Ma’am could you tell me about the vision of your company and what do you actually wok on?

So in our company,Exeter Premedia Services ,we work on cloud based solutions for publishers. We basically work with book and journal publishers and provide technology solutions for effectively happy authors. In the end we want the publishers to have a very perfect experience in terms of how their manuscripts go through the various process. The end product may either be online or paperback. So, we’ve gone through the whole process and have incorporated methods and ways that can be automated and help make the process easier. We’ve been in this industry for quite a while and that has helped us in streamlining the various methodologies. This is our main goal.

That’s lovely ma’am! Can you tell me how you’ve chosen whatever you’ve done in your career so far

My primary goal is to look for opportunities wherein you can contribute a lot. And I enjoy working with a lot of people. And I think I work to my true potential in a team. At the moment, I’m working on something that is more inclined to being operational than technical. It has helped me bring out my true potential as well as the people in my team. I scout for such opportunities. We work with a lot of freshers, young people and help them shine and be better versions of themselves. We help carve a path for them. This drives me.

Tell me more about your journey in being a woman techmaker.

Being honest, personally I’m driven a lot by self doubt.I used this as a motivating factor and kept questioning myself if I was always good enough in whatever work I did.Constantly trying to prove to myself that I’m good enough has helped me reach my goal. I was initially working in a startup based in the USA. And then there came a need for me to return back to India. I approached my boss to consider opening a divison in India. I was taking up a huge responsibility and that terrified me.But then I wanted to create a whole new opportunity for myself. And it was worth the risk.

How do you think your alma matter has helped boost your career frame?

As you very well know, SVCE has a strong alumni network. And I would strongly recommend you all to be a part of it although you would want to cut all types of ties with college once you’re done with it (chuckles).Make sure you connect with all your seniors because you learn a lot from them. You will be able to seek help for career advise. I’ve seen really sharp minded HRs in this association who have helped me in a great deal with marketing. You get to see things from different perspectives due to collaboration of different ideas. And the only thing that unites us all is that SVCE tag and it’s wonderful.

What do you think is your best quality?

Actually I think there’s a couple. I am not able to narrow it down to one single thing in particular. One thing is that there’s this constant nagging in myself to always be the best in whatever I do. There’s always an internal push factor that makes me question if this is good enough and that how can I make it even better. Pushing boundaries has helped me go to the next step

Second thing is that , I define my success in seeing how I’ve helped others succeed. Like I had mentioned earlier, I love working with a bunch of people. And if I see someone doing so well and that if I had enabled them somehow in making them achieve that, it gives me utmost satisfaction. That vibes gives me a lot of happiness.

In which domain do you think women should explore more and why?

Firstly , I do not want to restrict anyone from just narrowing down to one stream. I would want everyone to explore different things and then decide upon what appeals the most to them. Second thing is that, whenever an opportunity strikes your door , just grab it. You may never know that you’ve been liking something all along but never got an opportunity to work on it so you might never recognise your interest in it due to the lack of proper opportunities. You will never know what you want to do unless you go out there and explore. I’ve seen a large number of students wanting to work in AI or ML and landing up in completely different things. Frankly speaking , from my own personal experience, I studied Image Processing at Carnegie Mellon and I didn’t do anything related to it after I graduated. Looking back, I don’t feel bad not working in the core of my study as it has given me an immense learning experience. You should be open enough to grab opportunities outside your field of study also. We never know what might or might not work. It’s worth to take a few risks.

What difficulties have you faced as a woman in the field of tech, if any?

Not much actually. But there’s a little bit of gender bias here and there. Before I joined my second company, I worked in another one for a brief period. The general expectation was it wasn’t as encouraging for me to come up with ideas. It was kind of a struggle there. I had many ideas for the products and processes. I felt that they weren’t being considered. I didn’t want to be pushed through so I left.

What is your advise for the students today?

One thing in general that I want to advise is that you must have the willingness to work hard in whatever career you choose for yourself. You should be passionate about something. It should make you stay up and work till late nights or get up early in the morning. You should have a burning desire to constantly push yourself harder to achieve your goal. You should definitely do things outside your college curriculum so that it’ll help you figure out what you really want to do. That extra effort will give you a constant drive and enthusiasm. Try to disntinguish yourself from the crowd.

Thank you so for giving us this opportunity to interview you amidst your busy schedule!

Sowmya Mahadevan: It’s my pleasure. Thank you.