I am a portfolio planner at the National Grid. My route into engineering was via a full time university degree but I also returned from a career break. I worked and I was into the similar field of Electrical Power. I am an Electrical Engineer. I did my undergrad from one of the worlds top universities, the National Institute of Technology Rourkela, India. I was very much involved in Robotics and has done so many student projects viz. Sola power vehicle, balloon satellite, badminton playing robot, and many more. Additionally, I had taken my many leadership responsibilities viz. Vice President of robotics club, conducted classes on technical subjects, organized competition etc. After my undergrad, I joined Larsen & Toubro Construction as a Electrical Design engineer in the Power Transmission & Distribution department. I was responsible for substation protection and control, which is one of the most difficult segment of the substation. Currently after my masters in management from Cranfield University, I joined National Grid in the similar Electrical domain but more towards a management role.
The world is collapsed without electricity. For the power supply to reach your homes there are various assets to be managed ensuring all are working good. My work as a portfolio planner is to understand the life cycle of all the assets and ensure required maintenance and replacement so that the power sypply is not hampered. I work to ensure you have your homes lighted up. My proudest achievements are to understand my capability and to take a leap to join National Grid. I was also the only women to get selected along with senior most employees for the training in Substation Relay testing. I got a chance to and successfully completed testing of the 765kV control & protection panels for a substation in the factory. (if anything goes wrong, the power supply for the whole country might go off.)
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
My work circles around power transmission network. The typical day at work involve listing out the assets that require maintenance, ensure availability of resources, schedule a time period for operating on the assets, take the outage on the assets and reconnect them back to the system, ensuring continuous power supply to your homes. Additionally, a lot of knowledge sharing time, networking and training sessions. Overall its a fun packed day with interested work of my domain Electrical Engineering embedded with Management.
What advice would you give to your 15 year old self?
You are what you think. So, manifest what you want to become and work for it. There is nothing as winning and losing, rather in this journey of achieving what you wanted to you either take a step forward or you lose to take a different step forward. Either way you will be one step towards your goal. So, always keep smiling and keep working.
Who or what inspired you to get into engineering?
My Parents and the society.
What are your favourite hobbies or pastimes?
I am a Watercolor Artist, a Meditator, yoga instructor. I occasionally do calligraphy gift cards and commissioned portrait works.
What are the best and worst things about your job?
The best thing about my job is its flexibility to work-from-home, the accessibility of numerous resources for our development, and availability of helping hands ensuring wellbeing of employees.
The worst thing is that I was not acquainted to working in defined and medium pace environment, rather I used to take my multiple challenges and overburden myself. But, now I have to slow down for a good cause.
Where do you see your industry in 25 - 50 years time?
I see myself establishing my own company to drive towards sustainability and healthy living.
Have you had any career challenges you have had to overcome?
Communication is the key. For a women to grow in the construction field is a nightmare. Also, I believed in myself and in my skills. Many a times, I faced a situation where the male counterparts would be given preference over female. I stood up and spoke for my own rights and I was the only women who was selected and trained for certain training programs which in generally only men used to lead in. In later dates I could see there are many women leading the ladder.