For this week's 'A Day in the Life of' series we introduce you to Abhirami Mahadevan, who works as a release manager at PayPal's global release engineering team in Chennai.
Abhirami, who is working-mother, is a quintessential example of a modern IT professional, who juggles her work and family seamlessly.
For Mahadevan, a typical weekday begins as early as six in the morning and can stretch beyond six pm depending on the host of meetings that she needs to attend at her workplace.
A career-oriented woman, Mahadevan doesn't mind the meeting as long as they are productive and says that she counts on the weekend to make up for the lost hours of sleep. "Our working hours are from nine am to six pm but based on the support model that we operate in with the other regions, it gets spilt over occasionally due meetings and collaboration. Like everyone I just wait for the weekend to sneak in those extra hours of sleep," she says gleefully.
But for working mothers, busy schedules like that of Mahadevan’s can be a challenge especially when it comes to managing the work-family balance. Often, here is where the role of an organisational and team support comes in handy in order to maintain that work-life equilibrium. For Mahadevan, PayPal and her team have been a strong pillar of support and because of this, she says that she is able to manage her work without letting it affect her family time. "I am able to integrate my work and life with the flexibility that PayPal offers and the support I receive from my team, also " she adds.
Currently, she is working on PayPal's Technology Platform Experience (TPX) organisation."I am also expanding my role as a scrum master for our release engineering tools development team," she added.
Giving us a brief insight into her role as a release manager in PayPal, Mahadevan says that her job requires her to plan, coordinate and manage releases across the enterprise and teams for multiple applications, "My role involves coordination across multiple teams, communicating to stakeholders, keeping track of a myriad of dependencies, and monitoring the status via tools, mails ensuring release process is followed so that new and enhanced IT services required by the business are quality tested, verified and approved before it goes live thereby protecting the integrity of existing services," she explains.
Amidst her busy day at work, one cannot help but ask her routine of unwinding to which she says, "I often attend the yoga or aerobics classes that PayPal offers and apart from this I do some artwork when I find the time,' Abhirami says.
At her office, she is also working on multiple projects other than her regular work. For instance, Mahadevan is part of PayPal's new initiative called Unity, an affinity group of women and men working together to create more opportunities for women at PayPal. She is also a member of the company's Working for the parents’ group. To the question of her company nurturing her talent she says, "I have been provided with the right opportunity that would tap into my potential of management and collaboration which I am great at."
In the long run, Mahadevan hopes to fine-tune her managerial skills while at Paypal. When quizzed about her five-year plan she says, "I see myself taking on more managerial responsibilities in the next few years where I’ll be able to use my skills to support and influence others. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing managers, and so developing into a great manager myself is something I’m really excited about and look forward to," she concludes.
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Akshaya Asokan works as a Technology Journalist at Analytics India Magazine. She has previously worked with IDG Media and The New Indian Express. When not writing, she can be seen either reading or staring at a flower.