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Kristina Ashqar | PSB Boisjoli LLP | Montreal, Quebec, Canada

T: 514.341.5511 ext. 273


"Just do it."

You started your career as an intern at PSB Boisjoli LLP in 2005 and are now a Senior Audit Manager. What's the key to your success?
I have clients in a variety of industries. I'm the account manager for one of the largest Canadian private portfolio managers and their closed-end mutual fund trusts, with assets under management of several billion dollars. My mantra is, 'just do it.' It carries me in moments where my brain is just wishing for me to resist, to stop, to not bother, to not speak up, to give up or to let go. With this mantra, I can bring being chill, being a contribution and being a powerhouse every day in all areas of my life.

It sounds like there's a bit of a story there.
There is! I spent far too many years thinking I would never be good enough or accepted because I am gay. By default, I did everything I could do to be successful in school, career and friendships. But I never felt fully complete with myself. In 2017, I took an extremely powerful development course that liberated me from that narrative. Changing this aspect of my life, fully being complete with who I am, has created a whole new view of life for me.

Who has helped you the most in that journey and in life?
My mother is just the bomb. The way she looks and dresses, her commitment to life and her contribution to those around her amaze me every day. She plays the piano, does yoga, goes to dance classes, she's artistic, a voracious reader and she loves her kids and grandkids. She flies around the globe to see family and her openness is extremely motivating to me. I get much of my 'just do it' mantra from her because I have always known her to do everything and be everywhere and do it with authority. She's literally my superwoman.

Your story is inspirational. What would you want young women to learn from it?
Be true to yourself. Don't let your thoughts, feelings and emotions create constraints and barriers for what you think is possible. Find what makes you tick, what your values are and what motivates you, and go out and be someone who can make a difference in whatever it is you choose to do. Being successful requires authenticity, humility, perseverance, courage and understanding that anything is possible with your commitment.