Working for a foreign company can be an eye-opening and out-of-the-ordinary experience, and that was certainly the case for Exchange Participant Yasitha Abeyrathne, who worked for Indian Educational Institute, Jio Institute, for an eight-month period.

Jio Institute falls under Indian multi-national conglomerate Reliance Industries Limited and has a strong focus on the field of IT and Media.

Yasitha’s experience was facilitated by the Outgoing Global Talent (oGT) function of AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura and started when he was put in touch with a member of the Local Committee who thereafter introduced him to the other who would help him on his journey.

“I received a lot of support from the Exchange Participant Manager (Onell Waneesha) and the Local Committee Vice-President (Anupama Dilshan). It was Tilosh Karunanayake, whom I first met from AIESEC in USJ and started me on the process,” he said.

Yasitha’s experience was a full-virtual one which allowed him to work for Jio Institute while remaining at home in Sri Lanka. He shared that in the interview process, he conveyed his desire to be hired as a consultant rather than an intern (given his five years of working experience in Sri Lanka) and that the company looked favorably upon the request, hiring him as a Human Resource Consultant.

His main job roles were to assist and coordinate with the institute’s HR Manager and into the recruitment of academic and non-academic staff for the institute.

Yasitha spoke highly of the multi-cultural experience he gained working with people not only from India but other nations as well.

“The experience was very good. I was working with people from India, Brazil as well as other countries from all around the world. It was my first multi-national experience. I was able to get exposure on an international level as a result of it,” Yasitha said.

The experience also broadened his perspective on HR as a function and enabled him to be involved in the strategic side of things as well.

“I experienced lots of different HR functions. In Sri Lanka, I did mainly operational HR, but here they had a strategic part to play. Policies and procedures were very important to the organisation, and here I had the chance to move into the strategic area as well,” Yasitha remarked.

When speaking about the challenges he faced, Yasitha cited the difficulties of being on the same wavelength as those in different cultures, in particular the high level of traditionalism he noticed among those he had to engage with. He stated that this led to the challenge of miscommunication occurring which can hinder the work at hand.

Yasitha did say that he was always able to meet his work-related deadlines and was not overly taxed for work. On occasions, the nature of work fell outside his area of expertise, and he shared that he had to do a lot of extra research, which was challenging at the time but which he says helped him gain new knowledge.

Given that India and Sri Lanka share the say time-zone, Yasitha had no problem in that regard but did note that some of his colleagues from Brazil had a harder time working virtually owing to the significant time difference with India.

Yasitha was very complimentary of the support received from AIESEC in USJ during his experience and said that he was always helped whenever there was a problem. The learnings gained from the eight-month period gave him good insight into his field as well as about himself.



By Amindha de Alwis
Showcasing Team – AIESEC in USJ

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