In Conversation with – Tina Saigal
Let’s talk something about you
My name is Tina Saigal; I am 33 years old. I live in Oslo, Norway – I was born and raised in Oslo. My parents are from New Delhi, India. I work in an American Technology company – and act as a trusted advisor for Major Accounts within banking and finance institutions in Norway.
In my spare time, I spend time with friends & family, often cooking or eating out together. I love to travel and often choose locations for travel based on the food I love and want to try. All in all, travel and food are my passions! I am a Sagittarius, and I believe I have all the traits of this sign in my personality; I am independent, an explorer who loves adventures, a risk taker and have a sharp mind when it comes to business. A Sagittarius is also known for being emotionally intelligent, and I believe that is why I have excellent relationships in my life and a circle of people around me where values such as mutual respect, loyalty and care are present.
What is your profession, and how did you get interested?
I work for an American Research & Consultancy Company, where I manage the largest Bank & Finance clients in Norway. I have a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in international business – the skill set you get from studying International Business is in high demand by companies worldwide. And International Business studies gave me a broad understanding of globalization and the different business management practices around the world. This field of study was something I chose as I wanted to work in an international company with a solid footprint all over the world. Alongside business and culture, I am interested in helping people make more intelligent decisions while avoiding risk and being up to date with the technology trends, which is precisely what I get to do in my work today.
How would you reflect on your life in Oslo as a person of Indian Origin?
I consider myself extremely lucky to have been born and brought up in Oslo with Indian parents. My parents brought us up by teaching us good values from both the Norwegian culture as well as the Indian culture. Seeing different cultures allows people to be open-minded, which is a quality I highly appreciate. Growing up, I was very much into everything Norwegian and European. However, over the years, I feel a deep connection to my roots – India is a land of many incredible things. Yoga, Ayurveda, meditation, healing and colourful spices and the fantastic food which feeds the soul. Thanks to my mum, me and my siblings have grown up with Indian traditions and rituals – and they are beautiful.
How would someone get your special attention?
by being kind and having a big heart. Not just towards me, but to people around them.
Do you consider yourself to be a powerful woman?
Interesting question. I think power has gotten a bad reputation over the years by people who misuse their power. For me, being powerful means seeing yourself as the person you truly are – with all the strengths and weaknesses and owning them. By owning them, you must learn how to utilize your strength and work on your weaknesses to have the development you desire in your professional and personal life.
Everyone can act from a place where they use their strengths; that is easy! I believe that real and true power lies in a person that is open about their vulnerabilities, who can embrace discomfort, is not afraid to be outside of their comfort zone and make mistakes and lastly, celebrate being different and unique.
I was once asked in an interview if I am comfortable giving presentations to a large audience, and I replied, ‘no, I am not comfortable with that at all, but if I will do it? Yes, without doubt’. That is how I try to look at life both from a professional point of view and personal. So, to answer your question, I consider myself a powerful woman and embrace every part of my strengths and weaknesses the older I get.
Who is your role model, and why?
My parents. The risks they have taken in life, how hard they have worked to make sure my siblings and I have everything we want and need and much more beyond that. I admire my parents because of how they have brought us up and how they treat people around them. They have always done everything in their power to make life comfortable for people around them. Putting people’s needs in front of their own.
My desire to work hard and make sure I take risks while doing so comes from everything my parents have taught me. My mum always reminds me to be strong and grounded and remember that everything in life is temporary – the importance of living in the present. She has told me my whole life that I can accomplish anything I want if I put my mind to it. My dad always reminds me to enjoy life and spend money while living – he has always said to us; if you want something, get it! You live once.
We are often reminded that if you eat and drink good, you live a good quality life, and I could not agree more – I indeed believe I have a huge interest in travel and food from him, and that is something our conversations very often evolve around. And he never stops to impress me with his knowledge about various topics.
What message would you like to share with young career-oriented women?
Work hard no matter what you do. I was unhappy in my first job after graduating – but now I understand that every job I had led me to where I am today. Whatever you do in life prepares you for the next step, and it all makes so much sense in the end. So, give your all, no matter what job you have/ studies you are doing, even if it is not your end goal. Only then – great things will happen! And most importantly, be kind to people around you – treat others well and surround yourself with people who support you, cheer on you, and are always ready to celebrate your successes!