each conversation is a chisel that shapes us

Written by Helené van Tonder

People often ask me how they can make the most of their leap.club experience. This story is about someone who’s great at that — Anuradha Eswaran!

In the last few months, Anuradha has attended several masterclasses, started working with a coach, and sent 22 superconnect requests! She’s also an active participant in many clubhouses, frequently joins in for huddles, and runs her own clubhouse called “scaling climate impact.”

So I’ll leave it over to her to teach you how it’s done. 🙂 Below are transcribed snippets from our conversation.

Tell me about your leap.club experience :)

I have interacted with so many remarkable women over the last few months. It’s been phenomenal. I’m on a sabbatical right now, and I’m exploring different avenues and industries to figure out what I want to do next.

Overall, I feel that each and every interaction has made a small but significant impact on me. It’s like every conversation is a chisel that shapes me. I’ve learned so many new things. It’s helped me develop a better understanding of what’s out there, what I’m interested in, and how these things can come together.

I’ve also learned quite a bit about myself. I realise now that I’ve been restraining myself a lot. After a bunch of huddles, a bunch of interactions, a bunch of women asking me ‘Anuradha, why are you holding yourself back?’, I realised that I have to start being myself in professional settings. I find leap to be such a great and safe space to do that.

This is my seventh month on leap, and my experience has been different every month. It’s getting better and better, and I feel it’s reaching a crescendo now. I’ve settled in, and now I’m getting the best of the community experience. I’m able to message people I’ve interacted with before, I get to put my questions out there on clubhouses, I’m building my own clubhouse, I’m responding to people and trying to help them. That is such a great space to be in.

To anyone who might feel ‘I don’t know what’s happening with me at leap right now, I’d say this: ‘Just be a little patient. It’ll take a bit of time to settle in and meet people. But it’s absolutely worth it.’

Can you tell me about a few interactions that stood out for you?

Yes, of course!

👉 I had a great conversation with Rachna Gothi — she is a product manager at Amazon. It felt like I was connecting with a mentor, and that’s not what I expected from the call. I was just hoping to chat with her about product management and the details of her role. But she was able to pick up that I was not feeling very upbeat about my own professional journey, and she actually pepped me up. She expressed her confidence in my journey, saying ‘if you want to become a product manager, nothing’s stopping you.’ That helped me so much. She was so gracious and shared very clear advice on what I can do as next steps.

👉 Then there was my chat with Shambhobi Bhattacharya. I met her during a clubhouse huddle about sabbaticals. She was very vocal about taking a sabbatical. I connected with her afterwards. We talked until midnight! In the process, we discovered that we both have a very deep passion for travel. She’s been to some amazing places! Overall it was a very surprising call because I never expected to share my passion for travel in that way with someone else. It was just so easy to speak with her, and her enthusiasm was infectious.

👉 I also spoke with Priyanka Shroff who’s the director of design strategy at Robosoft Technologies. I’ve been exploring design, so I reached out to her to ask if she would talk to me about her role at Robosoft, and what exactly design strategy is. It was a very detailed conversation. She walked me through what Robosoft did, and also how design played a role in her life — how she first went into design, then strategy, and how she’s now using both of these skillsets. My question was: ‘How do you develop those skills?’ She then gave me some very simple steps of how you can get there. She broke it down really well and made me feel like it’s actually something I can do. She said: “No, you don’t have to go to the US and enrol for a course that will cost you crores and crores. These are the 5 things that you can do.” I never imagined that I can get into that space. But she just made it seem possible.

👉 The last one I’ll mention is my chat with Supriya Medapati, the Vice President for Product & Growth at Qure.ai. She really introduced me to the world of AI — it was such an interesting conversation. She told me about her work at Qure, and how she navigated her life. Because of her, I realised what an interesting space AI was. I studied what Qure did, and I found it very interesting. Supriya definitely lowered a barrier for me when it comes to AI. That conversation helped me think about my life and what I want to do. I wanted to use technology to improve lives and I’m learning that there are so many ways to do so!

Anything else you want to share?

Yeah, I really love clubhouses! They’re great for interacting with others — also on a social level. For example, I miss traveling so much. The ‘wanderlust’ clubhouse is wonderful for connecting with people who travel, sharing experiences, learning from others — it’s been very therapeutic during these times.

The ‘product professionals’ clubhouse has also been a good community for me. I’m working on my product management skills, but recently felt very vulnerable when I started interviewing for roles. I felt this was a very safe space for me to post saying, ‘I don’t feel very confident about this, what do I do?’ I got a really good response and helpful leads.

And lastly, I found a bunch of romantics who have fallen in love with Pune — like me! We’ve had such pleasant huddles — just sitting and talking and reminiscing. I lived in Pune for five years, and it’s wonderful remembering my time there through this group. Somehow it’s not very easy to find such a community.

What advice do you have for others looking to make the most of leap.club?

There’s only one simple thing others should learn from me: Just schedule a call with someone today. It’s the best way you can spend your time. You never know what exactly will come from a conversation, but over time, good things will definitely come!

a community-led professional network for women