Dear fellow Toastmasters and guests,
Talking about myself is one of the most difficult challenges I have ever faced in my life - be it in front of an interviewer, where the interviewer is like, 'So Ramya, tell us about yourself' or even in a social setting where I am getting introduced or I have to introduce myself. I get baffled by the fact that I have to summarize my entire life in 3-4 lines while making it relevant to the listener at the same time! But as one of my favourite quote goes, 'We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be!'.
I am Ramya Vasudevan, a Partner Technical Consultant with Microsoft. I recently joined this company, about 4 months back. Prior to that, I was doing my MBA specializing in Marketing. For an engineer with close to 4 years of work-ex in software development, the MBA was the window to a brand new world. It gave me a broader perspective, or a 30,000 feet view of how businesses operate. I believe that a good mix of technical and business skills will help me excel in my current position at Microsoft. That's a bit about my professional life.
Personally, if there are 2 things that I would like to highlight about myself, that would be:
1. My love for Kerala, my home state and
2. My love of reading
As some of you might already be aware, I hail from Kerala, as they call it, the God's own country. Kerala is extremely intoxicating with its beauty and charm, the hospitality of its people, its culture and art, etc. It's a very beautiful place, with a lot of greenery around. We have all sorts of landscape there, be it mountains, backwaters, rivers, beaches, we have it all! I am especially awed by my native village in Palakkad, the land of the paddy fields, rivers and extra-ordinarily warm people. Though I am currently staying in Bangalore, my family is still back in Kerala, so I do get ample opportunities to visit Kerala and escape from the city life as and when needed.
Now, talking about my love of books, reading is one of the hobbies that is very dear to me. I do have other hobbies like, painting, pencil sketching etc., but reading is something that I have always has time for! To me, it opens a new window to the world. I don't read a lot of fiction, though I have read most of the famous ones. I enjoy reading auto biographies or books in which the authors have expressed their views. It gives me a chance to understand other peoples' perspectives about the various aspects of life. One fun fact - you will always find a book in my handbag. I am one of those optimists who thinks that even if I know that I wont get time to read, I should still carry a book with me, just in case I get some free time in between! Always an optimist when it comes to finding time to read books.
I want to end my speech by mentioning why I joined Toastmasters. To put it simply, 'I just want to be myself when I'm on stage'. Usually when I'm on stage, I miss out on a lot of conversational cues, like the expressions or getting engaged with the audience. It could be because of my nervousness or because I'm too focussed on the content that I forget that my purpose is to communicate with the audience. And communication is invariably, a 2-way street. So basically, I want to be myself and forget about the environmental factors that tend to affect the quality of my communication with others. Toastmasters did not disappoint me; I am happy that every meeting is taking me one-step closer to my dream.