Anu Saxena: The Power of Positive Thinking
August 21, 2013
Anu Saxena’s story is a testament to how a positive attitude can help one to cope with massive change.
She left her home country of India and arrived in Canada 21 years ago with a husband she had known for a relatively short time as it was an arranged marriage. She faced a new life in a new country and culture, with a new husband who grew up in Canada and was not fully aware of the challenges she would have in settling. These are circumstances ANY of us would find daunting.
She still remembers the culture shock she felt when they landed in Montreal, the confusion that the daily things we take for granted – such as accents, transportation, currency, and prices – caused her.
But there was more. Her Master’s degree in biotechnology from an Indian university was not recognized here. So in order to further pursue her education, she enrolled at the University of Western Ontario in London to get her Canadian undergraduate degree. She moved to Guelph in 1994 and worked with the University of Guelph as a researcher from that time until 2011.
What is perhaps most striking about Anu is her bubbly, light, positive nature. When asked how she made it through those earlier tough times and what she would now say to newcomers, this was her enlightening answer: “Ask questions. Don’t be shy. People will help. There’s no other way to find out what you need to know. Educate yourself. Become self-aware. Volunteer in the community…”
Anu’s attitude will surely help her transition from working with the University of Guelph to new opportunities. Some of these include assisting the Guelph Chamber of Commerce with its Global Experience at Work project, and supporting programs at Immigrant Services Guelph-Wellington. She also volunteers for the Guelph Community Health Centre, the City of Guelph’s Cultural Advisory Committee, and the Guelph & District Multicultural Festival.