By the way, what was the challenging situation? THe project. Or telling the manager about Shankar?
As the essay did not bring out the challenging situation clearly, I have revised it and pasted it below for your kind reviews.Narrate an important/unusual incident of your life when you had to face a very demanding/challenging situation. How did you overcome the situation? What lessons did you learn from this incident?
(750 words approx)
Having secured a job at company T, a leading company in the field of communication, I was overwhelmed especially in the market scenario of 2003 when there was an overall slowdown in the technology sector. Although the compensation offered to me was not up to my expectations, company T was still the lifeline as my family's financial position at that time was not very good, and my salary was crucial to meet the household expenses. "I will prove myself very soon to deserve a promotion and a considerable hike", I remember telling myself on the first day of my professional career.
As days went by, my professional experience turned out to be completely different from what I had expected earlier. After a month of induction training I was assigned a project to develop a Navigator application in 3rd generation (3G) wireless domain, a field totally alien to me. The project would showcase company T's expertise in rapidly developing 3G technologies in US and European market. A successful project would fetch tall orders from operators such as Verizon and Vodafone. The project management team assigned a four star rating to the project, which meant it was quite critical to the company. Our team comprised of 4 Indian engineers and 6 Korean engineers. Based on my credentials and my interest in signaling technologies, I was chosen for this project. With the start of the project, our manager decided to conduct weekly meetings of all the teammates to assign, discuss and resolve various issues related to the project. In the very first meeting, I volunteered to implement the signaling part of the Navigator application. As I started implementing my module along with 2 Korean engineers and another Indian engineer, I found it to be quite challenging as it involved writing complicated codes for signaling in 3G domain. Being a freshman without a prior experience in 3G domain, I did not have a proper grasp on the intricacies of the technology, which was required for our project. During weekly meetings, I often noticed that my colleagues did not pay proper attention to the issues I raised, probably because of my less experience. Moreover, interaction with Korean engineers was quite difficult as they did not communicate well in English and I did not know Korean at all. It was quite frustrating to speak a single sentence to Mr Park, my Korean colleague, and then try to explain him what it means for another fifteen minutes. A conservative deadline, a not so friendly environment and a lack of experience made the project all the more difficult for me. At stake were not only my future career growth but also my self-esteem, which I believed I could redeem only after earning the respect of my colleagues.
To get a good grasp of 3G technologies, I started following a routine to devote at least 1-hour reading technical papers/journals on 3G domains available on the Internet. I bought a monthly subscription to IEEE forum to know about the latest trends in signaling domain and this gave me an idea of the future trends of mobile signaling industry. On weekends I use to meet Mr. Prakash, my college senior who has a strong expertise in signaling domain, to clarify my doubts and get his insights. After 3 weeks of study, I volunteered, in one of the team meetings, to present a power point presentation on "The latest trends in signaling domain" from the perspective of our Navigator application. During the presentation, I was surprised to see my team actively discussing with me the future trends in signaling domain and specifically my analysis with respect to Navigator application. After the presentation, my manager and my teammates praised me a lot for my effort. This gave a lot of encouragement to me and I felt extremely satisfied to earn the respect of my fellow teammates. From that day onwards, I always received proper attention in any team meeting. As the implementation stage progressed, my manager chose me to travel to Korea to interact directly with Korean colleagues to implement the final part of our module. The difference in the language made the interaction extremely difficult and the overall progress of the project became quite slow. With an approaching deadline, there was no option but to quickly move ahead and finish the project as soon as possible. To help me interact better with my Korean teammates, I joined an evening Korean class, where I learnt the basics of Korean language. In a month's time I graduated from just exchanging the pleasantries to speaking and understanding single sentences. I started interacting with my teammates in Korean language at every possible opportunity. As the language barriers were scaled to quite an extent, we were able to discuss various project issues with greater ease and comprehension. My Korean counterparts were quite happy to see a person learning their language and this enhanced their respect towards me and the work environment became friendlier. I could now see a rapid progress in the project and finally we could finish the project well within the deadline. Verizon and vodafone approved the Navigator application and they finally placed orders of eighty thousand mobile phones with company T. At the end of the year, my contribution to the project was recognized and I was rewarded with good grades and a salary hike. I was happy that ultimately I could achieve what I aspired for.
This experience was a turning point in my career and a self-confidence booster. A tough situation at the start of my career made me a more matured person, who can take pressure of any kind and now I can say with conviction that I can take any job, meet any deadline with perfect ease. Successful completion of the Navigator project inculcated in me a never give up attitude. Working with my Korean counterparts has helped me in developing into a more informed person and taught me the importance of interpersonal and relationship-building skills at work.