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Pravasi Woman | Lalitha Neeharika, Barclays

lalitha neeharika
Pravasi - NeehaTell us about yourself

I am a South Indian girl, grown up in the villages of Coastal Andhra Pradesh. My parents are not well educated but they are wise enough to let me and my brother to study and pursue our dreams. They encouraged me from the Street School of Ponnur till the University in London.

My life took a beautiful turn when I was placed in Infosys during my final year of graduation and allocated to a banking project. I realised the career that I am made for. It’s been five years and worked for two major International banks. As I wanted to fill the gap of my post graduation, I applied for a PGC in international business at St. Mary’s University through the Mountbatten Institute. Barclays made my dreams come true by sponsoring me. I am currently doing an internship at Barclays besides my studies now.

Where are you living currently and why did you choose that location?

I am currently living at Canary Wharf in London. I did not get to choose the location, since the accommodation is provided by my Institute. But I am sure that I’d choose the same place because it is quite close to my office, is a peaceful and secure area which is also easily accessible to central London.

Why did you move away from India?

I just took a one year holiday from India and may take more holidays if destiny decides. I chose to study abroad to get the international exposure. But I prefer to design my career and life in India. I love my country and am very proud to be an Indian.

What do you miss most about living abroad?

Big 5Fs. Family, Festivals, Friends, Fellowship and Food (especially, the South Indian food)!

What do you like most about your current location?

I would say “Everything” in one word. To mention a few things, a pollution-free country, the Royal Family, British People, the NHS, volunteering opportunities, the river Thames, the architecture and much more. This place will always have my respect, gratitude and a piece of my heart.

Did you face any particular challenges moving away from India?

The climate is the only toughest challenge for a South Indian to face in the Western countries. I was worried about the cultural differences initially but time teaches everything.

And a funny challenge was to explain my first name, middle name and last name to most of the people I met. My mails read my first name but I use my middle name to introduce myself. So people assume that I am two different people!

Who in particular helped you during your transition?

The Mountbatten Institute and Mrs. Samantha Jaggon – my manager at my work place helped me a lot. They took care of my every single detail to ensure a smooth transition.

Do you live in an Indian community? If so, what are the main differences between Indians abroad and Indians still living in India (if any!)

I live in a multi-cultural community and have a few Indians friends as well. Indians living abroad are quite different than what they were in India. personality, language, social life – almost everything changes. I should mention it as a “good change”. They tend to be much more reserved since they live in a foreign nation. Culturally, Indians are the same wherever they are. They celebrate festivals and special occasions but in their small local communities. They love and respect their home country and their host country in the same way.

Do you think you’ll go back to India one day?

YES with a big smile. And do I think I will come back to UK? Again YES with all my hopes!

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