This month’s featured Guidecraft team member is our Director of Sales in India, Nidhi Sehgal. She is a wonderful addition to our Guidecraft team and we’d love for you to get to know more about her!
GC: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your life growing up?
NS: I am originally from Meerut, a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India. After high school, I moved to New Delhi to pursue my graduate degree from Lady Irwin College (Delhi University). During my graduate program I became very interested in Child Development, Psychology, and Early Childhood Care & Education. So, I went forward with my master’s degree in Human Development from SNDT Women’s University and was very lucky to spend most of my time on field work. I gained life-enriching experiences during this program working with people from various age groups and socio-economic status. I then started my professional journey with one of the most popular franchisee preschool chains in India.
GC: How did you come to be involved in both the educational and marketing fields?
NS: I got an opportunity to fill in during the absence of the marketing manager for the opening of one of our preschools. It was a success and I accomplished far more than what we expected. This experience fostered my interest into marketing; which prompted me to pursue my second Master’s degree in Marketing Management. I then got into product development building and collaborated with a variety of teams from warehouses to academic fields.
GC: How did you come to work at Guidecraft?
NS: I connected with Gary Bilezikian, the President of Guidecraft, over LinkedIn. During our conversations I learned about Guidecraft’s philosophy and mission and met some of the wonderful team members from across the globe. I fell in love with the educational toys that Guidecraft designs and manufactures and their process of developing each toy from start to finish. The details, durability and quality checks a product undergoes before it reaches the child made me excited to become a part of Guidecraft!
GC: What is your position at Guidecraft?
NS: My position is Director of Sales in India. It’s very different from what I have done in past and has been a great experience for me as an individual and as a professional.
GC: What has been your favorite experience working at Guidecraft so far?
NS: My favorite experience has been the quiz I took after my product training session at the New York office. Andrew, Shannon, Nick, Sean and everybody prepared me to face the quiz administered by Gary. They all ensured that I was aware of each product in depth and could answer all the questions.
GC: I heard that you’ve written blog articles for Sesame Street and have a blog of your own. Can you tell us about it?
NS: Yes, I have written blogs for Sesame Street India for a wide-range of topics from getting children outside to encouraging parents to be involved in early education. However, my personal favorite ones were “Logic of a 3-year-old!” and “Chose Career? Are you Guilty?”.
Having an Early Childhood Care & Education background, I was elated to put the theories I learned into practice with my daughter. I decided to build an enriching learning environment at home and conduct developmentally appropriate activities with her to foster optimal learning and development.
During that time I met many friends and acquaintances who were stressed keeping their infants and toddlers productively engaged. I decided then to start documenting my work with my daughter and share with fellow parents. I started a Facebook Page, a group and an Instagram handle where I share simple activities to do at home along with research articles and events related to Early Childhood Care & Education.
I strongly believe in the power of books and reading early; I have been reading to my 3-year-old since birth and today I can say with lot of pride that she can be hooked on books and storytelling for hours.
GC: Can you describe what qualities someone might need to be successful in your field?
NS: I think one needs to believe in themselves and chase their dreams no matter what and may also ponder upon following points:
- Be a good listener and develop effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
- Be focused and aim to broaden your skills
- Socialize at professional level and have a supportive network.
- Be aware of personal strengths and limitations.
- Don’t be afraid to undertake challenges.
GC: What has been your proudest professional moment so far?
NS: Receiving commendations for creating a successful franchise preschool product offering, from inception to delivery, for my former organization was the proudest professional moment I have experienced. It was not feasible without the amazing team I worked with and a supervisor who trusted and supported me.
GC: What is some advice you would give someone who wants to go into a similar field?
NS: Be certain of what direction you want to take depending upon personal strengths and limitations, never miss an opportunity to work with inter-departments/teams to augment your skill sets and be always open to the process of learning, unlearning and undertaking challenging assignments.