We had the good fortune of connecting with Devika Goel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Devika, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I’m from India and my upbringing has definitely shaped who I am today. I was born in a small town where education options were limited. My parents, however, had a very clear goal – provide good education to the children, enable them to follow their passion and teach them lessons for life.
I went to a boarding school in a stunning hill station in India called Nainital (imagine Lake Como!) at the age of 7 – a 3 -hr drive away from my parents and studied there till the age of 18. I then graduated in Philosophy in Delhi and finally completed my Masters in Public Relations & Corporate Communications in Mumbai. Staying away from my parents at such a young age made me fiercely independent – you learnt everything basic on your own – yet the sacrifice they made, built a very strong bond amongst us. My first year in the boarding school – I received a letter from my mom every single day i was there. How do you top that? I value what my family did for me and the distance pushed me harder to succeed, learn new things and make them proud.
Staying in a boarding school taught me the values of friendship, having a strong support system that lifts you up – your friends are your family there, and hard work – no pain, no gain. Living in different cities made me learn about different people, cultures, backgrounds – it opened my mind and taught me to be flexible, to adapt to different situations yet not lose my unique self.
All these values and lessons made me stronger and today, i know i can live in any part of the world and I’ll not only survive, but also thrive!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a corporate communications specialist – I handle external and internal communications and the reputation of B2B(2C) technology companies. I have handled communications for some of the biggest global technology companies in FinTech, Travel, Computer Software & Services. I decided to choose PR and Communications as a career when it was just beginning to gain popularity in India. I managed to grow with the industry and learn new things as they were introduced. This was not easy, imagine having to constantly learn because the industry itself is changing. But, was it exciting? Absolutely yes – the key learning here, and this is applicable in any job, is to jump in with an open mind, observe, absorb and implement!
What sets me apart is my experience of different regions – EEMEA, APAC, NA – it’s so enlightening to learn what works in one country and what doesn’t in another. Little nuances can take you a long way and that is both exciting and intriguing for me. I’m grateful i got the opportunity to learn this.
A big lesson i’ve learnt in my experience is the role that corporates – large, mid-sized or small, can play in the lives of individuals. I love telling that story, making it reach the people and showing the impact that my company can have in the success of other businesses and individuals.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
You’re in luck! I do have a friend visiting next month and i’ve made a week long itinerary for them. Some places to check-out are (maintaining all COVID protocols of course!): – Midtown ATL for its buzz and city feel
– West Midtown for its bars and restaurants – My favorites there are Bartaco, Barcelona, Upbeet and Jenis ice-cream
– Whiskey Blue at the W Hotel for some drinks with a view
– The Clermont Lounge because you can’t come to ATL and miss this popular landmark
– Southern food from South City Kitchen or Mary Mac’s Tea Room cause missing this would be blasphemy!
– I love Mediterranean food so Rumis Kitchen, Rina, Cafe Agora and DelBar would be on my list
– Ponce City Market has a fantastic vibe – great drinks, food, shopping options plus you get to hit the beltline and work off those calories
– Piedmont Park for a lazy afternoon/evening picnic
– World of Coca-Cola is a fun, unique experience so i’d definitely take them there followed by some milkshake gluttony at The Yard Milkshake Bar
– Stone Mountain for a hike and a great view from the top
– Catch a game at the Mercedez Benz stadium
– I’d also like to take them out of the city to Helen for some tubing and Elijay for their antique and thrift stores
– Lastly, I’d end with some comfort Indian food and Masala Chai from Tabla and Botiwala
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
At the cost of sounding like i’m giving a speech after winning an award – my parents deserve majority of the credit. They made difficult sacrifices that shaped my life. Now that i’m a mother, i can’t imagine how tough it must be to stay away from a child that young. Not to forget, my husband has been a rock solid support – always encouraging and being flexible, putting himself second, to suit my schedule and see me succeed. I worked at a company where i handled PR for three different regions which meant three different time zones everyday. I loved every minute of it but it would not have been possible without his support.
In my 13 years of experience i’ve learnt that having a positive work environment can be breeding ground for talent and prosperity. I’ve had the pleasure of working with people who lift each other up, give credit where it is due and celebrate each others success – so a thank you to those colleagues turned friends who made work seem so easy just by being present.
Lastly, a shoutout to my ex-manager and dear friend Kwiyoung Baumgarten who took a chance on me and believed in me when i first came to the US. That one door she opened led to so many more opportunities!