We had the good fortune of connecting with Priya Desai and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Priya, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I am South Asian by birth. I was born in New Delhi, India and moved to Chingola, Zambia when I was 3 months old, where my father was an expat at the Copper mines. We then moved to Obuasi, Ghana when I was 4 years old where my father worked in the Gold mines. I grew up with my parents and a younger sister in a home full of love and laughter. We were also taught by my mother, a teacher by profession, at an early age, the meaning of giving back, being kind, honest and the importance of serving the community.
We travelled the world including frequent visits to India where I learned everything I know and celebrate about my culture. During this time I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to complete a big part of my education in England where I graduated from High School. We then decided to immigrate to the United States in 2000 and became proud citizens in 2008.
I grew up experiencing different cultures, meeting people from different backgrounds, learning languages, celebrating numerous holidays and developing life long friendships and memories along the way. I was given the opportunity by my parents to pursue different interests, whether it was music, sports or academic choices as well as learning how to be strong and independent. Along the way I have made some great choices and some that I have had to learn from.
I have immense gratitude for all that I have experienced in my life and continue to do so with my husband and two highly energetic and beautiful boys. I continue to work hard, work with passion and purpose and look to make a small difference in the community.
My hope is to give my children some of the same opportunities that will help them evolve as individuals in the years to come.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a Senior Clinical Research Project Manager for a Contract Research Organization, I have the opportunity to work with different Biotech and Pharma companies on their clinical trials. I absolutely love what I do as I am able to work on various disease states to include orphan indications where treatment may not be available. It is very rewarding to watch a product be approved for an indication knowing how many people may benefit from it and knowing that I played a small part in that process. I have worked extremely hard in this competitive industry to be where I am today. It took me several years to get a break into this industry and once I did there was no looking back. I grabbed every opportunity I was given to learn and grow. I also took many chances when it came to job opportunities allowing me to also work in a couple of Pharmaceutical companies. It is all about the experience!
I have learned so much along the way and continue to do so. I have learned that building professional relationships in this small industry is key. I do want to emphasize that even though I had a Master’s degree and thought I would have jobs waiting for me, I still had to start from the ground up which was a very humbling experience for me and I am grateful that I experienced that. I am a better professional today because of that. Lastly, work with purpose and passion and be humble about achievements.
I also own an Event Planning business in the valley where I mainly plan and coordinate weddings. I always have enjoyed being creative, whether it is for an event or for my kids’ birthdays! I started the business Truelegance along with my friend Sharvil Kapadia in 2014 knowing that there was a need for planners that would cater to a broader group of clients, Our goal is to always provide excellent service to our clients and to make them always feel comfortable. We are both working professionals so this was supposed to be something we enjoyed doing on occasion over the weekend.
Little did we know that this would become bigger than we thought. We have planned and coordinated multiple events over the years. In the process I have met and interacted with amazing clients and vendors. I have learned that being passionate about what you do, working hard, respecting other vendors and their work will be the key to your success in this industry. I hope to continue working with my amazing clients and would like to expand the planning to corporate events down the line!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are so many places to explore in Arizona. I enjoy good food so I would definitely recommend the Scottsdale and Downtown Phoenix area. Scottsdale also has multiple resorts to visit, upscale shopping as well as some beautiful hikes. I also love visiting Sedona! Not only do you get great food but you can enjoy a great hike with amazing views as well as some unique shopping.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Over the years I have had the privilege of meeting multiple individuals that have made a positive impact on my life or career. I will always be grateful to my parents and husband for their continued support and understanding. I have had coaches and managers that have been an integral part of my success in my career. A special shout out to Linda McNally, Ron Staugaard and Suk Ong for believing in me and for giving me a chance to shine.
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