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Alumnus Ms. Megha Vijay talks about the evolving field of HR and the opportunities it has for future professionals, especially women

It was when she was doing her bachelor degree that Ms. Megha Vijay developed an interest in HR. To pursue her passion and future ambitions she came to SCMS Cochin School of Business, a place that groomed her into the professional that she has become today. Since graduating from the institute in 2008, Ms. Megha has worked as HR in different industries: from the hospitality industry to IT and engineering. She believes this invaluable experience has helped her understand the complete system that revolves around the domain. Naturally, talking to Ms. Megha and learning HR from her is fitting. Giving a brief overview of the field, Ms. Megha says, "There are different kinds of HR activities that happen across industries, be it in the private or the public sector. It's a vast subject and to understand it completely you need a lot of time. HR is particularly important in IT, a field where it is growing.” She then goes on to talk about probably one of the biggest challenges faced by HR professionals in the industry: retaining an employee for a long time with one company. For someone who has seen all aspects of HR, it's easy to see the difference between policies applied in India and internationally. Ms. Megha, who is currently workin with Mindteck, explains the differences: "India has a long way to go when compared to HR policies followed in the international market. There are some changes like flexi-work timing and work from home positions that have been introduced. The social and moral responsibility of a company has become a significant part of the HR industry. Most importantly, there is a sexual harassment policy that was not there about ten years ago." It's something that Ms. Megha, being a woman professional in the industry, can relate to. She talks about her work toward strengthening these policies: "You have to understand that sexual harassment is not only physical but verbal as well. There is a need for sexual committees in companies. If you are a company with, say, over a 1000 employees and 40-45% of them are women, then you have to make sure you retain them as you need their support.” She admits that it's a male-dominated world but women will have their opportunities. According to Ms. Megha, most companies will have women at the senior HR level. "The good thing is that the industry doesn't differentiate based on gender, and, your knowledge will be appreciated,” she says. “There is a lot you get to learn.” When it comes to hiring, she says that she looks for candidates who can communicate effectively. She advises freshers to give themselves a couple of years to grow before thinking about moving to the next level, or moving just for money. Having made a place for herself in the industry, Ms. Megha is grateful for her time at SCMS Cochin School of Business where she had endless opportunities to learn and build her character. She particularly remembers the management meets when she was a part of the hospitality sector, an activity that she considers to be a huge learning experience. With a hint of nostalgia, she concludes, "I have gotten tremendous support from SCMS Cochin. The theoretical knowledge I got helped me implement my knowledge practically in the industry. My time at the institute was fantastic and I go for the annual meets to relive it in some ways.”