Creative soul, Gurpreet “Preeti” Kaur Arora, shares her experiences of working with Disney to recruit top talent in our 9th article of “Kaur Careers”! Often times a lot of us just aren’t aware of all the career options out there. So, in an effort to highlight non-traditional career paths and to inspire Kaurs to explore different educational and job options, Kaur Life launched a new series called “Kaur Careers.”
Occupation: Talent Sourcer at The Walt Disney Company
Education: UC Riverside – B.A. in Sociology/Economics
Describe what you do: As a Talent Sourcer, I partner with recruiters, hiring managers, and senior leaders across the Disney enterprise to identify top talent for the more difficult to fill positions. My main expertise is within Human Resources and Legal, however, I’ve had the opportunity to work on many different functions. I identify prospects based on the hiring team’s criteria, provide market research if needed, assess the candidates and connect them with our recruitment teams.
When and how did you realize this was the career path for you? I knew pretty early on after taking a course on Human Resources Management in my third year of college that this is what I was going to pursue. I loved the idea of coaching and consulting in the workplace on personnel issues, talent acquisition, change management, and people’s personal problems and concerns.
What do you enjoy about your job the most? I should say that growing up, Disney was a big part of my life. It’s a brand that I always had a connection with. Universally it’s a brand that people have embraced and made a part of their lives. This makes recruiting for the company that much more fun and genuine for me. I enjoy having the ability to work with a variety of people, at all levels, and across the enterprise. I’ve been able to partner on some really cool projects with ESPN, Disney Interactive, Lucasfilms and more! I also love being able to network with professionals from a variety of industries and disciplines.
Considering it is nontraditional, what were your parents’ reaction? How did you deal with their response?: Fortunately for me, I did not get much push back from my mom. I had made it clear pretty early on in college that I did not want to pursue a traditional career path. It just was not for me. However, I had to work twice as hard to prove that a nontraditional profession could yield success too.
How do you balance family and work and hobbies? I love spending time with my family more than anything. But when I initially started my job at Disney, I quickly developed a habit of bringing my work home. I didn’t have much discipline of when to stop. Eventually, I started managing my time better and setting boundaries on how much work I could do in a day. Creating this balance did not come naturally. My husband really helped me to find that balance from replacing the laptop with a book to engaging me in more outdoor activities.
How do you feel Sikhi inspires your work? It’s a constant reminder to do what is right and help others. Not all prospects and candidates are necessarily the best fit for our jobs. Having been turned down for jobs in the past, I know what it’s like to feel hopeless and unsuccessful. Sikhi constantly inspires me to work with these people, provide guidance, and help them to whatever degree I can whether that is providing feedback on their resumes, connecting them to other recruiters, or simply being a point of contact for advice and networking.
What elements of Sikh values are in your work? A core principal in Sikhi is the concept of equality. As a Kaur who has been a part of corporate America, I’m keenly aware of the insidious form of discrimination that can be prevalent in various corporate cultures. Sikhi teaches us that equality is paramount in a well-functioning society. Not only am I legally and professionally expected to be unbiased during candidate selections but these values are ingrained and reinforced through my guru and my basic upbringing as a Sikh.
What advice do you have for young Kaurs who are unsure of what career they should pursue? Start networking now, don’t be afraid to explore your options, and focus on your strengths. Participate in internships and research studies or get a part time job as early as possible. Get to know people who are already in the profession you’re curious about and ask questions. If used right, social media sites such as LinkedIn can be extremely valuable tools to learn and connect as well.