A pleasant surprise that I got when I opened my mail last morning was a mail from Reeti Roy who has a long list of achievements to her name at this young age. I was so impressed by her story that she asking me to feature her story on my blog was no less than she doing a favor to me! So here’s the story of this young achiever in her own words to inspire you all to the core.
I am 31 years old. I was born and brought up in Calcutta and have a B.A. (Honours) from Jadavpur University and MSc (Social Anthropology) London School of Economics and Political Science.
I was chosen as one of 40 young Indians to assist Members of Parliament in a unique initiative called the Legislative Assistant to Members of Parliament (LAMP) Fellowship. I was assistant to Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resource Development, and was responsible for Parliamentary Legislative Research such as 377s and zero-hour speeches.
Upon completion of my Fellowship, I have worked with Pratham Education Foundation, where I worked as a Communications and International Donor Liaison Associate. I have worked as a research associate at Harvard Business School’s India Research Centre. At the HBS India Research Centre, I have co-authored a case on BRAC, the largest non-governmental organization in Bangladesh and been the first member of the team at the India Research Centre to establish relationships in Bangladesh. I have also worked with Columbia University’s Global Centre in Mumbai and with the UNICEF.
Additionally, I am also a writer and have written for The Telegraph (Calcutta), The Statesman (Calcutta), The Times of India, Femina, Tehelka, Chicken Soup for The Indian Soul and Northern Lights (an Edinburgh Publication), Newslaundry and Mail Today.
The word ‘Aglet’ means a small metal or plastic sheath, which is typically used on each end of a shoelace, cord or drawstring. ‘Ink’ is a play on the word incorporated. Aglet Ink was born when we realized that many professionals had the required qualifications, but were unable to present themselves well on paper and express themselves through their cover letter. As the resume and cover letter is usually the first point of contact, it could be a ‘make or break’ situation for the thousands of prospective job hunters. Each CV and cover letter is carefully handcrafted and we get to know the person, the sector they are applying to, and their strengths and weaknesses. If they have gaps in their CVs, we also help them understand how they can represent their time off as a strength, rather than a weakness.
Our clients have ranged from CEOs and COOs in top multinationals to mid-career professionals wanting an update of their CVs and also small-start-ups, NGOs and various large organisations. We also work very closely with school and college students, who are looking to write essays and want guidance on structure and format.
Aglet Ink is a full service creative content services firm and offers the following services- resumes, cover letters, linkedin profiles, strategizing for interviews, training teams on how to leverage and use social media to build their brands, providing speaking points for high profile speakers, assisting in research. We are also open to collaborating on interesting projects.
Aglet Ink has helped over 10,000 people, both through direct work as well as indirect resources that were shared pro-bono through my linkedin profile and featured by Linkedin Learning
HOW TO CRAFT A RESUME
The notion of a ‘perfect’ resume is subjective. It depends on your industry, your years of
work experience and whether you will use it for academic or non-academic purposes. An academic resume can be 5-6 pages long whereas an industry-related resume must be 1-3 pages.
1. Tailor your resume, but keep a master document with all of your previous positions and accomplishments listed.
2. Allude to your latest work first, and then list your jobs in reverse chronological order, but feel free to deviate and make changes when necessary. Say you have taken a break for personal reasons, and your second last job stint is more prominent. List that first.
3. Ensure that your Resume and Linkedin profile complement each other. They should not read exactly the same.
4. For your work experience, whittle it down to the most important points. The more quantifiable, the better.
5.Your responsibilities matter, but so do your achievements. Use this opportunity to demonstrate not just what was asked of you, but also what you ended up achieving in each role.
6. Do not skip non-traditional work experience on your resume. If the work experience has taught you valuable things, make sure you highlight those.
7. Avoid putting polarizing interests on your resume. You may have spent your summer campaigning or canvassing for a certain political candidate. This could be reflective of a very strong work ethic, but if the organization does not align with your political beliefs, this could be held against you. If you still feel strongly, put it in your resume but be aware of the consequences.
I grew up in Calcutta and spent my formative years in London, Edinburgh, Delhi and Bombay. Each city taught me different things. My linguistic proficiency is largely due to my first degree in English Literature, and my school (Modern High School) which laid great emphasis on the humanities and the social sciences. Culturally, we were exposed to a lot of art, literature, and theatre growing up and an affinity towards the arts enables you to be creative and have an entrepreneurial streak from very early on in life. Running a business from scratch at a macro level is quite similar to fundraising for a school play on a shoestring budget, so those values and those skills were inculcated in me from a very early own. London taught me to be disciplined and rigorous in my research, while Delhi and Bombay were the cities where I cut my teeth on professional endeavors.
CHALLENGES FACED BY WOMEN IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP
The important thing to remember here is to have an unwavering belief in yourself, and have an unflappable support system. The people around you matter. When chips are down, they are the ones who will help you through the storm. I am incredibly fortunate to have had great mentors, and some incredible family members and friends who have been there for me unfailingly. Not everyone will understand what you do, and that is okay too. I genuinely believe that your job is to keep focussing on bettering yourself and navigating the world. Don’t spend time convincing and persuading. Focus on your own work. That said, one can never get away from the blatant sexism that Female Entrepreneurs are subjected to. We have a very long way to go before women are fairly represented.
Learn every single day, from every single person. Either learn what to do, or what not to do. Hustle and be consistent in the quality of your services. No matter what, do not compromise on the quality of your services/ products.
MY PURPOSE AND MY ACCOMPLISHMENTS
My narrative has always had issues of human rights, specifically indigenous peoples and social justice, at its core. I believe that my work with socially disadvantaged people began while I was in Calcutta, working in collaboration with the Seagull Foundation for the Arts and Writeherewritenow.
I have worked with young people who lived in slums, and were young, first- generation learners, during my tenure as a Creative Writing fellow with Seagull I have also worked with children of Asylum Seekers and aided them in understanding their rights and legislation at the Refugee Council in the U.K. While working on these projects, I realised that education and healthcare are the core areas that need to be addressed in order to make a positive contribution to systems under duress. I have co-authored a case on BRAC and have written pieces on Education Policy for Newslaundry, as well as a publication for the Times Guide to Higher Education.
The most prominent of fellowships, accolades and awards conferred on me include The Charles Wallace, The Matador Network Travel Writing Fellowship, the LAMP fellowship, The Choice Fellowship from Seagull Foundation, The Grassroutes Fellowship for Social Impact, The Estah Society Award for helping first generation Farming Communities, The Goethe-Institut and Zubaan Books Residency Fellowship, The Young Achievers Award from Vision India Foundation for Contribution to Education and Nation Building, The Digital Media Awards from Shethepeople TV for innovation in creative content, one of Outlook Business Magazine’s Eighteen Women of Worth,a young writer’s award from Scribescratch, 2nd place in EShe Magazine for the visibility of Women Writers and an honorable mention in the Biopage Storytelling contest.
Other accolades include being a mentor, and Youth and Gender Equality Ambassador, to Markyourpresence.org, an organisation that helps in getting young people to register and vote, a Sheroes Champion (a 14 million strong community of women, where I was given the honour of a verified profile for my expertise), an SME inspiration by ICICI Bank and Global Linker, an Orange Flower Inspiring Woman Entrepreneur nominee, an invited speaker at Horasis and an honorary life member at Women Economic forum. I have also been a visiting faculty at IIM Lucknow and a consultant with the British Council.
I founded Aglet Ink, a creative content services firm that focusses on storytelling and research to help individuals and organizations with resumes, cover letters, Linkedin profiles, speaking points, as well as strategizing for interviews. Aglet Ink is bootstrapped and has helped over 10,000 people, through direct work and indirect resources that were shared pro-bono through my Linkedin profile and featured by Linkedin Learning. Aglet Ink has been widely covered in Bengali, English and Hindi and in print, radio as well as television. Aglet Ink has been featured in distinguished media interafces like Yourstory, Entrepreneur Media, Midday, Times of India, CNBC Young Turks ( Television), Education Times, Femina (Bangla), Ei Samay (Bangla), Eshe Magazine, Economic Times, Corporate Citizen, 104.8 Ishq FM (Radio), Jetairways Globallinker and the Business Standard, the Doordarshan (Television), Mail today, the Dainik Jagran, the Voice of Woman and Overachiever Magazine .
Additionally, I have also been a tour guide, conducting art walks in Mumbai, and have been named one of Mumbai’s unofficial cultural ambassadors by Midday. I have also conducted art walks in partnership with UNESCO-Sahapedia and Airbnb for the India Heritage Walks Festival, and with Uber and Urban Tourister for Seeksherpa.