April 4, 2017

My awesome Indian experience as a GenT trainee

Kathrine Bygren

Business Developer, Tieto

I knew going into the GenT trainee program that the opportunity to work abroad was an integral part of the experience. From a personal perspective I’d be 7,805km away from my home office, get to spend 55 days in India, and be joined by 5 fellow Swedish trainees on my adventure. I was heading to Pune, India!

Learning and sharing

During my stay, I’ve had the chance to contribute to our journey of becoming even more agile at Healthcare Welfare Education. I’ve also had the privilege of giving workshops in cross-cultural teamwork.

My fellow trainees here are working on a variety of projects across our organization. This diversity means that we get to learn from each other’s unique experiences. For example, our product marketer trainee Ludvig Erlandsson is working with Tieto Pune's graphics team to design material that enables all employees to develop better marketing material. Andrea Kolmodin and Malin Högstedt at financial services are part of a project aimed at improving the customer experience for Tieto’s banking customers in digital channels. Karin Hill in sales is getting the opportunity to build up an entirely new subdepartment, and Linnea Lindberg is here to focus on our deliveries from India, learn how the different teams work, and gain an insight into the more technical aspects of  Tieto’s offerings.

Awe-inspiring India

At the time of writing, I’ve been in India for 35 days. Not only have I had the opportunity to discover more about our agile and innovative ways of working, I’ve also been given the freedom to experience the India that exists outside of the beautifully designed office complex where Tieto’s office is located. On the weekends, I have travelled. I’ve had the chance to witness the awe-inspiring Ajanta and Ellora caves, temples carved into the mountains outside of Aurangabad. The six hour bumpy bus ride in a bunkbed was a transcendental experience by itself! On a yoga trip, I also saw the tranquil (except for singing birds), green forest and the beautiful mountains. And in a few hours, I’m off to Bombay for the weekend.

Festival of colors

It’s not just the thrill of travelling and working that’s made my time here an unforgettable experience. My Indian colleagues are the best part of this whole adventure. They’ve made me welcome every step of the way, from daily team lunches to a great birthday celebration on my second workday. I think I ate cake at least four times during office hours and got the most heart-warming day ever! Then there’s all the fun after-work activities, such as bowling. One event I will always remember is our participation in Holi. Holi is a festival heralding the victory of good over evil and the arrival of spring and the end of winter. It’s celebrated with one’s family and community through fun, forgiveness, and the mending of broken relationships. It’s often referred to as “the festival of colors”. During Holi, our colleague and friend Shirish Patil invited all of us to his house, where we danced, played with colors, and ate a delicious meal made by his mom.

Growth, guidance, friendship

I came to India hoping to gain work experience and the chance to live abroad, but I will certainly be leaving with so much more. Through the wonderful guidance of my onsite manager, I’ve grown more and more into my role. I’ve found friendship in my colleagues, and by living in Pune and travelling around I’ve been granted a glimpse of the great diversity of Indian culture, environment, and of just how differently people live. Eight weeks in India will not do the country and my Pune colleagues justice. I can't wait to get another opportunity to visit again!

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