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Garima Mishra
Garima Mishra

Garima Mishra

Escalation Engineer UCS

Cisco

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Garima Mishra's Advice

Go Get Your World !!!

Peggy, a naïve "new girl" at Sterling Cooper, was originally Draper's secretary, but showed surprising talent and initiative, including a knack - similar to Drapers' - for understanding the consumers. Don promotes her to copywriter, and she ultimately accepts a Creative Director position. Peggy sits in the photo copy room, allotted to her, and talk to customer and win a big deal for her company. She goes and sits outside the big boss’s office and waits. When he arrives, she asks for her own room as given to other men of her level. She doesn’t hesitate and says she has won a deal and she can win more but she can’t be effective, talking to customer in that photo copy room full of noise and people coming and going. Boss looks at her confidence and belief and says she can take it. This is a story taken from a popular TV series "Mad Men" Women have evolved with time. From being admin assistants and secretaries to being engineers, managers to the board room executives. The scene mentioned above portrays how women have proved themselves and made their place and reached where they are today. To make any demand or getting equal status, most of the women in past and present have gone extra mile to achieve the result and then sat confidently to have a conversation to demand and get what they want. There is another scene in the series, where the advertising firm is looking for a tag line for advertising a new brand of lipsticks their customer wants to sell to get the deal signed. For this they call all the secretaries and present them a tray of different shades of lipsticks. Everyone picks one of their favorites and uses them for hours in front of a mirror. They use a tissue to dab what is on and to remove one shade and put another. The mirror is two sided and executives are watching to derive ideas. They find Peggy doesn’t pick any. She sits and watch. When everyone is gone and an executive comes to collect the trash bin to see which shade was used the most she says “ take your bag of kisses” and when asked, she says she didn’t pick any because may be she didn’t like any shade. The lipstick brand is sold with the tag “ bag of kisses”. Its amazing to watch Peggy the character. She showcases her skill and talent in such a way that can amaze any one. She keeps her persona different by her dressing style and how she talks and walks and that makes her standout too. Away from pretention she stands out as an honest and talented employee. We are in a crowd of men and women. To standout and get noticed, one needs to create a special individual persona and aura. You need to portray a distinct approach, personality and talent. This needs hard work, dedication and patience. The rest will follow. Being in an environment , where we have more men and less women, can work in few ways to our advantage and few to our disadvantage. Because you are the only women, you will be noticed for sure. Your plus and minuses will also be noticed in the same way. At times you won’t find your self comfortable joining your team mates for smoke, lunch outside or conversation on sports etc. You might think, being a different gender you could not connect and have rapport with your team mates in the same way a male employee can. You might also face questions more on life and work balance and at times people might step on you and throw their preconceived opinion of gender bias on you. These might hit you for a second but don’t let it affect you more than that. There are many other ways to connect. There are many other ways to answer their opinionated questions . The disadvantage or criticism are like hurdles, you see their height, you think within yourself that you can jump over it and then jump over it to be ready to do the same for another. If you think a lot over it , you will remain at this side of the hurdle always. You can remain a woman and how you are as an individual and connect with people in your team and outside. You don’t need to change your personality and become a man. You have to learn to shine like a diamond to grab everyone’s attention. Hard work, dedication, solid preparation and homework for an event, good and friendly communication, openness and willingness to share are key strength. You need to walk an extra mile to take initiatives, showcase what you did, smile and smile some more and move on. Observe the people around, spread positive energy by discussing positive thoughts and ideas and appreciations. Don’t let difficult people/situation to destroy you. Stay calm and focused and have child like mentality to learn more and share more. Over the years women have struggled, learnt new ways and today they are Industry leaders, CEOs, entrepreneurs, doctors, engineers and key decision makers in the world. They have learnt to strike a balance between home and office and art of equality. With so many mentors, their stories and experiences, nothing can stop you. Now there is no scope to crib and shed tears. This is the time for action as the show is already on. Go win your world now!!!
My important career decision
I have been a developer, an automation engineer, QA and an escalation engineer. I was the lead for one of the most important projects of Cisco and then moved to escalation. Most of my career years have kept me on my toes I slept less and worked more as if I was addicted. When I moved to escalation, I found it very challenging. Here planning my working hours was not in my hands. When an issue will come you don't know. That taught me multi tasking, challenging my own limits of getting exhausted, handling stress and aquiring knowledge. I think if I look at my 9-10 years of IT career, I have changed roles, domains . This has given me a lot of visibility of product, market, customer and internal working of a company and has added to my capabilities, confidence and growth. Basically not only people but you yourself start looking at yourself as someone who can do anything, work in any environment and can deal with any situation successfully.
My advice
I think someone who is just starting his/her career should not keep any mental block about role and work. Each role in the industry has its own significance and they are connected. One should identify his/her interest and strength and apply for the open positions. It's also good to have a taste of everything, like I did. But one thing that one should always keep in mind is that there is no short cut for success.Challenge your own limits and have competition with yourself. At the same time learn from others, listen to feedbacks, apply what you feel is right and just move on.You have to be open to learn as much as you can, specially in early years. Find passion in what you do and put a lot of hard work. Hard work and passion is always seen by the world.
Making job easier
I think as a person, by nature I am very dedicated, hardworking and passionate. In my personal life and as well as professional. I have ability to handle a lot of stress. After working continuously for weeks without sleep, you will still see me fresh and smiling.
I think I don't work in any fear or because someone has directed me. I work because I like it. It's most satisfying when after hours and days of stress, pressure and hard work you get the job done. I smile a lot and keep my communication friendly, that helps in connecting with people. I work with a lot of people around the world and I work consistently in the same way even if no one is watching. It pays off because more people get to know you and your work and they start considering you as someone who gets things done. That's a very important thing.
My role model
I don't have one role model. However sincere, dedicated and hardworking people inspire me. people who are not afraid, challenge their own limits and gain satisfaction with their own good work.
From a QA engineer who doesn't mind answering a small query by customer support during weekends, to a developer who shows the sense of ownership for the product developed and stretches his limits to identify the wrong/missing part of code to a manager/director who doesn't mind spending hours motivating and arranging resources for a critical task. People who are really intelligent, don't mind telling what they don't know and keep child like mentality to learn more and grow... inspire me the most.
Being different
Its a very tough question. However, I think everyday I try to stretch my capability of handling more stress, work harder-smarter, gaining more knowledge and trying something new. I am very passionate about work and it doesn't make me tired but makes me more happy and satisfied as a person.
I am always willing to work more and whatever I do, I try to do at the best of my capabilities.
My achievement
I think I have a road ahead to start achieving and talk about the milestones reached :). it's too early.
In my first year of the career in HP, I had submitted a patent which got published later. In those early years I had submitted few white papers because of which I was invited in HP's Innovation summit with many distinguished personalities. I was also given the best employee award in HP.
I have led groups and was a school captain. During college days I was not only topper in academics but I also hosted fests and they were successful.
Now at this stage of my career I find people writing good things about me in LinkedIn, consider me as sincere and hardworking person who can get things done. They appreciate and acknowledge.
These might not be real achievements but are building blocks for what I would achieve tomorrow.
Family Background
I come from a business family where my father was the first one to go against tradition and to go for MBA. He retired as an A.G.M in a very big public sector company. My Mom has retired, she was a very dedicated and hardworking teacher with a very large fan following. My brother is a very intelligent person. He is IIMB graduate and had been at very high position at international level in big MNCs. He is best in everything he does.
My husband is a Project lead in a company. he is considered one of the best in his field internationally and has ideas submitted for patents.
We are passionate about art and animals. We have a Golden Retriever, a cat, birds and fishes in our home and with a lot of collectibles. Best thing is that they know how to roam around the home without breaking anything :).
Challenges faced in job
I find it really challenging to communicate with people of diverse nature and background. People come with their own ideas and ways of working in an organization. It's really a tough job but really essential to be with such diverse people and their ways, but have your original improved self. basically to maintain your own distinct persona.
It's also challenging to keep up with drastically and fast changing technology. The key to this is developing interest in the same area.
Managing professional as well as personal life
I can multitask. I have ability to handle a lot of stress and I am very hardworking. This helps me a lot to keep the atmosphere at home always happy. My husband and pets keep home cool and relaxing. I cook to relax myself. Cooking and cleaning are both de-stressing. My husband is very supportive and doesn't mind me taking late night calls or checking mails/phone and working late night. He is also passionate about work. Whenever we have time in between work we spend it in quality.
Views about 'Tech product Introduction is weak among Indians'
I think we should bring in more product development work to India. The product development and management from scratch from India. Right now we are doing a lot of sustenance.
everything will follow.
Company and job profile
I work as an escalation Engineer for UCS products in Cisco Systems India Pvt Ltd in Bangalore. It is part of the core engineering group. Being an escalation engineer is more of a research and collaboration work with time being important factor as resolution of the issue ASAP and effectively is most critical. An escalation engineer usually works more hours and at odd hours under high visibility of multiple groups and higher management and carries a lot of responsibility on their shoulders to provide resolution for the issue raised by customer support/sales/accounts team. A timely resolution and satisfied customer implies a new deal win, gain of customer trust and more happy customers and their rating. There is no scope and tolerance for not achieving the above said goal because a successful company is made up of happy customer and their increasing number with time. I work during weekends, at night, at times sleep only for 1-2 hrs. But at the end of the day its very satisfying.
Books recommended
You can win by Shiv Khera is one of my favorites. You can read few articles on net on how to handle difficult situation and people. Some soft skills read like communication and presentation.
My strongest Skill
Ability to learn fast, Ability to lead, coordinate, handle more stress, hard work and dedication are my key skills apart from product knowledge that is an ongoing process . The exposure to various types of roles and domains are also key factors, which bring in more effectiveness.
Goals and Ambitions
I think I would like to explore product management and people management. We learn over years and one day we need opportunity to apply what we have learnt so far. I think I like ownership and responsibilities and that helps me to be more effective.
Current Trends
I work in Server domain. Bringing in Switching and storage capabilities into the server is a very interesting trend. manageability is getting considered as one window to manage everything in the datacenter and I think future is more collaboration amongst companies to come up with single bundled solution.
Connect with Garima Mishra on Linkedin
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