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Tuesday Transformation - Kristi-Anne Mc Auley

Americas Territory Engagement, Global Projects & Change, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Who is Kristi-Anne Mc Auley?

I am a change and transformation professional, a wife to Cassian, and a dog-mom to Ojo, among other very prestigious titles. My purpose is to be the type of energy, that no matter where I go, or where I am, I always add value to the spaces and lives of those around me. I believe in living an authentic, intentional and fulfilling life- less out of habit, but more out of intent. Whether you see me at work or at home, you will get the same person- just trying to be the very best version of myself.

What does a typical day for Kristi-Anne entail?

There are very few typical days! I work remotely as well as travel to meet with team members and stakeholders. Being in a virtual, global role, I have a substantial amount of meetings daily when working from home. My travel schedule is very unpredictable, but gives me the opportunity to see my team, build relationships, and experience new cultures. It’s hard to achieve this 100% virtual.

I love to cook! It’s one of those things that I can get lost in time with, and gives me a chance to reset my mind. So any chance that I get in the evening, I cook! I also make a conscious effort for physical human interaction with others, as that’s a downside of working virtually. So as a consistent daily habit, Cassian and I would go for long walks together with Ojo, meeting up with lots of neighbours and friends along the way.

What advice would you give someone who is interested in pursuing a career similar to yours?

My career journey is directly linked to my life values. Work is fun when you are actually leaning into your strengths and are deeply engaged and energized by what you are doing. Always strive to make your life values and work values coherent, and never stop learning and up-skilling yourself. Most importantly, keep an open mind, always be ready to re-imagine the possible, and put people at the heart of all change.

How would you describe the transition from Trinidad to the United States of America?

Since I joined PwC, I dreamed of being part of a global team that builds the tools, processes and methodology that gets adopted by all territories. I wanted to make an impact not just in the Caribbean, but globally. Upon getting this new role on the Global Projects & Change team, it came with a move to the USA. For an adventure seeker like me, it seemed like a good opportunity to build my career and family. This transition was not as smooth as I had envisioned, moreso because of the vast difference in financial landscape that we have in the Caribbean.

A huge issue for me was not having a credit score since this is not something that is the norm in Trinidad. It was the cause of a lot of our angst throughout the first year with limitations on our buying power. That, like all other challenges do, eventually resolved itself with time.

I was afraid of the culture shift as well, and being able to make new friends. I was so used to going everywhere and knowing at least one person. This fear was short lived, because we have very special friends that we’ve made, and added countless new memories and experiences in just a year and a half. What’s even more amazing is that they’ve all become so intrigued by our culture- that they keep wanting to know, see, hear and taste more! I’m so blessed to have had this tremendous opportunity for personal growth while building my career with PwC.

Any tips for individuals who may be interested in migrating to further their career?

The decision to migrate should be beyond furthering your career. You can have a very fruitful career in the Caribbean. With that said, you can increase your chances of getting a work visa if you work for a multinational company and request intra-company transfers. Additionally, there are numerous countries (eg, Canada) that offer professional visas to encourage talent within their country.

On the other hand, be open to new people, learning their culture, and not just a steadfast attachment to your own. Be willing to step outside of your comfort zone, and embrace changes, experiences and cultural immersion. The best stories come from those times! Additionally, remember your own contribution, and they are just as willing and interested in hearing about life in the Caribbean as you are eager to assimilate into a new country. You will find yourself changing, growing, evolving-embrace it!

What do you miss most about home?

FAMILY! Not being there for key milestone moments, and more specifically, I miss seeing my niece grow up. While that physical presence can’t be replaced, WhatsApp, Facetime, and other social media make the world smaller, and close the gap just enough to be able to share some of the times together, which makes the transition easier.

What would people be most surprised to learn about you?

I really wanted to be a pilot! I always dreamed of being a female pilot (back then it wasn’t too common) and it was a legit goal of mine until I was introduced to Geography and then gave up all hope that would ever happen. I am still going to fly a plane one day!

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