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A Journey of Embracing Change and Global Adventure as Appian Ambassador

Divya Praturi Divya Praturi

Divya 1

Introduction and Personal Background

Hey everyone, it's Divya here! Mom of two adorable kids and a Quality Engineering Leader at Appian for the past seven years. Take a look at the pictures below. It's a little glimpse into my journey of saying yes to new adventures, pushing past comfort zones, and learning heaps about what I'm truly capable of. Join me, as I share how embracing change has been my secret sauce to success!

Embracing Opportunity and Change: Journey to Ambassadorship

Have you ever been presented with an opportunity that made your heart race with excitement, yet simultaneously filled you with apprehension? That's precisely how I felt when the chance to become an Engineering Ambassador in India arose during a company-wide meeting at our headquarters in Virginia.

With the inauguration of our newest Appian office in Chennai, India, the company embarked on an exciting journey to leverage untapped talent pools and broaden our global presence. Establishing and nurturing a thriving office environment requires dedication and collaboration, qualities that define Appian values. Central to our success is the ambassador, whose role is pivotal in bridging the gap between our international offices. From cultivating a cohesive corporate culture to facilitating training programs and serving as a conduit for communication with leadership, Appian ambassadors wear many hats. Engaging in recruitment endeavors, conducting interviews, and delivering technical presentations are among the diverse responsibilities they shoulder. By offering guidance and support to new team members, our ambassadors ensure a seamless onboarding experience, fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment within our growing workforce.

Traveling, meeting new people, and embracing adventures had always been my forte. When the opportunity to be an Appian ambassador for the summer of 2023 was presented, it immediately caught my attention. However, amidst the thrill of the possibility lies a considerable dilemma. It meant that taking on this role would require my family, who is deeply rooted in the U.S., to travel with me, where the kids (ages 2 & 7) would need to stay with their grandparents in India for the summer. It was a tough decision, one that involved countless discussions and considerations.

I am not one to be easily deterred. With a desire to step out of my comfort zone, challenge myself, and contribute meaningfully to the success of our company, I was determined to make it work. Together with my family, we sat down, hashed out a plan, and decided to take the plunge.

Oh, what an adventure it has been!

Experience in Chennai, India

There I was in India, in the scorching summer of 2023, amidst a whirlwind of emotions ranging from excitement to exhaustion after an 18-hour flight with my family, the long-awaited day finally dawned. Returning to India, a place I once called home and where I spent the formative years of my life, felt like a familiar yet exhilarating journey. The bustling streets, rich culture, cherished moments with my extended family, and the tantalizing aroma of home-cooked meals welcomed us with open arms. After settling my kids with my parents in our childhood home, I embarked on a new chapter in Chennai for my ambassadorial assignment. This transition marked not just a physical relocation, but a profound reunion with my roots and an opportunity to bridge cultures in my professional capacity.

On my first day in Chennai, I was warmly greeted by the Vice President of Engineering, Ramesh Ardhanari, whose generosity and assistance made settling in a breeze. The office atmosphere exuded a sense of warmth and hospitality, setting the tone for what would be an enriching experience. Eager to dive into my role, I wasted no time in immersing myself in the vibrant culture of Appian, working closely with my team to instill our company values into their daily operations. Collaborating with colleagues, I identified areas for improvement both at our headquarters and in Chennai, ensuring that our feedback reached the ears of program leadership. Appian's provision of comfortable accommodation further enhanced my experience, with the hotel staff greeting me with a friendly smile every morning at breakfast.

In the ensuing weeks, my ambassadorial role blossomed into a multifaceted journey brimming with diverse experiences. One highlight was the opportunity to deliver a technical talk to Madras University students, where I eagerly shared insights into Appian's approach to IT and starting a career in the technology field. Guiding new hires through software quality practices, incident management protocols, and the intricacies of expediting releases without compromising quality was gratifying. Witnessing their enthusiasm and eagerness to absorb knowledge reaffirmed my belief in the transformative power of education and mentorship.

Amidst the rigors of my professional responsibilities, I also carved out moments for enjoyment and connection. Appian Networking events provided a platform to forge meaningful connections with industry peers, fostering a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose. These gatherings often culminated in spirited dances and lively exchanges, infusing my days with boundless energy and enthusiasm.

Weekends offered a precious respite from the hustle and bustle of corporate life, affording me the opportunity to reconnect with cherished friends from my childhood days. These reunions were filled with laughter, reminiscence, and a profound sense of belonging. Equally precious were the tranquil moments spent with my children at my parents' home, where familial bonds were strengthened and cherished memories were created.

Additionally, I played an active role in Appian's recruitment endeavors, lending my expertise to identify and onboard top-tier talent for our expanding Chennai office. Witnessing the company's unwavering commitment to fostering innovation and growth, I came to view Appian not merely as a workplace, but as a thriving community where learning flourishes and aspirations are nurtured.

For aspiring professionals seeking a dynamic environment brimming with opportunities for personal and professional growth, I wholeheartedly endorse exploring the career avenues at Appian. With its vibrant culture, collaborative ethos, and unwavering dedication to excellence, Chennai beckons with boundless potential and endless possibilities for those eager to embark on a transformative journey.

If you’d like to learn more about Engineering career progression at Appian, read this article written by the Executive Vice President of Engineering, Suvajit Gupta. Want to know what it’s like to work on the Quality Engineering team at Appian? Check this blog written by Diana Chavez, Senior Manager of Quality Engineering. 

Concluding the Experience

As I reflect on this whirlwind journey from Virginia to Chennai, I'm reminded that life's greatest adventures often lie just beyond our comfort zones.  From embracing new cultures to navigating professional challenges, my experience as an ambassador with Appian has been nothing short of transformative. Through it all, the unwavering support of my family and the vibrant community at Appian have been my pillars of strength.

To anyone contemplating a leap into the unknown, I encourage you to seize the opportunity with both hands. Whether it's pursuing a new career path or embarking on a daring adventure, embracing change can lead to growth, fulfillment, and endless possibilities. As I continue to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of the tech scene, I'm filled with gratitude for the opportunities that have come my way and the lessons learned along the journey.

Here's to embracing change, seizing opportunities, and embarking on adventures that shape us into the best versions of ourselves. Remember, the journey may be daunting, but the rewards are immeasurable, so take that leap—your greatest adventure awaits!

Divya Praturi

Written by

Divya Praturi

Divya Praturi is a Manager, Quality Engineering in Appian.