A fast career trajectory: Vijaya Shanthi’s story

It might have taken six years from finishing her engineering degree to starting her career, but once Vijaya Shanthi got going, there was no stopping her.

I’m from an orthodox Indian family, born and raised in Vizag, Southern India. I was married at 18 to the son of a childhood family friend. However, I laid down a condition that I would stay at my mom’s and finish up my degree in Engineering. Luckily, both sides of the family realised the importance of my studies in India and encouraged me in every single way, instead of prodding me to move to Singapore to live with my new husband. I can be stubborn when I need to be! 

In the final year of my degree, I got pregnant with my first son, Tej. He was born just before my final exams but I managed to score a distinction, thanks to support from my family. After completing my degree, I moved to Singapore to be with my husband where we had our second son, Anuj.  Having two kids under 3 years kept me busy so my career needed to wait a little longer.

“I’ve enjoyed so many different opportunities to make up for lost time.”

After a few years in the Silicon Valley where my husband worked at Apple Inc, he was offered a role at Standard Chartered in Global Business Services and we moved back to India. My boys were now at school, and I realised this was my time. I applied for a junior role as a technical writer at the Innovation Lab in Scope International, Chennai. It was intimidating indeed because I hadn’t done anything for myself since my studies, so I felt I had a lot to prove.

Fast forward eight years, and I’ve enjoyed so many different opportunities to make up for lost time. I’ve found there are always open doors available to you and I’ve raised my profile with senior management several times, which is a great reflection on the culture within the organisation. Spurred on by my time blogging in California, I now specialise in communications, employee engagement and business planning within the ITO world, and more specifically within the Cloud Infra Services team.

I’m proof that if you’re brave and hang on to your dreams, it doesn’t matter when you start your career.  All that matters is what you put into it.

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