As part of my series about prominent entrepreneurs and executives that overcame adversity to achieve great success, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tania Dsouza.
Difficult circumstances can cause even the strongest of individuals to begin to doubt their purpose in life and, more importantly, themselves. And then there is Tania Dsouza; a fighter, a lover, and an overcomer. Ms. Dsouza has and will continue to beat the odds. One of Tania’s life goals is to spread her infectious joy to those that need a helping hand. The ability to believe when there is no logical reason to believe is a special character trait that is only reserved for those that dare to be honest with themselves. Tania Dsouza carries the spirit of “The American Dream”.
Jason Crowley: Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to this specific career path?
Tania Dsouza: My curiosity for learning and experiencing different cultures led me on a path to live and work in various cities across the globe. “Design is fundamentally human. If we can come together by embracing each other’s differences, creativity becomes the result”. Facing many obstacles along the way, I am determined to be an example by sharing my journey with others. Living in multiple countries, earning two master’s degrees and working full-time, my progressive accomplishments are what make my story extraordinary. As a woman of color, an immigrant and a single mom, my commitment goes over and above my role. Fascinated by innovation in technology, Tania credits a creative problem-solving technique and a constant learning mindset to help navigate the way out of any box.
Crowley: Tell us how you were able to overcome such adversity and achieve massive success?
Dsouza: Becoming an “Overcomer”, initially was out of desperation, but quickly became part of my identity. Coming from a struggling middle-class family, I had to be thankful even in the midst of lack. Working many long hours, my Mother was doing everything she could for our family. Her example allowed me to look above the struggles of not always having a bed to sleep in. Going through these hardships caused me to develop a quiet trust within myself, which has allowed me to empathize with those that may need encouragement. If I can make just one person’s life better, then the temporary struggles were well worth it. I thank God for this perseverance that will also provide a higher quality of life for my daughter.
Crowley: Can you share your story of when you were on the brink of failure? First, take us back to what it was like during the darkest days.
Dsouza: I went through a devastating time during an unforeseen turn of events. Working in a successful career at Ogilvy and Mather (Dubai), I was forced to leave and go back to India to start over. This was a tipping point for me. What could have been the darkest time of my life actually caused me to dream again! After two years in India, I made the journey to America to earn a second Masters in technology. Being in America opened the doors for my dreams to become obtainable goals. Because I learned to never take shortcuts in life, I chose not to work illegally while my classmates, made $10–12 an hour. My faith led me to walk in integrity. I remember climbing stairs with my daughter asleep on my shoulder while toting my bags and stroller! I remember walking in the cold with shoes that froze to my feet. I paid for my education and living expenses from my savings, which was a huge risk. However, my trust in what God would do with my future laid claim to everything I have today. I am thankful to be debt free!
Crowley: What did the next chapter look like?
Dsouza: After graduating, I moved from New York to Milwaukee, which is now a place I call home. I realized the most important thing you can have is relationships. I found meaningful friendships that I truly enjoy and cherish.
Crowley: Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Dsouza: Working globally between India, London, Dubai, Toronto, and New York, has given me a window into understanding lifestyles across various cultures and behaviors. The diversity of thought is critical for businesses to succeed and build products and solutions for everyone. I firmly believe that businesses can benefit from an open mindset. Including different perspectives to solve complex problems is the future of development. It is my goal to be the link that connects these concepts. Freedom and creativity will be the result.
Crowley: Any parting words of wisdom that you would like to share?
Dsouza: True wisdom, I believe, comes from God. What are you thinking? What are you believing? What are you placing your hope in? These are the questions that I ask myself. The answers to these questions provide the daily life that I am currently experiencing. No amount of money or status can satisfy the true longing in our hearts. We are created to have intimacy with God and others. The key is that we need each other!
Crowley: Based on your experience, can you share 3 actionable pieces of advice about how to develop the mindset needed to persevere through adversity?
More About Tania Dsouza
Tania is the current Creative Technology Director at BVK, a Milwaukee-based full-service advertising agency. Here, Ms. Dsouza spearheads innovative digital initiatives by providing practical application of technology in design such as artificial intelligence /Machine learning, Natural Language Processing, artificial intelligence Chatbots, Progressive web apps, Augmented Reality /Virtual Reality.
In a short time, she has conceptualized, built and scaled four software-as-a-service-technology products (intellectual properties) for BVK clients. Included is a re-imagined coop program for travel and tourism clientele through a new digital platform. Tania is currently developing technology strategies for using Voice Smart Devices. Brainstorm for proof of concept and future versions to enhance current and future BVK customers.
Crowley: How can our readers follow you on social media?