Reigniting the Spark: Michelle Simon on Returning to Intel After a 6 Year Hiatus

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

 

For Michelle Simon, this quote by Wayne Gretzky has played a major role in her shaping an illustrious career at Intel. Currently working as the HR Business Partner and Strategic Program Manager at Intel’s Hyderabad campus, this is Michelle’s second stint in the organization.

Previously, Michelle worked with Intel in Bangalore from 2008 to 2013, before taking a break from her career to relocate to the United States with her family. When she moved back to India in 2019, Michelle was unsure about working again—but Intel was her first choice of workplace when she was ready to return. Her bold step to rejoin the organization has taken her to new heights.

The beginning of her Intel Journey
Michelle first joined Intel’s Business HR group in 2008. “Intel was the first company I interviewed with after moving to Bangalore. What convinced me to accept the offer at Intel was the amazing interview I had. As opposed to a formal interview, it felt like a series of challenging and thought-provoking conversations that I enjoyed thoroughly,” recalls Michelle.

As an HR Business partner with the Server Design Group, Michelle collaborated with various business groups to provide strategic HR support, over and above regular HR functions. She also helped work on development programs for Intel India, bringing her HR perspective to the process.

A strategic career break
When her husband had to move to the United States to pursue a doctorate program in 2013, Michelle decided to take a break from her career and relocate with him and their 18-month-old daughter. She wanted to ensure that the family stayed together and looked at the hiatus as an opportunity to spend time with her family. The break lasted for six years, and the family moved back to India in 2019.

Writing a new chapter with Intel
When Michelle and her family moved to Hyderabad in 2019, she did not think twice when Intel expressed interest in rehiring her. The Hyderabad campus was growing rapidly at the time and a position opened that was ideal for Michelle. She interviewed for the role and rejoined Intel as the HR Lead for the Hyderabad site. “It was almost like kismet, and it worked out really great for me,” says Michelle.

Her biggest challenge was reorienting herself to a job that was once familiar. Fortunately for Michelle, she had a great support system at work to help her overcome this hurdle. Her managers at Intel played a huge part in helping her reintegrate into the role, showing utmost faith in her professional abilities. According to Michelle, the most important factor of her successful transition was the support of her husband on the home front and her colleagues at work who were willing to take time to help her.

Endless growth opportunities with larger responsibilities
Within a few months, Michelle took up a new position during a reorganization of the HR team. She now supports critical business groups including the Sales and Marketing Group, Vertical Solutions and Services Group, Finance, Corporate Services, Manufacturing, Operations, Supply Chain and Operations, and the Intel India Legal team. She also manages strategic HR programs for Intel India, the Employee Value Proposition program for the Hyderabad site, and is also the HR-for-HR partner for Intel India.

Last year, Michelle and her team played a crucial role in a program that oversaw building technical capabilities at the site, enhancing principal engineer readiness, and developing a strong technical pipeline for Intel India. These efforts earned Michelle’s team a site Divisional Recognition Award (DRA). Earlier this year, Michelle was also part of a team that worked on managing the impact in India caused by the second wave of COVID-19, work that Intel recognized with an HR DRA.

The Intel advantage
Intel has played a significant role in helping Michelle grow not just as an HR professional, but also as an individual across various domains and, most importantly, as a person. Reflecting on her career with Intel, Michelle says her biggest take-aways have been the opportunity to engage with a diverse range of people, take ownership for multiple projects, and utilize the freedom to pursue what she is passionate about. On an exciting note, Michelle adds, “The scope of work we are doing in the technical and leadership space, the focus on employee benefits and development, and the impact we are making in almost every other area are so much bigger and more challenging than ever before. It’s a good time to be here!”

 

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