Roshni Joshi is a Fairygodboss in every sense of the word. She’s deeply committed not only to her work but also to her community of friends and colleagues. After joining Dell 14 years ago, she’s held a variety of roles at the company, where she now serves as the director of Channel Systems Engineering in North America. We love her advice about how to approach work!
Fairygodboss of the Week: Roshni Joshi
Director of Channel Systems Engineering, North America - Dell EMC
FGB: Tell us a little about your career. How did you get to where you are now?
RJ: I have been extremely fortunate to work in various organizations that have helped me learn and go. My journey has taken me through the SAP Consulting, IT Architecture, Program Delivery Management, Practice Management, Sales and PreSales management. I have thoroughly enjoyed the diversity of each role, hoarded the learnings and applied them to subsequent positions.
I wish I could say it was a carefully planned out venture, but I sought out roles that (a) interested and challenged me by offering a new learning opportunity and (b) allowed me to balance work and family life. Steve Jobs once said you can’t connect dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backward – you just have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future.
In hindsight, each of my roles have augmented my ability to ‘connect the dots’ and helped me understand our business at Dell EMC better! I have many more ‘dots’ to go, but I hope I can keep finding those connections :)
(P.S. – Steve Jobs talked about ‘connecting the dots’ at a Stanford commencement speech – if you haven’t read/heard it, take a quick read.)
FGB: What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?
RJ: The one thing that I am grateful for has been the ability to drive focus on diversity and inclusion in our organization. This has included the recognition of implicit bias and training around that, recognition of actions that are not gender inclusive, a focus on the community and giving back to STEM initiatives.
This has really driven a change in the culture in our organization - a sustaining positive change that I am extremely proud of!
FGB: What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?
RJ: I am an introvert by nature - I like nothing better than to retire to a quiet corner and observe others! I love people interactions but in more of a one-on-one than a large group setting. However, being a leader and being in sales requires projecting energy, passion along with solid networking skills. So one of the muscles I have had to develop is an "extrovert personality" which has been a progress over time. I have had to school my brain to unfreeze, relax and build the skills that allow me to function as an extrovert in situations that required it.
FGB: Who is YOUR Fairygodboss? Why?
RJ: One of my biggest sponsors at Dell EMC has been Mithu Bhargava. Mithu is not only a sponsor but also a friend. She is unbelievably passionate about her people, people development and career mobility. She has always been transparent about feedback and areas of improvement. At the same time, she's been tremendously encouraging! And she personally leads by example, infusing us with passion and energy.
FGB: What do you do when you’re not working?
RJ: Mostly with my nose in a book (or my kindle). I am also trying to flex my creative muscles and rediscovering the joys of playing music by taking piano lessons again. Finally, I love Zumba and try to find my way to a Zumba class a couple of times a week!
FGB: If you could have dinner with one famous person - dead or alive - who would it be?
RJ: There are so many! I would probably pick Marie Curie.
FGB: What is your karaoke song?
RJ: "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor.
FGB: What is your favorite movie?
RJ: Hidden Figures.
FGB: What book would you bring with you on a desert island?
RJ: A Passage to India.
FGB: What is your shopping vice? What would you buy if you won the lottery?
RJ: Cars and Travel...So a Tesla X and a cruise down the Danube.
FGB: What is the #1 career tip you'd like to share with other women who want to have successful careers like you?
RJ: "Set your heart upon your work, but never on its reward. Do what is right because it’s right and not for future reward” ... This is a universal teaching - from Bhagvad Gita to Confucius; however, my parents repeated it to us so often that it has became one of the axioms we live by.
I would advocate for women to find a job they are passionate about at a company they are proud to be a part of, and, most importantly, to find a supportive community of friends and colleagues. When you care about the work you do, and the people who you work with, your excellence will shine through!
FGB: Why do you love where you work?
RJ: I was 28 when I joined Dell EMC, and after 14 years, I feel like I have "grown up" here - chronologically, yes, but also emotionally. It's the same sense of belonging that I have for my alma mater -- the feeling of pride when I see a savvy new logo, the congeniality, the camaraderie and loyalty that comes from years of working together, facing challenges together, the strength that comes from knowing someone's got your back! It's part of my identity and a very integral part of me today.
One of my friends called it "the biggest startup in the world" - and that's what we were/are, a large company with the culture and passion that is unique to startups! I feel blessed to have been part of this incredible organization where I have successfully managed a very fulfilling career with a very hectic family life!
Fairygodboss is all about women helping other women. So each week, we celebrate a woman who makes a difference in other women’s careers. Is there a woman who has made a difference in your career? Celebrate and thank her by nominating her here.