The many duels of Swathi Bhojaraj

The many duels of Swathi Bhojaraj

From beginning her career in the Infosys Legal team to winning a national fencing championship and pursing her post-graduation in Spain, this has been Swathi’s journey so far...

I graduated from NALSAR University of Law in 2014. While I was busy making grand plans to kickstart my career as a lawyer, there was something else in store for me. Owing to personal reasons, I had to take a two-year break.

In 2016, I got my big career break when I joined the Infosys Legal Department as an employment law counsel for the India and APAC team. Since then, it has been a beautiful journey of ups and downs, both in personal and professional spheres of life.

My journey surely has not been a linear or upward trending one, but a mixed one, on and off track, with lots of ups, but with an equal number of lows too. The constant through all this has been the comfort of feeling at home while at work. I owe this to every single member of the team and all my leaders in the organization.

What I learnt from these SHEroes

Early on in my career, I feel fortunate to be surrounded by amazing women leaders such as Inderpreet Sawhney, Jyoti Pawar, Mary Kostopoulos, Pauline Arnakis and many more, each a pioneer of their own kind, who have stood tall in the legal world filled with men, and in an industry with new challenges every day. They continue to inspire me to never lose track of my goals and ambitions, no matter how challenging and unprecedented the situation is.

I have also learnt from each of their stories and my personal experiences that it is very important for women to have men as allies. One such male leader who has had a tremendous influence in my career growth is Frank Clark and it would be amiss if I do not acknowledge the learning contributions that several of my male colleagues have made, especially peers who have taught me the trade from their perspective, an invaluable lesson.. This gives me hope during the current times, and for the future too.

Play at work; Work at play

I have had the opportunity to explore three domains within the Legal team as an employment counsel, deals attorney, and liability insurance risk management, each of them early on in my career. In addition to these, several special projects have further enhanced my abilities as a lawyer, people manager, and business professional.

It would be unfair if I do not acknowledge the avenues that Infosys provides for personality development and to pursue passions outside of work. I have had the opportunity to be part of the Infy Bangalore DC Women’s Football team that won several corporate tournaments, including inter-DC competitions. Happy Feet, Bangalore DC’s running club, has enabled me to stay on course with my fitness goals.

Here’s how Infy helped fulfill my lifelong dream

I am lucky to work at an organization that emphasizes on ensuring personal and professional life balance. This has enabled me to cater to extreme personal exigencies without losing track of my professional aspirations. Also, I got an opportunity to balance my love and passion for the sport of Fencing while continuing to work. After a five-year break from the sport, I didn’t think it was possible to pursue the sport a competitive level. I went on to represent Karnataka and won a medal for the state at the Senior National Fencing Championship in 2018.

One might think, it cannot get any better, right? But, it did.

Because, learning never stops

The pandemic was, for me like it was for many people, a phase of introspection, predominantly influenced by everything that was happening around me and in the world. I decided to deviate from the track and pursue higher education in law and management. Each of my leaders have supported this aspiration. Today, I am in Spain, pursing my post-graduation / master’s degree in law and management; and continuing to work for Infosys on part-time basis, which I am told is the first time Infy has done something like this. I could not have wished for a better last 5.5 years.

An empathetic workplace leads to better leaders

As a young legal professional, for me, my leaders, my team, my colleagues around the world, extremely supportive BPHR team members and principles of reskilling, cross-pollination, integrity, comradeship and learnability that Infosys stands for, pushes me to dream bigger and chase those dreams. Throughout this journey, I have learnt to always believe in the power of positivity, in those around me and myself.

Nothing comes easy, but if you hold your ground and do what is required, what you deserve inevitably finds you in an unanticipated way at an unexpected time. Most of all, I have lived and experienced that we are here not only to navigate the next for our customers, but also help each other navigate our own next.