Bhagyashree has had the chance to see the world from a plethora of perspectives. The daughter of a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force, she tested and was recommended to be commissioned as an officer. She also traveled to remote villages in India as part of a government program to teach financial literacy to women from low-income groups, work she became interested in after earning a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Masters in Climate Change and Sustainability from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. But it’s at Morgan Stanley where she’s found a place where she can both soar professionally and help others find their path. Bhagyashree joined Morgan Stanley as a Summer Intern in Mumbai while pursuing her MBA from Symbiosis Institute of Management. Most recently, she was promoted to a Manager in the Human Resources department.
I am a Human Resources Business Partner, working with various business units in our Mumbai office. I work with employees to understand their challenges and advise on matters of engagement, development, performance, compensation and other strategic initiatives. Through active partnership with internal leaders, I serve as an advisor who helps them achieve key business goals.
One focus area that our team works on is retention. We analyze hotspots to identify potential engagement avenues and safeguard our existing talent. Another area we focus on is improving HR metrics, such as employee engagement scores, employee performance and potential, how we’re delivering on our diversity commitments. We try to combine all these aspects and more to provide a consolidated advisory solution to each business to help attract, develop and retain talent.
Your father was an officer in the Indian Air Force who was deployed throughout your childhood to a different location every two years. How did this experience affect your own career?
Moving around the country was exciting. It constantly exposed my brother and me to new people and places and taught us how to form a new circle of friends in each location (an invaluable skill!). But perhaps the key characteristic of being a military child is the ability to quickly adapt to new situations and to appreciate people from all sorts of backgrounds and perspectives. I think my ability to blend in quickly, to assess and appreciate other people’s views and then to reason my way through has really helped me succeed throughout my schooling and professional career.
Your route to a career at an investment bank was somewhat circuitous and even unlikely, considering your original academic training in science. How did that play out?
Yes, I did my honors in chemistry and at that point I wanted to solely pursue academics. During this time I got involved with activities related to the environment, which inspired me to earn my master’s in climate change and sustainability. After that, I spent a year working for the government of India’s National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), where I helped explain financial concepts—savings, credit, microfinance—to women from low-income groups, often in very remote areas. The whole experience was incredibly enriching. However, I wanted a career that offered more opportunities to collaborate with people, which led me to shift gears and pursue an MBA.
It was, in the very best way. When I did my internship here, I got the opportunity to reach out to and learn from all kinds of people who helped me gain valuable insights. I really enjoyed those two months, during which I was able to grow my network and seek input from all these brilliant people who were interested in my point of view. I continue to leverage those relationships to this day.
It really encourages individuality. Of course, it’s important that everyone connects to the firm’s five core values. But this place really appreciates what each person brings to the table and that creates the kind of environment where someone’s unique personality tends to shine. The one piece of advice I would give to anyone who comes to work at Morgan Stanley is just to be one hundred percent their true self.