True to her Name, one indeed is blessed to have a person like her to be a “Friend, Philosopher and Guide” . Here’s the journey of a woman who has always inspired us and continues to do so…
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
― George Bernard Shaw
Am completing two years in CRY on Friday and am wondering how time has flown by … When I take a stock of my career graph in the last 18 years (passed out of management college in 2006), it seems like a journey of unviable choices and yet it fits in somehow …
Was a management trainees recruited off campus with SS , retail being an unheard career option for a management graduate and began a fantastic journey of 8 years across organized retail players in India in all functions including merchandising, operations, strategy, branding etc. In summer of 2004, took a sabbatical and travelled to USA and my mind opened up to the possibilities of studying and specialization again , came back and attempted the GMAT and got admission to the Retail program in Columbia .
After the program, Walmart offered a job in their corporate office to be part of a multi –national team working on the India strategy team(none of which had even visited or take a tour to India) and then began another journey of non stop exposure and learning across Peurto Rico, Mexico, about ten states in USA in a span of 24 months
Took a break from retail and one day travelling across Mahim to Bandra saw the hoarding for the first edition of SCIP (Second Career Internship program), applied for it and got selected. Was a great avenue to meet fabulous women who had prioritized personal life and now were looking to balance with a project that offered intellectual stimuli without compromising on personal space.
As part of that database , got a call in May 2011 , that the Tata group was looking for resource to look at awareness and fund raising for the new cancer hospital in Kolkata. Having lost my mother to cancer in 1992, this was a perfect opportunity to do something about this deep rooted desire and had a good stint of six months including an opportunity to be in the same room as Mr. Ratan Tata and hear him speak about the vision of this hospital at its inauguration.
Sitting at home, on Linked-in , reached out to the regional director in CRY and rest is history …
But here’s a journey into the past , a flashback :
For the longest time I believed that “one day “ , I will find myself and then would be comfortable with who that would be ..Till I reached USA in the summer of 2005,on a sabbatical, at 32 to study for a second masters.
Not knowing anyone in the small town of Columbia , South Carolina and with a tight budget, I started exploring ways of living in a way that I had never had to before. Rewind to life of 32 years , born to a middle class family, elder of two sisters, life up until that point was very protected, predictable and safe.
Circa 2005, a lot of firsts started
First, tutor a 450 pound African American student, father at 18, quarterback star in the USC Gamecocks, who in the last session gave me a signed picture, completely confident, it would be worth millions one day
Second, walked into a theatre audition and landed the part of a pregnant Peurto Rican woman, who is sterilised without consent, spent evenings with a bunch of freshmen and sophomores in workshops and expressions through music and real stories of women around the world
Third, signed up for an American host with the International Division and landed up meeting Rose, a single mom full of life and energy, who introduced me to her friends, took me to Mertyl Beach for my birthday away from home, took me for 1$ movies on the Army base where she worked , and so many more memories
Fourth , join SIFE (Students in Free enterprise), a campus program that encourages students to participate in social causes, represent USC at UA for a SIFE case study competition in phoenix Arizona, meet with Ms. Annette Hoover who is SIFE coordinator
And many more….
You must be wondering what am I telling you all these incidents for and what does it have with who I am today … so here it is
- It does not matter where you come from , only matters where you dream of going
- Take chances, surprise yourself, get out of your own way and you may meet a person you never otherwise would have had a chance of
- Open yourself to experiences, meet and embrace new people, the memories you create will be invaluable and you would create a lifetime relationship
- Put your skills and talents out there , you never know who the audience is and where that might take your life next ;in my case Annette introduced me to Jody in Walmart who fought to get me an internship and finally a job in Walmart Corporate Office working on the India strategy team
And many more……
Have made many choices such as the above , these worked, many others did not …however teaching me the biggest lesson that it is about creating myself and whoever and whatever I want to be in this world…
Even my name Sanmita means a good friend in Sanskrit and the friends in my life do vouch for that being true.
So all u women out there , a humble learning that I have attempted in my first ever online post , thanks to the kind yet persistent Dipika Trehan , who is a dear friend forever