HeyMath! Consultant: Conaill
If you are reading this then you are probably considering applying to HeyMath! to work out here in Chennai. Let's be honest, what's to consider? This is a once in a lifetime opportunity set in one of the most fascinating countries in the world during a truly definitive era of their history. In my opinion, experiencing India with HeyMath! is filled with so many advantages and possibilities that you would seriously regret passing up this chance. Let me share with you a little bit about my life out here, the work we do and the adventures I have engaged in.
I was initially worried of how different my life would be in India. It didn't help that my VISA was rejected at first because I was told that the pay bracket implied that the company didn't require a foreign citizen for the role. However, the pay is more than enough for a very comfortable life in our lively apartment, eating out as often as we like, checking out Chennai's dispersed but swanky nightlife and getting a healthy dose of traveling thrown in. The HeyMath! apartments are situated in a great part of town. We are surrounded by all the best spots for nights out, all possible conveniences from a gym to internet cafes, and the office is a colourful ten minute walk away. There's so much to do in this city if you are willing to explore. In the last three months in Chennai alone I have danced on rooftops, wined and dined in luxurious 5 star hotels, witnessed levels of poverty that will remain with me for life, and performed at a live acoustic night dressed as James Bond.
I find myself with a lot of free time compared to University life so on top of all the fun I'm having it has been invigorating to be able to research what I really want to do in the long run. There's an excellent University out here called the IIT with a terrific library so I have invested a lot of time searching for an area to apply myself for a PhD. Don't think that you must go straight into postgrad research for all the top projects. I already have a couple of quality offers.
Working with HeyMath! has all the ingredients of a good job. I don't start too early, there is no sense of hierarchy so everyone is very approachable and the pay is good. More importantly, the work is creative and varied and my colleagues are high-spirited. Firstly, there are the other ex-Cambridge recruits that started with me so I have never felt overwhelmed with work, and in general there is a young, enthusiastic vibe about the office.
A regular day is divided between various projects. Most of my time is spent creating flash animated lessons for teachers across the world to use in their classrooms. However, I also create content to be published weekly in the kid's supplement of a national paper called The Hindu. HeyMath! also get involved with the schools that use the product and this leads to regular opportunities to participate in wild days out. I recently organized a maths treasure trail in an outdoor museum for two schools from Chennai and one from Singapore, then a couple of weeks later I took part in a presentation to 800 kids. One of the best things about working in an environment where there is no pecking order is that you can pursue your own projects and your enthusiasm will be noticed. A have a keen interest in music and the company have provided me with a program to generate melodies and drum loops so that I can produce backing music for the lessons and cartoons we create.
The single most rewarding part of this experience has been the traveling. There is so much to see in South India, and fortunately, along with some of the new recruits, we have been able to squeeze in a fair bit of venturing already. Our first trip was to a hill station high in the Nilgiri Hills where we trekked through tea plantations and spent a day on horseback riding through the valleys. Last week I saw Jethro Tull collaborating with Anushka Sankar in Bangalore. Just south of Chennai there is a pleasant beach town called Mahamallapuram that is a welcome retreat from the chaos of Chennai. However, last month me and the guys hopped on the night train to indulge in true tranquility in Kerala. We had a night of partying in cliff top bars overlooking the Arabian Sea and spent another drifting around the backwaters of Alleppey in our own chartered houseboat.
If you are ready to step out of your comfort zone and want to experience something amazing and new then seize this opportunity and the benefits will be abundant.