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Ahlia Kitwana

Ahlia Kitwana

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

I am the founder of Little Black Buddha, (LBB) which offers women help in making career transitions and figuring out their next move in their lives and careers. LBB also creates the space to honestly look at the entire picture of one’s life by incorporating a life design ethos into the work and programming, advocating wholeness, wellness and a complete sense of self. I am a RYT 200 certified yoga instructor.

Imagine a critical transition moment or inflection point in your own life. These periods are typically uncomfortable and challenging times. Examples of these points can be the birth of a child, the loss of a child or a loved one, serious illness, the end of a romantic relationships----- there are many circumstances that can set your life into turmoil. Now, think about all the ways your life changed because of the decisions you made during that transitional moment in your life. That is the moment we focus on at LBB, we take that moment and leverage it for opportunity, growth and impact in our client’s professional spaces. Stretching yourself and growing is not a cakewalk and it does not feel good at the time, yet once you come out on the other side you will be stronger for the challenge.

Currently, we all find ourselves in a moment of a collective and involuntary transition as we face down a pandemic, economic uncertainty, calls for racial justice, social unrest and an unprecedented political environment. We are living history and feeling our way through uncharted waters. Although we are all in this together each of our experiences and how we react and respond to this moment will be different and unique. For some of us, on top of experiences this unprecedented moment in history, we may have additional challenges and battles that we are facing. Although it is difficult and unpleasant to say the least, how will you rise to this challenge, to this moment? How can you grow and use this moment to leverage growth for yourself and positive impact and change for the world and society at large?

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

So far, one of my favorite memories to date was giving a webinar on career change that seem to really resonate with the audience. I have never experienced so much interaction and connection on a Zoom presentation! I am a new member and have only been around since April 2020, so I have no reference of what the in-person events have been like. I believe that Ellevate and the connections and relationships that I have formed are the reason I have been able to thrive in many ways this year… The relationships, community and connections have meant a lot to me on this platform.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

Tenacity, creativity and flexibility

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

Starting my own business and getting my first 5-figure check. I look forward to increasing the significant digits in the future.

What project have you worked on that you’re most proud of? Why?

Right now, my company is developing a software platform called Pathways. Pathways being produced to help young people figure out their career paths. We are currently developing the software and doing user-case testing. I have been working on this for about a year and its genesis story arguably spans the distance of my own career and meanderings.

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

Speaking of meandering career path, I studied electrical engineering in college. I worked in that field for a year before pivoting to teach high school math for a couple of years. From there, after I started a family, I returned to engineering in a different discipline that was much aligned with my personality and work-style, I worked in that discipline in different capacities (leadership, project management and individual contributor). After a while, I outgrew that position --- it no longer aligned with my personal moral compass. From there, I went on to start Little Black Buddha.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The work I do, both through my coaching and the software platform allows people to have clarity and confidence in how they want to move forward with their next professional move or venture. In providing this service, the impact I have propagates throughout society. This offers the potential for a much greater positive impact through the individuals I coach and users of the software. It is really exciting and impactful work.

What is your morning ritual?

I wake up early (between 4 and 5:30) I lay in bed and check my calendar and the weather --- because I’ve blocked out social media on my phone between 4-7am. I get up, make coffee, meditate and journal some days. Then I get to work for a couple of hours. There is the occasion where I sleep in and my kids get up before me and I stumble through the house incoherently until I find a cup of coffee. Coffee is an absolute necessary part of my morning.

What would you say your personal superpower is?

I am incredibly strategic and agile. I am very good at seeing various possible outcomes and choosing the best path forward. Additionally, I am exceptional of making adjustments and adaptations in the moment as the need arises.

What does success look like to you?

Being able to show up as my whole self in any space that I am in. I do not compartmentalize my life, I used to, but have chosen not to moving forward. Success is living a life with purpose and in alignment with your values.

Success to me is understanding the nuance of the push-pull dichotomy of “stick-with-it-ness” and “letting go” and knowing when it is time to invoke one or the other OR simply switch up the plan and pivot if necessary. Ideally, existing somewhere between attachment and avoidance.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.