· Features

How I got here: Jay Chowdhury, Vattenfall

Jay Chowdhury, HR director, operations at power company Vattenfall shares her tips for a successful career in HR.

HR director, operations DK, FI, PL & UK, Vattenfall, June 2021 – Present

I was attracted to the opportunity this role provides for driving an international strategy. One of the projects I’ve worked on is a digital HR information system (HRIS) transformation to support the entire employee life cycle. Having an excellent team to support and drive the vision enabled us to achieve a change in payroll provider and bring outsourced HR services in-house in five months.

We also launched a new time and attendance solution to enhance our internal services within six months.

HR career tips:

Fiona Mullan, Bloom & Wild

Marcelle Moncrieffe-Johnson, London South Bank University

Salma De Graaff, Skyscanner

Head of UK, HR operations, Vattenfall March 2019 – June 2021

The proudest achievement for me was the development of a talent and skills framework complementing the international learning and development and health and wellbeing strategies.

It included tools to support career development, mental health, physical, digital, financial and social wellbeing for 420 members of staff. I am proud of the HR and leadership teams who supported the strategy, which led to Vattenfall UK being accredited Sliver Awards in Investors in People and Investors in Wellbeing.


HR business partner, FirstPort February 2017 – March 2019

I continued my sideways movement at property management company FirstPort. During my time here, I did an MBA in leadership and management. This supported me in building networks and sharing best practices.

“The proudest moment for me was the development of a talent and skills framework”

Divisional lead HR business partner, Dixons Carphone August 2014 – January 2017

I enjoyed managing an HR team to drive and implement a business-led HR solution. At this time, it was also crucial for me to remind myself to invest in my own future development and I found a mentor to support my ambition both personally and professionally.


Regional HR business partner, Virgin Active July 2012 – July 2014

I was drawn to Virgin by its people-centric culture. It gave me the opportunity to learn a new sector and continue to grow my experience.


Cluster HR director, Hilton Worldwide September 2011 – July 2012

After Luminar, I wanted to work somewhere that would foster my professional development. A great experience for me at Hilton was being responsible for the provision of all HR services and fostering a culture of high performance. I learnt the value of building networks in an international organisation.


Acting head of HR and regional HR manager, Luminar (Now Deltic Group) June 2001 – September 2011

The most fun of my professional life. My skill set, perspective and ability to adapt to change all benefited from the fast-paced, customer-focused business. I worked with some amazing colleagues who encouraged me to be courageous, curious, learn from mistakes and invest in my own development.


Top three career tips:

  1. Find a job that means you enjoy going to work each day
  2. Be open to opportunities that could lead you to different directions
  3. Be brave, curious and open to learning new things

The full article of the above first appeared in the July/August 2022 print issue. Subscribe today to have all our latest articles delivered right to your desk.