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Member Profile

Gia PunjabiGia Punjabi

KPMG
Audit Associate

When you were 10 years old, what were your career aspirations?
As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a founder. Not that I knew what the word founder meant then – more like inventing something cool and being my own boss. I remember looking up who came up with the idea of the shoelace. I remember being fascinated by people who ran their own shops – whether it was a café, a corner convenience store or a clothing boutique. I remember that when I was 8 years old, I ran a posh little brunch restaurant out of our drawing room every Sunday morning; with Dad and little sis as my patrons, and Mom as my sous chef in the kitchen. Probably the only place you’d get banana pancakes for a quarter, served with a side of Indian chutney for free!

What's your favorite part of your job?
The fact that it is allowing me to set the table and build a strong foundation for my career. The technical chops I’m learning, and the detail work I’m involved with on a day-to-day basis helps me with developing my understanding needed to perform effectively at the CPA and the CFA exams.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I was able to secure a job in San Francisco, purely through my fierce passion for meaningful networking and forming authentic connections. The fact that I did this whilst living in New Zealand and as a 23-year old, adds that much of a kick to it. The actual move of migrating across the ocean solo, and learning to live independently has been pretty scary/awesome/difficult/rewarding as well. 

What talent would you most like to have?
Negotiating. I find that the true talent to negotiate effectively and amicably, especially on a daily basis, is well underrated. If more people were better at it, we’d be that much closer to having eradicated poverty, attained world peace, harnessed the power of diversity and met the ‘Education For All’ goal.

What trip or hobby delighted you in the past year?
Exploring! I’ve visited 50 cities around the world so far, across 29 countries. My last favorite travel story is from the winter past, where my friends and I hiked to the top of Angels Landing (5,790ft) in Zion Canyon, Utah. The last half mile of this hike was probably the closest I’ve come to realizing how stubborn I can get; learning that seeing things through to the end is concurrently my biggest strength and my biggest weakness.

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