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Interactive Neha Sangwan: Navigating your early career and how to build confidence

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Insights 5 minutes read

Neha Sangwan: Navigating your early career and how to build confidence

Interactive's Neha Sangwan is a finalist in the 2021 ARN Women In ICT Awards, we spoke to her about life as a graduate, building confidence and family support.
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ARN Women in ICT Awards [WIICTA]

The WIICTA honour incredible female talent across the industry in eight categories; Innovation, Technical, Entrepreneur, Graduate, Rising Star, Shining Star, Achievement and D&I Champion (Company and Individual) awards. We are immensely proud as three of lnteractive’s team members have been recognised.

Neha Sangwan, who is a Project Coordinator in the Technology team at Interactive, has been nominated in the Graduate category. The award recognises a standout graduate candidate who has leveraged apprenticeship programs to start a career within the ICT industry.

We spoke to Neha about the award nomination, her journey through the graduate program, building confidence, taking chances, and dream dinner party guests.

Interactive: Neha, congratulations on the awards nomination, how does it feel?

Neha Sangwan: It feels great to be nominated and it’s a very proud moment for me and my family. I told my parents and my mum immediately shared the news with her sisters and the rest of the family, so r was receiving lots of messages of best wishes and encouragement from them which was nice. From a professional point of view, it gives me more confidence and courage to step up and take on some new challenges.

This award is to recognise graduates that have done amazing things, can you talk about your experience in the graduate program?

My graduate journey at Interactive was really exciting as I was able to get exposure to a variety of roles and responsibilities in different departments. At the same time, being a graduate, it was a bit overwhelming at times because I needed to adapt to different work environments and work styles in a very short timeframe. I’m glad that it worked out like that though because it pushed me to do things that I never thought I could which have been really empowering for me.

You now work in the Technology team as a Project Coordinator, why did you choose to take that path?

During one of my rotations, I worked with the Technology team and I had an awesome leader in Lisa, who taught me so much about project management – and I just knew that this was the path I wanted to follow. As a Project Coordinator, I’m able to assist people and still get to utilise the technical knowledge I’ve gained from my Bachelor of IT – it’s the best of both worlds.

Never say 'no' to an opportunity. New challenges help you find out your strengths and weakness, your likes and dislikes. You need to try stuff to figure that out.

Your role is one that requires confidence, is that something you’ve always had in you, or is it through learned experiences?

No. Confidence is something I’ve certainly had to develop over time. One example is when I decided to come to Australia by myself eight years ago. That was very challenging at the beginning, but now I’m living and working here, and over time that’s helped improve my confidence.

From a professional point of view, I have had opportunities to develop my confidence over the years. My time at Interactive has given me a lot of opportunities, from sharing viewpoints in team meetings as a grad, to reading and driving meetings. It has been challenging and nerve-wracking, but I’ve had constant support to excel.

What advice would you give young graduates who are getting started in their careers?

Never say ‘no’ to an opportunity. New challenges give you the chance to find out your strengths and weakness, your likes and dislikes. You need to try stuff to figure that out.

You should always be open to learning new things and always look for constructive criticism. Ask your manager or leader about how you can do a task better or where you need to enhance your skill and knowledge. As long as you put in the effort, you will get guidance from your peers or colleagues.

The other thing I’ve learned is to not be afraid to ask questions, even if they seem silly and you’re out of your comfort zone, just ask.

Final question, you can invite three people to your dream dinner party, who are they, and a quick why?

  • My mother, Nisha – My mother would have to be there because she·s helped shape me into the person I am today. When l was young, she was very strict with me at times but she was always pushing me to do my things by myself. That encouragement from her has made me a strong and independent woman.
  • My cousin’s brother, Shiva – Shiva is another person I would have to invite. He’s always supported and encouraged me to do things I wanted to do, it doesn·t matter if it’s good or bad. He’s always been behind me 100% and I’m the same with him. In high school, I used to admire him a lot and always looked up to him. He had a big influence on me being here in Australia.
  • My fiance, Rohit – I met Rohit in Australia and we’ve been together for seven years. I’ve learned a lot from him, but the main one is how to remain calm. He has supported me a lot in my career. At the beginning of my career, he pushed me and encouraged me to apply for a job and to go the extra mile.

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