This discussion is with Mr. Dulanjana Herath, an undergraduate of the Cambridge College of Business and Management. He shared his untold story of a life-changing foreign internship experience undergone through AIESEC.
When did you have this Outgoing Global Talent (oGT) experience and the country you chose?
“Back in two years, 15th of December 2019. Yeah, the country is Pakistan, and the city is Islamabad.
How did you get to know about this opportunity?
I knew about this opportunity through social media. I must mention this as Pasan Wijayawardena, who is close to me, informed me about this opportunity which was all about Social Media Marketing. Since I was doing marketing, he helped me a lot in the process.
How did the selection process happen?
First, they created a WhatsApp group titled Dulanjana Exchange. Then, they had an interview. The Vice President of AIESEC in USJ was Pasan, and AIESEC in Pakistan LCVP was Abdullah. After that, we had an Interview discussion with HR Director along with the AIESEC members. We had a WhatsApp Call with their AIESEC members and the company’s HR Manager. That’s how the selection interview went on. That help was wonderful from both sides in AIESEC. AIESEC provided all the necessary documents and everything.
What kind of a working environment did you have?
The working atmosphere and the hospitality were so great. Everyone I met during my exchange treated me well. The staff was also pleasant. As I went there on winter exchange, I met some other exchange participants from different countries. We worked together, and we went on trips with the staff”
What was your job role as a foreign intern?
“I worked as a Social Media Specialist for six weeks there.
The company name is Edwiz Solutions (PVT) Ltd. It was a startup company at that time. The company provides Information Technology solutions to the world. The main project of the company was to launch an Advanced Learning Management System (LMS). My job role was to market their product before they launched.
I handled the social media platforms. I made the posts to publish on social media. I went to PR, marketing-related meetings with their managing directors. The project was to market the advanced-level LMS systems to universities and schools.
It was mentioned in the contract to work from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They allowed me to leave earlier if I finished my work by reporting to the HR Manager in the company. They did not mind that whether I worked at the office premises or from the host room. They were concerned about the work and the responsibilities.
How did you adapt to working in a foreign country?
Before I went on exchange, I had a little doubt in my mind about the country. AIESEC in USJ made the confidence and guarantees enough to go. It was kind of nervous to me. After stepping on their land, I got a great impression of the locals in Pakistan. I met a graduate from Pakistan at the Orman Airport and had a good chit-chat with him. So I got a good understanding of him and saw the entire nation through him.
Adaptation was not hard because everyone was pleasant. The accommodation was given by “NUST,” National University of Science and Technology. The University issued ID cards for every student who came to the university. I was not able to go out for a week. So I did not get any chance to change my Dollars to Pakistan Rupees. In that case, my roommate trusted and gave me money in their currency. That’s how people treated me, just knowing only my name.
I got free accommodation, airport picks up, and drops with good three meals for the free package. Working surrounding and the building were well maintained.
What was your experience with foreign colleagues?
I was the only Digital Marketer and the foreign internee to that company. I met a few nice guys. Haider is a Chemical Engineer who is from the UK. Two Civil Engineers were there—Tareq from Egypt and Mohammad from Jordan. We did not work for the same company, but we stayed together in the same host room.
Did you get an opportunity to travel while working?
Talking about the country rather than the opportunity, I can suggest Pakistan also as the holiday destination. I enjoyed Mushkpuri Peak, Margala Hills, Monal, Faisal Mosque, Peshwar rivers, and the views.
Could you please mention the support you got from AIESEC?
I appreciate the support from the AIESEC members. They conducted the session for me to provide all the necessary details on how to adapt to the cultural shock and how to interact with the people. They taught me some basic words about the language. The exchange participants who come from different countries got the opportunity to participate free of charge in the Montreal United Nations Conference (MUNC). So I got the opportunity to represent my country as well.
What is your overall experience on the process, and what is your recommendation for future exchange participants?
I went through this just after finishing my A/Ls. While I was doing ALs, I did not know anything about AIESEC and what AIESEC is providing. So I think this is the perfect platform for every undergraduate, fresh graduate, or school-leaver to make their career opportunity to get the kick-start and to your professional career, working in a foreign land.
I think I can recommend to everyone these opportunities of AIESEC because they provide every necessary guideline. If you go on your own, there may be some difficulties, and you have to find the opportunity and documentation. But when it comes to AIESEC, interviews and approvals are also sent by AIESEC. It is very easy and convenient for everyone. I heartily recommend, if you can spend money on this, your time, and your effort, I guarantee that will not be a waste, this will be an investment,
In the same year, I mean 2019, I was selected as the best outgoing Exchange Participant in OGT, and because of that, I got an opportunity to be a part of Tribute, 2020 and also AIESEC in USJ invited me for the Career Cast 4.0 as the Guest Speaker.
I make this opportunity to thank everyone who supported me a lot. Special thanks to Pasan Wijayawardana, all the Executive Members in AIESEC in USJ, and the AIESEC in Pakistan in 2019. Thank you!
“Foreign Internship experience undergone through AIESEC won’t be a regret!”
– Dulanjana Herath –
By Hanshi Dinushika
Showcasing Team – AIESEC in USJ