Stick on to your Passion like a Tattoo

Stick on to your Passion like a Tattoo

"If you work just for money, you'll never make it, but if you love what you're doing  then success will be yours. One such women who has great passion for her work is MARY KOSHY. She has 20+ years of experience . She is now working as a general manager in EXTREME NETWORKS. She always works towards her passion and gives out her best in whatever she does. Given below are few excerpts from her interview which can be highly benefited and inspired by young women".                                 

Excerpts from an interview:

WE: How did you get the opportunity in IBM, New York?
         Being a new senior level manager, it was very difficult for me but I wanted to know the whole aspect of the project. It was not very easy and i was not able to collect the right information because no one was co-operative. It was very challenging as well as an interesting position for me.

WE: While working in IBM, How did you update yourself with new technologies?
          IBM is very good in developing the employee's career as well as their knowledge. In IBM, we had a program in our development plans which helped us to benefit a lot. We were allowed to choose the necessary location and class. If the location was too far, they  provided travels or accommodation for a week. We were also allowed to order books online. IBM had discussion forums among the employees. You can become the member of one of those forums and post your questions there. Some expert would answer and it was very supporting at that time.

WE: After 2 years, why did you shift from project manager to coding?
         To become a successful manager, i wanted to be a hands-on technical person . Unless i knew how to code and test the product, i was not able to manage the team well. Most of the managers are successful because they have done it. So i decided to go back to development. But when you go back to management, you can't always provide the solution to people rather you can guide them to execute the project well.

WE: How did you manage your family, while working with IBM?
          It is one of the challenges which most of the women have to get through. I was very lucky because my house was near to my office, it was just 10mins drive. But managing the family couldn't have happen possible without the help of my husband and my mother-in-law. He was very supportive and we both took care of the child when we had free time but still it was not the ideal way to bring up a child. Now my son is very independent. Managing time is always very important to get through these challenges.

WE: Why did you shift from IBM to Nortel Networks Corporation?  And why did you choose telecoms?
          IBM was purely application development and i was mostly involved in it. At one point of time, i wanted to change and try something different. Communication side interested me a lot as well as i wanted to know the other part of the industry. So i shifted to NORTEL NETWORKS CORPORATION, Canada.
WE: What was your role in Nortel?
          I was in the senior technical level, it was a good change for me. I was basically working on the ems 250 switches on the card processing side. I really enjoyed while working for this.

WE: What are the challenges you faced in Nortel?
          There were lot of people who started their career in telecoms, they knew a lot about communication industry than me. Since i was in a certain level, i can't start from the bottom but i learnt it pretty fast. Being a senior, there were many expectations. I met with their expectations but I didn't find many challenges .
WE: When did you return to India?
         My family decided to go to India so we came in 1996.

WE: What was your first job in India?
          My first job in India was with HCL technologies in cisco software development center as a project manager. One of the good things which happened is that cisco offers a development center and the work culture is similar to the one in US. But i had to learn  work system in India and about the different systems in India. At first, there were little bit of adjustments and i got a lot of support from my colleagues. Once when you contribute and be a successful person in a team then you will be able to apply for your future development. I really enjoyed working, developing and encouraging team members. Managing a team in US is different from the one in India. Being a project manager in India, i instruct my team mates and I guide them. But in US, they are given full freedom so that they can come out with their own ideas and gain knowledge.

WE: Why did you move from HCL to Verizon?
         After you have done several things in a large scale then there is less growth opportunity. if we are six to seven group of large project managers not everyone can become a general manager. HCL was not going that fast so I had to wait to get that opportunity but Verizon offered it to me so I said, “OK, this is good to give a shot and see how I can take it up.”

WE: When you started, what responsibilities you faced as a general manager at Verizon ?
          We do a lot of things in a very short time expectation for subsidiary growth so we had to do recruitment in a very fast scale. We need to create a organization structure that would hold and support the growth. I have done this in HCL in a very lower scale. But when you move to the next level in a large organization, it s not a easy battle because you won't get any support to implement your ideas and you would experience a lot of resistance.

WE:  How did you proceed with your career?
          After few months, i jumped into the big step of my career. I moved to manage the operations in VERIZON, Chennai. My group project managers moved to manage a full subsidiary of very large organizations in US. This fostered the growth in my career.

WE: From Verizon, how did you get a better opportunity?
         Verizon was a very good opportunity. I moved to Bangalore and then to Chennai. Finally I joined in EXTREME NETWORKS at 2006.

WE: At EXTREME NETWORKS, what are your role's and responsibilities?
         We are a software engineering organization  and it is again a subsidiary of the US company. I am responsible for India center operations. It is to manage the call center of the company. We have different functional heads to ensure that everybody works as well as to get things done only to expand facilities, expansion in time and regular requirements of getting extended in India. And that all comes under my responsibilities.

WE: Have you faced a situation where your personal pressure gets hold with the big project?
         Yes ! When we were in US, my son felt sick and took off to school. I wanted to take care of him at the same time I had the presentation to be completed for the next day. Then I got permission from my manager and he asked me to make sure that I have completed it by the next day. Fortunately, I did it.

WE: What is your daily routine?
       I get up by 5.30 or 6 in the morning. I will do some exercise and yoga. I love cooking so it will take some time to finish and will spend some time with my son. Then I leave for office and I will do my work. Sometimes we have to talk to the clients in the US and it gets over by 11 or 11:30. We will have dinner by 7 or 7.30 and after that I sleep.

WE: What do you do in your leisure time?
      I spent some time in the garden. I really love plants and I was practicing gardening from my childhood.

WE: What tips you would suggest freshers to follow?
      There are many opportunities but one should have the willingness to give out the best in whatever job one does.  You should learn a lot out of your own interest , this is not going to be your last job or the last opportunity. Keep on updating your knowledge and work towards your goal. Unemployment is always to some extent. If the skills are lacking then ensure that you develop the skills in a faster way. Always make sure that you meet with the needs of the company and then get into an interview.


WE: According to you, what are employee's work ethics?
         Work ethics is very much important for a person.  One should not be confined in completing the work but completing the work by incorporating their highest potential and hardwork. Motivation is something very much necessary to bring out the hidden talents and potential. It is not necessary that someone should come and motivate, one should have self-motivation so that would develop their attitude.

“ The price of success is hardwork, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to task at hand” - Vince LOMBARDI