Hi, I am Roshni and I work as a Data & Systems Manager and also as a part of the Business team at Le15.
I went down the so said “righteous path” and studied engineering as my undergraduate major and went on to do a Masters in Computer Science in Chicago. I loved how these degrees teach you the value of analytical thinking, following processes to the tee and maintaining logs for everything you do. I studied coding and software engineering concepts for 6 years of my life, and when I started working, I was coding 24 X 7 on the job and was miserable.
In all these years, I was always fascinated by the Food and Beverage industry, mainly for the variety of food there is to offer, but also for factors like service, innovation, presentation of ideas, linking cultures, making basic ingredients the hero of a dish.
So one thing I’ve done during all these years is travel, taste incredible food, understand flavours and textures, and also see how restaurants in various parts function just out of interest.
I came back to Bombay and decided to look for something to do in the F&B industry. I applied to Le15 for an Operations Intern position where I worked on various projects, pushed delivery sales, worked on planning and creation of the E-commerce website (Oh! Incase you don’t know, we ship macarons to 12 cities in India). My parents were unhappy and couldn’t seem to fathom the fact that an engineer is okay with an internship, which involves various business verticals, but not coding. But they still let me flow with it.
Within 3 months of my internship, I was offered a full time position as a Data and Systems Manager and also continued to work as a part of the business team, more precisely on the conceptualisation of new projects. I went back home, told my parents that I’ve decided to take this job and sat down with a list of things that make me happy at Le15. The list goes like:
- Exposure to Growth: I joined Le15 when we had just begun to grow. There were a lot of projects and ideas in the pipeline, there was room for pitching in your ideas, picking ideas and implementing them (specifically the E-commerce(shop) website – which our COO (Devika Patel) calls my Baby!)
- Culture and People: I’ve met some incredible people at Le15, they make coming to work so much fun. The team works in an open office (which is essentially like a common space where the whole team sits without any cubicles or partitions) and have conversations ranging from business ideas to all the incredible food we’ve eaten (of course we talk a lot about food) to the most random things.
- Opportunity to Learn: Since the team is really small, we get a chance to work closely with almost all the members from various backgrounds and there is so much exchange of information. For eg: I sit with the graphic designer to brainstorm ideas on the next creative that goes on instagram, or work with the operations team to make detailed plans for cake delivery.
This job hasn’t been a piece of cake (get the pun? :P), but in the last eight months, I’ve grown as a person, as a professional, eaten a lot of dessert, and worked on projects I can be absolutely proud of.
So, in all of this, all I’m trying to say is, it takes a lot of thinking, a lot of fights with yourself and in some cases with your parents, but at the end the peace of mind you get when you are doing something you love is all that matters!
I changed my career completely (I like to use the word “pivoted” cause I love the startup jargon) and I believe it’s one of the best things I could have done for myself. It’s okay to be scared, it might look like a big leap, but YOU have the courage to follow your dreams.
There is this line Steve Jobs said in a commencement speech sometime ago, which has stayed with me and maybe contributed to my decision, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle!” (You can see the full speech here)
I’d love to help you guys out through my thought process, or listen to your stories of career “pivots”. Let me know in the comments!