Akshaya Lakshmi

Akshaya Lakshmi

22 Years Old

Class of 2021

Akshaya Lakshmi is no stranger to giving of her time in the community. Whether as a vocal coach, a spelling bee official, a theatre cast member, or many other things in between, she is a superlative volunteer.

She recently sat down with YMM and chatted about her career, her biggest risks, and her biggest challenges.

YMM: What is the most rewarding part of your career?

AL: As I continue to explore my career, I have been extremely fortunate with the opportunities I have received. Currently, I am the Communications & Engagement Coordinator at Arts Council Wood Buffalo. Since starting my position, I have met incredible people in our community and have had multiple opportunities to support and collaborate with local artists. The most rewarding part of my job is being able to foster the arts community and bring artists together. As a fellow artist, I have learned so much from every single person. I am truly honoured to be a part of the ACWB team and cannot wait to keep doing more in our community.

YMM: What’s the biggest risk you have ever taken?

AL: The biggest risk I have ever taken is taking a step back. Up until graduating from university, I had structured a whole plan for my life and was well on my way to achieving all my goals. One day, it struck me that I did not actually know what my passion behind it was anymore. From having everything lined up to having a huge identity crisis was life-changing. Taking the risk to completely alter my life path was terrifying, but I am so glad I did. As I continue to tread unknown waters, I have learned loads about myself and am less afraid of “failure”.

YMM: What’s the biggest challenge you have taken on this year?

AL: The biggest challenge I have taken on this year is being a part of the Leadership Wood Buffalo Program cohort of 2021-2022. Being a younger individual, I was inspired by the leaders in our community to start my own developmental journey. The program has challenged me to look at leadership in different forms and has emphasized the importance of the experience and not just the result. I am looking forward to the rest of the journey and hopefully in the end, embody positive leadership practices.

YMM: How should success be measured?

AL: I believe true success should be measured by how happy you are. This is easier said than practiced. It’s easy to be unsatisfied with yourself, because there is someone who is always richer, more popular, better looking, etc. But there are so many cases in which people who appear to “have it all” are actually deeply unhappy and depressed. Making my own standard of success was one of the best things I did. It puts into perspective that you only have one life – why not enjoy it by doing things you love?

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