CRA Testimonial: Kia Peters
Written by: Kia Peters, CRA Summer Student, Program Support | Western, Honors Specialization in Nutrition and Dietetics, anticipated graduation June 2021
Photo by: Kia Peters
Describe your journey to employment at the CRA: did you plan to work here? How did you find out about the opportunity? Who helped you along the way?
My journey with the CRA started at the CRA Career Day on October 1, 2019. I’ve always been interested in working in the government in some capacity as an Indigenous person, but never considered the CRA prior to seeing promotions for CRA Career Day. I attended the CRA lunch at the Indigenous Student Centre and was able to ask questions and share my interests with the CRA team. They took time to listen to my experiences and interests. The CRA team was able to identify a position that would provide me with an experience that would be meaningful to me. That same day, I was interviewed for the position and received an offer of employment – I remember being so excited! Despite the COVID pandemic, my student contract was honoured and I began working in May 2020.
What motivated you to go to work every day / what do you enjoy most about your work?
My team at the London CRA office was amazing and kept me motivated to work hard every day! Due to COVID, I was set up to work from home. I thought this would be a challenge for me to stay motivated because it takes away from the cultural and social aspects of working in the office. To my delight, I was supported and had constant communication with my team. It was fun to have morning coffee chats, team conference calls, and email threads between everyone!
A large motivator for me was that my team made sure the work I had was meaningful. On our weekly check-ins, we would review what I was working on and I was always asked if I was enjoying my work or had ideas for other projects to work on. I enjoyed the freedom I had to be creative and the support from my team – I miss them every day!
What surprised you about working at the CRA? What are the most important skills you used on a regular basis?
I was surprised how much I liked working at the CRA! I was hesitant at first because my background wasn’t in accounting or tax law but I was drawn to the CRA Career Day through their advertising of “the CRA: it’s more than just taxes”. I learned that there is SO much more to the CRA than filing taxes and SO many opportunities to grow. In my position, I was able to work with a team to help run programs and services for the London office. I was also given the opportunity to answer calls on the CERB helplines. My role was dynamic, which I really loved.
The most important skills I used on a regular basis were communication and teamwork. Working in a virtual environment requires a different level of communication. Not being able to see someone in-person challenged me to refine and advance my skills in effective communication. Hand-in-hand with communication was being a good team player and learning how to be adaptive and supportive of others while working at a distance. Getting things done required effective team building, group work, and communication. I learned how to be a supportive team member and work effectively to meet deadlines.
What professional growth have you accomplished since working at the CRA? How did they support you on that path?
I experienced a lot of growth during my summer term with the CRA. We are always offered continuing education and workshops – I was able to attend webinars on leadership, education, networking, and Indigenous issues/opportunities which allowed me to develop my professional skills. As the summer went on, I was given larger roles and responsibilities, such as preparing and moderating student lunch and learns. Near the end of the summer, I was given the opportunity to help the wellness team facilitate and deliver workplace training for my office. This was an amazing experience and really challenged me to step-up as a leader.
How does the CRA celebrate successes?
The CRA celebrates success in so many ways! My favourite was giving out virtual certificates of thanks to each other. We received them from our team leaders, senior management, and members of our team. It was such a fun idea and always made me feel appreciated!
The biggest celebration of success was the acknowledgment and opportunity for growth. The CRA celebrates success by continuing to invest in us as employees. They provide continued growth/training opportunities and well as career advancement and many job opportunities. The CRA wants to invest in their employees and reward us for our efforts and commitment. I highly recommend the CRA student experience!
Not sure if you can see yourself in a career in the public service? CRA Career Day takes place on Tuesday, January 26 with sessions happening all day, including:
- Working in Technology at the CRA and its Impact on Canadians
- Virtual armchair chat with CRA's Commissioner, Bob Hamilton, CRA senior leaders, and Western University President, Alan Shepard
- Accessibility at the CRA
- Indigenous Student Opportunities
- Virtual Interview Tips & Tricks!