Krishnarani Balakrishnan studied Diploma in Information Technology at Stamford College.
Diploma in Information Technology, Stamford College, 2006
How was your first year being on the job?
In my first year here, it felt as if there was so much to be done within 12 short months. It was also one of the most significant years for me in terms of personal and professional growth. During that time, I had to assess each situation, task or initiative carefully, and I’ve always made it a point to ask as many questions as needed in order to learn more about the organisation and its culture. I wasn’t concerned about being perceived as irrational because I felt it was better to clearly understand the task I need to do rather than to make second-guesses.
What do you do at work?
My work involves leading my team to monitor and analyse the insurance processing flow, and ensure that it works effectively. If any issues arise, it becomes my responsibility to work out a strategy or improvement plan to overcome them. I’m also responsible to manage the day-to-day operations of my team.
In addition, I continuously engage my team while collaborating with others across the company in order to present key findings to our stakeholders and the senior management team. Given that there is a team reporting to me, it becomes my responsibility to train, develop and gauge their performance, too. The other part of my job involves partnering with our HR team to recruit new staff when necessary.
What do you like most about your job?
What I find most satisfying about my job is being able to manage people. The role is fascinating and at the same time, very demanding. Managing people will challenge you to act, think, and discover new things that eventually adds to the satisfaction you receive.
What I really enjoy most in this role is the opportunity to coach and mentor my staff and watch them grow personally and professionally. I also believe that managing an individual or a team to perform is not about deploying the ‘carrot and stick’ approach. A good manager must be able to empower their staff to make decisions, recognise those that contribute and reward performers. This is what I try to achieve, and I must say that I enjoy seeing the result of the team’s contribution. It certainly goes beyond what I could do on my own.
What is the single most important thing you’ve learnt from your job search so far?
During the days after my graduation, when I was looking to start my career, landing a job wasn’t easy. I tried many ways to land a job and many of the jobs I applied for were through online applications. Job portals like JobStreet and professional online networking sites such as LinkedIn, as well as job boards, are great tools that you can use during your job hunt.
However, I also went the extra mile to obtain job interviews by finding a contact that I know, or attend walk-in interviews held by hiring companies. Doing this enables me to meet the interviewer face-to-face and had the opportunity to demonstrate my ability and impress them. That was how I landed my very first job.
What advice would you give to graduate jobseekers today?
I would advise that when seeking for job opportunities, there are more things to consider than just the salary and healthcare benefits. Try to find out more about the growth and development opportunities that the company offers, and ensure that they are aligned with your skill sets and career aspirations. By doing so, you will be able to determine if that is the right company for you to begin with.