LEG), we have a community of passionate people working to improve the lives of job seekers; we’d love to share with you about who these incredible people are.
By. Elyse Villanueva | Director of Philanthropy for Let’s Eat, Grandma
Our team is the backbone of LEG and we want to show off the unique characteristics that they bring to the table.
Meet Tejal Thakkar, our Customer Success Manager who supports everything related to the client journey from start to finish. Tejal is motivated and passionate about helping others, and her work ensures that each and every client feels confident about landing their next job after working with us on their documents.
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To show you more about one of our key players, we talked to Tejal to learn about her role at LEG, her passions, and her involvement in her community. (Interview edited for length and clarity).
What do you like about working with LEG?
I like the constant movement, change, and updates, and I like that the people are very supportive and ready to pull their sleeves up and pitch in with anything. LEG is also very mission-led, which is very important to me.
What are some of your passions and how do you think the community you grew up in shaped them?
For me, sustainable business/social enterprise is a really good balance of where I see my skills and passions intersect.
I think the biggest problem we are facing as a global community is climate change. And digging deeper into that, I feel that there is a lot of overlap between the issues that climate change poses for communities, which overlaps with racial justice and economic justice as well.
I grew up outside of Washington, D.C. and I live in London now. I think I had a not-so-unique upbringing in the sense that I am what they call a third-culture kid. My parents are of Indian heritage, but I was born and brought up in the U.S. and both my parents lived in various parts of the world before coming to the U.S., all of which really shaped who I am.
The city I grew up in was very diverse, so growing up in that environment — as well as being lucky enough to travel and visit family in the U.K. and in India — really opened my eyes to different ways of doing things and a general acceptance of people. That’s something that I learned from my parents, that everyone comes from a different walk of life and you should accept people as they are. They also taught me hard work coming from an immigrant community.
Another thing that is important to me and has been part of my focus in recent years has been building community. We didn’t grow up around extended family, but we had a great community of friends and family friends. Perhaps it’s because I am living in a big, impersonal city now, but that’s really been on my mind during this pandemic when we’re unable to easily see our loved ones that live all around the world.
I also see community as a way to combat a lot of different interrelated issues, like climate change. As I mentioned, climate change is related to social justice and I see building communities as a way to move past a lot of the pain from the past few decades and to find solutions to this problem, arguably the biggest problem of our generation.
How are you involved in your community?
Since COVID, I have been trying to live true. For example, if I am saying that I really care about climate change, I should probably put my money where my mouth is. So I have been focusing on buying from local or sustainable businesses when possible.
I have also found in the past that volunteering is a huge way to get involved in my community. I’ve been volunteering with this organization called The Passage that helps people who are living on the streets with both immediate and long-term needs. They help people both get off the streets at night and give them resources to help them not go back.
During COVID, I’ve been working a lot with the local mutual aid group in my area, and that was a cool way to get to know who was in my immediate neighborhood. When you live in a big city like London, it’s not like in the suburbs in America where you know everyone on your street, so it was a good way to virtually get to know who is around me in my community.
So those are some of the small things I do to build community, but it’s still something that I scratch my head about every day, wondering, “how can I do this better?” Because it’s really easy for all of us to be in our little bubbles.
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