Software engineer Nalini Rajan, a 2019 WE Local India attendee, landed a job through IBM’s reentry program after meeting and speaking with recruiters at the conference. Career fairs are just one of the great reasons to attend SWE’s annual conference or a WE Local conference. Read on to learn about Nalini’s experience at the 2019 WE Local India career fair, then register for a 2020 WE Local near you to find your new role!
My Experience at WE Local India, 2019
Question: What kinds of challenges did you experience when you decided to reenter the workforce after 10 years outside of the professional arena?
Answer: The first main challenge that I faced was to equip myself with an updated skill set related to my field (JAVA Development). I took up online courses in Udemy, when I decided that I am going to enter back into professional world. I also had personal challenges which I solved with the help of my family.
Question: What was your reason for taking a career break?
Answer: On the personal front, I had to manage a big family as my in-laws stay with us. My kids needed time to adjust to the new routine as I had been there for them all the time. I took the break for raising family and my husband had to stay abroad for a long time, so we moved in as a family. We were in Edinburgh for one year and in Singapore for seven years.
Question: What was your experience at the career fair, and how were you able to connect with a new opportunity?
Answer: At the SWE career fair, I visited all the stalls and shared my resume with them. Many companies were hesitant about the concept of reentry. At IBM’s stall, the HR person collected all my details and explained IBM’s reentry program. After a few days they contacted me and conducted an interview and then selected me for the IBM Tech Reentry program along with 17 other women employees.
Question: How has your life changed since you joined IBM?
Answer: I have gained more positive energy and confidence, and it feels good to meet people and socialize with them, and I also feel that I have done justification to my engineering degree. I would like to thank SWE for helping me in taking a major step toward the second stretch of my professional career.
Question: What advice would you have for women considering attending the career fair in 2020?
Answer: Be positive and confident. Let the employer know that you are willing to learn and update your skills. Show your best work.
SWE is hosting 2020 WE Local conferences in the following cities:
WE Local – United States
- San Diego, CA: Jan. 31–Feb. 1
- Salt Lake City, UT: Feb. 7–8
- Raleigh, NC: Feb. 21–22
- Des Moines, IA: Apr. 17–18
WE Local Europe
- London: May 27–29