Thursday, March 27, 2008

Curry in a hurry...

My trip to India is right around the corner. Everyone is asking if I'm excited, and the answer is definitely YES! If asked a more open ended question like, "How are you feeling about your trip to India?" My response is a contemplative, "Everything..."

Backing up a little bit to Thursday, Feb 14. A significant day for lovers, but for different reasons for me this year... I work for Hewitt Associates, an HR Outsourcing and Consulting firm that I interned with from Jan to June '07. That internship lead to a job as an internal HR consultant. I work with our own management, consulting with them on any people management issues. At the end of '07 a decision was made to outsource some of that internal HR consulting work to an office we have in Noida, India, just southeast of Delhi. They were on-boarded at the end of November of last year and have been working hard ever since. During their brief time at Hewitt they have learned a lot and made excellent contributions. However, they need a little more polish on some of the cross-cultural consulting skills as well as a little more training to make them less dependence on us in the US. On a team phone call on 2.14 my boss mentioned the need to send a few people from the US over to India to carry this out.

During that call I had a lot of thoughts run through my head about the progress of our new peers in India, my own progress, and how our limited resources in the US could possibly pull this off. Getting to India is a feat in and of itself, and to make it worth going you need to stay a while. In an email to my boss that afternoon I said something to the affect of this: "Just wanted to let you know that if you were asking for volunteers to go to India, my hand is raised. I know I am one of the least experienced consultants, but I am also one of the most mobile. I have no expectations that I'll be asked to go, but just wanted to off my willingness to contribute in any way needed." The next day my boss called and we talked through my email and she was appreciative of me stepping up to assist in whatever capacity needed. In the back of my mind I was thinking, "holy crap, how cool would it be if this actually works out!" Simultaneously really having no expectations of really going.

Two weeks go by and no other word. I really didn't think about it much other than acknowledging that others were probably asked and that was that. I was more than happy with the status quo. Well, later on another team call (Thurs, Feb 28) my boss says the proposal for the trip is in and we are just waiting on the head of HR to give the nod. Again, I thought if I were in the proposal I would have known about it. No disappointment, no second thoughts. After the call I get an instant message from my boss saying, "Want to talk about India?" I gave a prompt, "Yes!" She called and let me know the proposal not only had my name in it, but that it had been approved before the call. She just didn't want to tell the team before she had spoken with those of us going. So she said, "Do you want to go?" Yes. "Can you go for a month?" Sure!

One co-worker, Brian, is over there right now getting things started. On Sunday (3.30), I meet another co-worker, Amy, at JFK and we hit the friendly skies via Frankfurt to New Delhi!

Hundreds of dollars later in Visa application fees, vaccinations, and Malaria pills, I am raring to go! So, in just a months time the course of my spring, career, and international exposure is about to drastically change.

I am very excited to go. With that comes some nerves as well. In a little chat with my old boss while an intern I expressed being both excited and intimidated. His response was that as long as you go with the mindset to learn, you never have anything to be afraid of, its all in how you frame it. That was the perfect advice. There is the expectation that I train my peers well, and no expectation that I know everything. I think I thing more about the former, and that's what weighs on my mind.

This experience should be life changing. I honestly am so grateful for the trust of my boss and peers, the opportunity to learn and develop professionally, and most of all to see and experience a new and amazing place!

I'll be there before I know it!

1 comment:

Stephanie Kaye said...

Great post Matt! I love the detailed update! It looks like you are doing well and loving the adventure. We all miss you tons!!! loves