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My SDF Story with Rinku Raina

My Story - Rinku Raina

Rinku RainaWhere do you work and what is your role?

I work at Cambridge University Information Services as a Learning and Development Manager

When did you join the SDF?

I joined SDF almost 3 years ago

Why did you want to join the SDF?

I joined the SDF with the purpose of connecting with like-minded individuals, fostering valuable networking opportunities, exchanging best practices, and gaining insightful knowledge from others.

What’s the best thing about the SDF?

Knowledge exchange and helping each other.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am actively engaged in fascinating initiatives such as the Leaders and Managers learning journey, Creative Problem Solving, and the development of a performance consultancy framework. These endeavours are crucial steps towards modernising the field of Learning and Development, transitioning from being mere order taker to becoming true value creator. Although this transformation may take time, I am delighted that we are embarking on this journey and making meaningful progress.

What does a typical day look like?

In my typical day, I am actively involved in strategic planning and closely collaborate with stakeholders to ensure that learning initiatives are effectively aligned with our organizational goals. This entails engaging in human-centred design processes, implementing innovative learning programs, providing support for employee development, evaluating outcomes, and staying updated on industry trends. Additionally, administrative tasks, including budget management and documentation, hold a significant place in my daily responsibilities. However, what truly brings a sense of fulfilment to my day is the opportunity for creative discussions with our talented stakeholders

Tell us about an event that altered the course of your life/and career.

The pivotal moment that dramatically shaped my life and career occurred in 2010 when I made the courageous decision to move from India to the United Kingdom. At that time, I was already established in a senior HR role, but transitioning to the UK posed significant challenges in finding a job that aligned with my aspirations. Despite encountering obstacles, I humbly embraced a junior role and persevered, grateful for the rapid progress I eventually achieved.

Relocating to the UK presented personal hurdles as well, including adjusting to a new culture and raising my young family without the strong support of extended family. However, what fuelled my determination was my unwavering commitment to both understand and integrate into the British culture while staying true to my personal values. This ongoing journey of growth, both on a personal and professional level, has been incredibly rewarding.

The person who has influenced you the most is:

There have been numerous individuals who have influenced me throughout my life, but if I had to select one, it would undoubtedly be my wonderful parents. The impact they have had on shaping my character and molding me into the person I am today is truly immeasurable. Their unwavering guidance, unwavering support, and invaluable teachings have instilled within me a profound set of values that I hold dear. It is through their exceptional guidance that I have grown and evolved into the individual I am today, and I couldn’t be more proud of the person I have become, thanks to their enduring love and unwavering support.

Work life balance – what leisure activity you enjoy the most?

I find immense joy in cherishing precious moments with my beloved family, where we engage in captivating discussions, decorate our home together, indulge in playful games, and explore the delightful art of baking with my younger one. Additionally, I have a profound interest in delving into literature surrounding spirituality and the law of attraction. These readings offer me a profound sense of fulfilment, as they awaken my belief in the boundless possibilities and greater purpose that life holds.

Something about you people would find surprising

Honestly, people who know me well wouldn’t find anything surprising about me because I’m an open book. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t hold back and keeps it real, so there’s not much that I hide or keep under wraps.

What’s your greatest fear?

Walking or driving in the dark sends my heart racing and palms growing damp. Simultaneously, the fear of health issues within my family tightens its grip, filling me with vulnerability and concern, as I yearn for their well-being amidst the unpredictability of life. Yet, in the face of these fears, I strive to gather courage, to navigate the dimly lit roads and the unknown realms of health, acknowledging that within the darkness lies the opportunity for growth, strength, and self-discovery

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

As I paint a picture of my dream dinner party, an extraordinary occasion brimming with warmth and laughter, I can’t help but imagine the joy of having all my beloved extended family members gathered together. The thought of sharing heartfelt moments and creating lasting memories with those dear to my heart brings an unparalleled sense of fulfilment and happiness.

What would your super-power be?

With a heartfelt yearning for my nephew, who is autistic, to live a purposeful and joyful life, I humbly seek to be bestowed with divine energy that can both heal him and enable the realisation of this cherished dream

What’s your favourite/least favourite food?

I find immense joy in the delightful fusion of Indo-Chinese cuisine and the comforting combination of rajma (red kidney beans) and rice. With an open palate and a love for diverse flavours, I appreciate a wide range of dishes as long as they strike the right balance, avoiding extreme spiciness or blandness. Above all, I carry a deep sense of gratitude for the simple blessing of having food on the table, recognising the abundance and interconnectedness it represents.

What’s the worst job you ever had?

During my previous employment, I encountered a role that I wouldn’t label as the worst job I’ve had, but it certainly lacked the elements that truly engaged and enriched me. The position failed to provide the creative stimulation I craved, and the lack of clarity regarding my responsibilities posed a significant challenge. With limited experience at the time, I found it difficult to grasp the intricacies of the business and align my role with its objectives. Consequently, I felt a sense of dissatisfaction and frustration, as my ability to contribute effectively to the organization was hindered.

What thing would improve the quality of your life?

With a deep yearning to enhance the quality of my life, I recognise that it hinges greatly on honing my organisational skills and cultivating unwavering focus. Within this pursuit, I aspire to carve out dedicated time for transformative practices such as yoga and meditation, along with engaging in physical activities that invigorate both body and mind. Moreover, my desire extends to enriching the lives of my cherished family members by exposing them to diverse experiences and creating precious moments of shared joy. Simultaneously, in my professional realm, I strive to establish clear processes that streamline efficiency, enabling me to allocate my time towards strategic thinking and adding value through impactful contributions.

What’s coming next for you?

Exciting prospects lie ahead for me as I anticipate a highly impactful leaders and managers learning journey, along with the opportunity to attend a prestigious Learning conference in London. These experiences will undoubtedly enhance my skills, broaden my knowledge, and connect me with industry leaders, propelling my personal and professional growth.