Today’s success story is of Lukman, who is originally from Indonesia. He took some time to answer some of our questions and give us some of his perspective on his experience in Bangalore thus far…
How long have you been at your current position?
I have been in my current role for around 4 months now.
How did you first hear about BrainGain?
Vikram from BrainGain offered my colleague the opportunity, yet he was unable to accept so he forwarded the offer to me.
Did you have any experience abroad before BrainGain?
I have traveled to Malaysia and Vietnam. India was the first country I visit outside South East Asia.
Did you have any international career plans before BrainGain came into your life?
I have applied to some scholarships, I did apply to some companies in US and Europe, yet fate brought me to India for now.
Why did you want to work abroad?
I believe that working abroad will help expanding my career. Not only I gained a valuable a new experience and skill, the people I encountered along the way will be a priceless networking asset.
Did you have to overcome any obstacles before moving abroad?
The biggest challenge came from my extended family (yes, in Javanese household it is common that your uncles and aunts get to say about your future). I cannot blame them though since they never go to India and most of their knowledge about India came from media and somehow the media gave an unfair report. 1 month before I departed to Bangalore, a riot broke protesting about some water distribution and most of relatives asked me if I really want to go to India.
What were your initial impressions of your new city? And how have they changed throughout your experience? How is it the same/different as your home country?
I came to Bangalore during the peak of demonetization. It was hard at first, but the novelty of living in a new place helped me to get through it. It was nice to start roughly since I was still in the honeymoon phase and now when everything is getting back to normal, I felt that my honeymoon phase is extended due to the newfound convenience.
Experiences of working in a foreign workplace?
I do not find any difficulties working in a foreign workplace. The most notable differences coming on working in a startup. Having worked in a big company is very different compared to working in startup ecosystem. In big company, everything is sorted out for me, while in startup I have to figure out most of the stuff by myself. I face some difficulties but I see it as a good experience.
Do you plan on continuing your international career?
Big yes. I am now preparing to apply to a scholarship in the US and working overseas giving me a justification on adaptability point.
My time in Bangalore not only saw me gaining new experience but also professional skill. In HackerEarth, working amid young bright programmers really helps me to learn about programming and Python.
I miss my food. I do not want to sound offensive, Indian foods are great and I will obviously miss them when I am leaving the country. The thing is, none of the Indian foods spicy enough for me. I feel the heat but not the kick. Whenever I ask the server to make my food extra spicy, I always get a weird look and “are you from north east?” question.
Words of wisdom for those looking into interning/working abroad?
My best friend gave me this advice when I told him I am moving to India; survive > strive > thrive > dive. Find a place to stay and figure out how you can get foods then you can survive. Strive and give your best on your work. Once you thrive, keep hungry and get out the comfort zone; it is time to dive into new challenges.