• Subalalitha Navaneethakrishnan

On my 7 years of Professional Journey at SRM

I am completing 7 years precisely today at SRM ( 29.06.22). Still, I cherish that moment of my joining day entering SRM with lots of happiness and as a mom of a 3 year old kid, I had lots of doubts too ! Whatever has been done in these 7 years and also whatever will be done till the rest of my life, I owe it to my husband Selva and my daughter, Kavin Nila for their tremendous support. Women need a good support system to be back in their careers after their maternity break and the primary support system should be the strong determination of the self :)

I joined SRM soon after my PhD in the year 2015. I opted academia over Industry for the passion I had / have/will have on teaching. Still I feel proud of making that decision of declining the offer from CTS, R&D , I think they call it GTO and also quit my data scientist job before joining here. Those jobs had a close connect with Natural Language processing (NLP), my primary research domain and I had equal passion for research as well. I somehow felt like choosing academia. The love and trust that I had on academia did not disappoint me till date. Today’s academia is well connected with research and Industry as well, so I could do justice to both of my passions, Teaching and Research. And yes, the thought of starting a tech company, FirstLanguage Technologies, in my primary domain NLP emerged only because of being an academician. I have written many times on my SRM journey in both my tech and non tech blog and this time will try if I could pull out something new!

I think I have evolved a lot in these 7 seven years as a person both in profession and in personal life. Balancing both family and career takes a lot of efforts but it is worth the efforts and comprising one for the other would spoil both. Of course chaos would exist, tough times come but bad days or good days they have to pass on :) Imbibed a lot of skills like, parallel tasking, multi-tasking, and no-tasking at times :) Also have become mentally composed to an extent. I don't fret on failures much and also don't feel very happy on victories. They keep coming and when something on earth, is done with true passion and love, it always pays back and that is the only trust I have :)

The way I have started looking at life has changed to a vast extent. I never always map the direct benefits of any opportunities and not all will have direct benefits mainly in terms of money. Some opportunities upskill you, boosts your confidence and some opportunities give you good people who trust on you ! My tech talks, You Tube Channel, global research collaborations have given a lot of people, increased my confidence but gave less money. No matter what position we reach, if we are not confident in a room of experts, then that means there has been so much of deviations in the journey. That's how I have tried to build my confidence every time, I have felt low in public. Also, I thank SRM for giving me so much of opportunities that has played a vital role in building my confidence which is really helping me out in meeting and talking to anyone without any hesitation related to our FirstLanguage company. And yes, as SRM has almost students from all states of India, and few countries, this has also contributed to my confidence in speaking to anyone, anywhere in this world :)

The dimension of an academician job has changed, you got to teach, research, be good at administration, be a counsellor, publish papers, collaborate with industry etc etc. of course we cant be good at all. I always find satisfaction with teaching and researching and yes you cant skip the rest of the tasks and I do them but don't feel the happiness. Being honest :) But at the same time, if there is a blessing hidden in any task, I would take up going an extra mile, if that is within my capabilities :) The biggest perk of being an academician is that, you take a lot of blessings very easily to your home!. I think Doctors and Teachers have this opportunity (I could have missed any other profession that can be counted here and I am sorry about that!). On a large scale, we get to touch many lives very effortlessly as our profession is designed that way!. Sorry if this hurts others.

People management is really a skill for life and I think I am becoming better at it :) . I think being honest, dutiful and having a bit of empathy helps a lot in handling people. As our Institution is huge, may be we would easily converse with around 100 people, on a daily basis ! I am not exaggerating as our undergraduate (BTech, CSE ) strength per year is 1500 + and our department is the largest department and I don't seriously know all faculty names. So handling people at all levels, right from students, co-faculty you know /you don't know, senior professors and heads becomes part and parcel of SRM career. I try my level best to handle people at all levels professionally, with utmost care and I also believe we cant satisfy all at once!

As an academician, you get to update yourself regularly or you feel as an outlier sooner or later . Thanks to SRM for giving a great platform to do quality research, collaborate with Industry experts. Happy to have done 5 projects with Samsung Research Institute, Bangalore . Global researchers reach out to you once you do quality work. Thanks to our Dravidian Language Research team . for keeping me updated! I recently got moved when a lecturer from Nagaland working in China, called me to thank for my YouTube videos and she wanted to discuss about her research . This I feel is very important, being useful to people through your skills!

I would like to thank all of those good souls, my friends, colleagues and yes of course my students, who have been a part of my journey so far shaping me as a better person! I really would want to list their names but if I miss out some names, it would make this post incomplete! and I am sure , all those good souls would surely connect them here as I would have already told them in person at some point of my journey :) Thank you guys!

So far so good!. Eagerly waiting to see what life has in for me!. Hoping for a wonderful journey ahead ! . Let us see how it goes :)

Thanks for reading and wish you too a happy life ahead !


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Badly wanted a break and I feel these days taking a break is only our choice. The tasks and their deadlines seem to be never ending and if break is not chosen, you will never see it forever 😊. Never