BrightTALK – Shalini Leelananda

Shalini Leelananda

02 Jan BrightTALK – Shalini Leelananda

Course studied: BSc International Business
Year of graduation: 2015

Since leaving Brunel…
My plan was to start working as soon as possible. I was ready to go into the working world. However it was not easy finding a job.

I graduated in July and my Tier 4 student visa was expiring in December that year. I had to either find a job that was willing to sponsor my visa to a tier 2 work visa or extend my current student visa by doing a masters, and I was not ready to do a masters yet. However I had to have a back up plan incase I didn’t find a job and had to leave the country, so I applied for a masters in digital media, culture and education at UCL for the January intake. I found out in November they were taking the course down because there weren’t enough applicants. That same month, after applying to over 200 jobs and facing numerous rejections I got a job offer from a company that was willing to sponsor my visa, and to date I am still working here and I’m very happy doing what I do.

At the moment…
I am a data analyst working at a content marketing B2B company in London. We are a tech company based in Moorgate, specialising in webinars, videos and content marketing. It’ll be two years since I joined in November 2015. I provide data and insights to various functions of the business such as marketing, sales, customer success and product. I am also heading the events team at my company, brightTALK. This year my new challenge is to start a masters in data science as I feel it will enrich my skills further and add to my career development.

How have my career goals changed…
From my second year at university I wanted to specialise in social media and digital marketing. I showed an interest in database marketing after doing my placement year. This directed my path to learn more about the value of data and insights, and how to analyse and manipulate it to draw useful information. I developed a passion and realised I was good at it, so I followed my heart!

How I have developed professionally since graduating…

  • I learnt (and am still learning) how to manage a team of people older than me with more years of work experience than me.
  • Manage my workload.
  • Prioritize tasks effectively.
  • Communicate and build a rapport with all stakeholders.
  • Learn as much as I can.
  • Learn to say no and push back.
  • Understand expectations and how to meet/exceed them.
  • Asking the right questions is better than remaining silent.

How I have developed personally since graduating…

  • More determined to prove myself to my colleagues and senior management.
  • Need to strengthen weaknesses and continue to improve strengths.
  • Work hard towards meeting deadlines.
  • Will never ever give up.
  • Will not let anyone bring my morale down as long as my team and managers are happy with how I am performing.
  • Learn to work with people with different personalities, qualities, traits, opinions and business ideas.

My advice to recent graduates/students graduating soon…

  • Never ever give up.
  • Have goals and work towards them.
  • Be passionate about your dreams, believe in yourself and work out a strategy to achieve them.
  • Don’t cut someone else or put someone else down to get to the top, do it in the cleanest, most humble way possible.
  • Work hard, never slack.
  • Learn as much as you can about everything.
  • Be headstrong and stay motivated.
  • Believe in a faith.
  • Make it happen.