This is Lakshmi Sistla.
Lakshmi was just three years old when her father died. She says that her mother struggled a lot to bring up her and her sister. “She gave us the best she could. She worked hard as a school teacher and it's because of her that my sister and I both got to go to University. She lives in India with my sister's family. I really hope to be able to fly back and see her soon. If you ask me more about my mum I will start crying. It's so hard to stay here in Australia now.”
Lakshmi has a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering. She passed her course with Distinction. She chose this course of study because Engineering was highly regarded by her Uncle. She said that girls made up 25% of the students, but she was disappointed to discover once she graduated how difficult it would be to find a job in that field. She attended three interviews and they all told her that they do not recruit women, as the job involves travel far from home, and shift work.
So Lakshmi started to learn about data warehousing, which was an emerging industry in India at that time. She had a friend at IBM who recommended this. She found it challenging but she was determined. Accenture was her first interview for an IT role. She cleared the first interview and was scheduled for the technical round. The interview was with someone based in the USA - and this was the first time she ever spoke to anyone from the USA! She found the interview process very stressful. But then they offered her the job ”I nailed it” she laughs remembering. “I remember this experience, so clearly. The offer was double my mother’s salary - and she had been teaching for 38 years and retired as a Government school headmistress.”
Lakshmi’s new role at Accenture was in data warehousing using Cognos - a business intelligence and performance management software. She got married in April 2010, had a son, and moved to Australia in December 2018.
They settled into life in Carnegie, where Lakshmi started volunteering at her local Red Cross Op Shop to improve her English language skills, and later at St Kilda Mums, under her first IT “boss” in Australia, the wonderful Paula Nunez.
Lakshmi is a founding member of The (Informal) Salesforce Buddy Program, developing the program and website with a team of volunteer job seekers like herself.
Lakshmi loves being a Salesforce Administrator, bridging the gap between business needs and technology. She is a Trailhead Ranger twice over, and her goal is to learn more about Marketing Cloud and Revenue Cloud (CPQ and CPQ Billing).
In her spare time Lakshmi loves music, cooking and gardening.
“I believe sharing is caring. I am doing my best in all possible ways to improve my flexibility and cultural competency. If I know something I want to share it with others.”
Lakshmi is open to job offers. #volunteering #teaching #girlsinstem