Rupal is an attorney by profession, residing in Raleigh, North Carolina. Prior to living in Raleigh, she attended the University of Iowa, College of Law and Northwestern University for her undergraduate studies. Having grown up in Des Moines, Iowa she has had numerous experiences with the Jain community both in the Midwest and Southeast regions as well as nationally.
Most recently she has been involved with the Jain community in the Triangle area and the Jain Study Center of North Carolina serving on its Executive Committee for two years. She says, “I am excited to serve on the Advisory Board for Young Jain Professionals!” We are just as excited to have you on board Rupal and look forward to 2017!
What made you decide you wanted to get involved in the Jain community and give back? I have always found that integrating Jain faith and culture into Western traditions is ever evolving. I most enjoy connecting with others and building positive interactions among communities. Being an active member of the Jain community allowed me to connect with my heritage while also influencing how Jainism is practiced among the diaspora.
How do you tackle competing priorities? It is challenging not to get overwhelmed with competing priorities. I do my best to be honest with myself about how much I can handle and what priorities are most important to me. I try to eliminate unnecessary tasks or unimportant issues and focus on what is essential to my health and happiness as much as possible.
Can you tell us a little about your experience as a previous YJP Co-Chair? I have very much enjoyed my experience with YJP, first as Southeast Regional Coordinator, then as YJP Co-Chair with Sheenika Shah Gandhi, and most recently as YJP Advisory Board Member. I have established lifelong friendships through my involvement with YJP and JAINA. I have grown personally, professionally, and spiritually as being a part of YJP in a leadership capacity provided significant challenges and experiences for me to learn and reflect. YJP is a rare opportunity to develop a space for those with similar interests and backgrounds to learn, grow, and connect.
What advice do you have for future Jain professionals? I would suggest to future Jain professionals to take time to reflect on what values are important to you and your reasons for practicing these principals. Reconciling our perspectives among the community, our families, our friends, and our professional career requires patience and understanding. When we focus on enriching the lives of those around us and supporting the community, this enables us to become better people as well.
How do you deal with professional setbacks (if any)? Professional setbacks are challenging and I have been fortunate to have the support of my family when experiencing them. I remember a law school professor advising me after a major setback to keep trying. He reminded me to be confident in my abilities and not to give up. I acknowledged the setback and changed my plan to tackle the issue from a different angle. Though it is hard to do, remaining positive, pushing forward, and continuing to work toward our goals even in the face of adversity is one way to move past professional setbacks.
Who has been your biggest inspiration in life? My parents have been my biggest inspiration and greatest supporters. I think often of how much they struggled and sacrificed when they immigrated to the United States. It gives me perspective and it also reminds me how much we have accomplished together as a family. I have two younger sisters and watching them become independent young adults has also been an inspiration. They have taught me how to be the best version of myself.