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FDM Returners Success Stories: Smiti Sahu

Smiti joined FDM after moving her life and family to London two years ago. Today, she shares her journey of returning to work and the achievements and challenges she faced along the way.

What was your education and professional background prior to taking a career break? 

I started my professional career in the busy city of Mumbai, India with dreams of travelling the world while excelling at my career. After completing a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, I started working as a Mainframe Developer in the IT Service Industry and progressed through different roles: Technical Lead, Business Analyst and Project Manager, mostly in the Finance and Banking domain.   

Tell us about your career break  

I took a career break when my family moved from Singapore to London due to my husband changing his job. The initial plan was to take a short career break and start working again soon but because of uncertainties, the process of job search was delayed.   

During the first year since we moved to the UK, I decided to follow my dreams and travelled a lot around the beautiful European cities. I utilised my time off in raising my little girl who was 2.5 years at the time of our move, as well as upskilling myself. Even though enjoyed the career break, I started missing work life and got concerned about my increasing career gap of two years. 

What was your experience finding a new role post your career break? 

Being in a different country with no local experience, I found it immensely difficult to get into a desired role, even after spending so many years working in the Banking industry. I found out about FDM Returners Programme through a job website and decided to apply.     

The training provided by FDM was both valuable and challenging at the same time. Most of all, it gave me the confidence to return to the workplace and the chance to meet lovely and supportive mentors like Sarah Mavius. I was inspired by the spirit of my colleagues, some of who had bigger career gaps than me but also great determination to restart their careers.   

What was your experience returning the workplace?  

My first placement was as a Senior Business Analyst within an energy company. I was supporting an emerging concept to diversify the company’s business in a new retail domain. With the support of the FDM network, I really enjoyed returning to work and I felt happy that I am back on track on my career path.     

My whole FDM experience was awesome - I built an amazing network of professionals and colleagues who inspire me to push my boundaries and achieve more every day.  


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