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  Life   More Features  23 Feb 2017  Too cool for school

Too cool for school

Published : Feb 23, 2017, 12:27 am IST
Updated : Feb 23, 2017, 6:52 am IST

The investment banker decided to follow her heart and her family’s leanings and turned to education, now she’s all the wiser for it.

Shweta Shastri
 Shweta Shastri

It was a reputed educational institution on the verge of closure which would have left 285 students in the lurch but for Shweta Sastri’s family, who though in real estate, decided to rise up to the challenge, rebrand it and run the school themselves. And that is how 11 years ago, the Bengaluru-based Shweta moved from investment banking to education, choosing the education sector because she found it could be a means to impact the lives of students in a meaningful way. She is that rare woman who has managed to balance her family, her career and her passion outside of work in an admirable way.

Adept at various classical dance forms, Shweta also finds the time to tee off on the golf course — both passions which she started perfecting since childhood.  She informs, “I spent 14 years learning Bharatnatyam, five years learning Kathak and have played golf on and off since the age of 13.”  Her love and expertise of the game is evident when she says, “The lowest golf handicap I have had is 18, and I have played a few tournaments and won a few prizes — specifically for the longest drive, although I’ve never won a tournament.” Much as she loves her career, Shweta firmly believes that it is supremely important to spend time on her passions to switch her mind off the daily stress involved in her line of work. She opines, “I found that golf and dance provided me with a way to de-stress and hone interesting skills. I learnt new things about myself — I can be quite competitive, am a cultural enthusiast and can be a perfectionist at something other than work. Pursuing a passion outside one’s career helps you focus better on your profession, and gives you a fresh perspective. If it’s only work, seeing the same issues day in and day out can really blind you. One needs to have an alternate interest even if it is just to provide a change of scene, so that you can view work issues from a different brain space.”

A mother to boisterous twin boys, the hands-on mommy speaks from experience when she says, “When your kids are young, you can either try to have a career or a social life. Having both, together, is asking for the moon. As for me, I chose work and compromised on social life. Now that my twin boys are growing up, there is some semblance of normalcy returning to my life.”

Travelling is another very important facet of Shweta’s life. She loves to don her globetrotting shoes and take off to unknown, unchartered territories. She rationalises her philosophy, “I firmly believe that if you have the means, you must travel the world, because you can always make money but making memories is more important. As a family, any long weekend in sight, and we are out of Bengaluru.” She also discovered that, “The most child-friendly place with fun for all is Singapore.” She has travelled the length and breadth of almost every country. While Maldives and Greece are her favourite destinations, she says, “I have been to every continent except South America and Antarctica. Between the two, I would definitely want to visit South America and that’s on my bucket list.”

Tags: shweta sastri, investment banking, education sector