Kritika Krishna has high praise for her home of New Delhi. Equally, she has come to embrace Ireland as her adopted home.
One of the best tips for moving abroad, according to Aon’s Kritika Krishna, is to remain “present and engaged”.
Having moved from her native India to Dublin eight years ago, she is uniquely poised to advise on this particular situation. Though flying halfway across the world for work is a mammoth task, Krishna seems to have found only joy from integrating into a new culture.
Where are you from and what’s it like there?
I come from New Delhi, the capital of India. I was born in Ranchi, the state capital of Jharkhand in north-east India, also known as ‘City of Waterfalls’. I have lived in a few different cities across India and, trust me, every city is like a small country with a different language, tradition and food.
New Delhi is an addictively sociable, dynamic and vivacious city which will absorb you into its layers of perspective and never really let you go. There’s as much history as you can handle, a vibrant art scene, an expansive international community and rich cultural undertones to daily life. As Martin Luther King Jr once said, “To other countries I may go as a tourist, but to India I come as a pilgrim.”
How long have you been in Ireland?
It feels like yesterday, but it has been eight wonderful years.
What’s your role in Aon?
Having over nine years of experience in software testing, I joined the Aon Centre for Innovation and Analytics (ACIA) in 2017 as a senior quality assurance analyst. I work on data-driven insights and solutions delivered by leveraging unmatched data and analytics capabilities across the business units in Aon.
How would you describe your working environment?
I would describe Aon as challenging, innovative, positive, friendly, engaging, rewarding and diverse.
ACIA creates a culture that encourages employees to be themselves and show their individual quirks. It encourages employees to take on different responsibilities and challenging projects outside their daily tasks and praise them when progress is made.
The work culture is supportive, allowing its employees to publicly recognise one another and champion successes. It is flexible, ditching the rigid nine-to-five schedule, thereby emphasising production over punching the clock.
Aon conducts pulse surveys to source opinions and to let employees know that every input is valued. There is so much knowledge within the centre and huge opportunities for career development.
What do you like most about your job?
It is always challenging, always evolving. I love my job here in ACIA where everyone shares the same vision and is dedicated to the same mission. There is a genuine spirit of cooperation and shared goals.
I love my job because people care about me as a person and about my professional growth. I really value having a voice and working in a structure where all support each other and work together to offer creative solutions, and where I can contribute my experience and skills.
Was it difficult to adjust to living and working in Ireland?
Well, if you take India and Ireland, they are two vastly culturally different countries. As I left everything I knew behind and travelled 4,979 miles across the ocean, the thought of stepping into Ireland and adjusting to Irish culture and traditions seemed a bit challenging but I was much taken by surprise when I landed on this beautiful island.
Ireland is a country with an enormous amount to offer, not least of which are its rich culture, diverse artistic talent and lively people. It wasn’t difficult to prepare myself to embrace the charismatic culture. The beauty of a country lies in its people, and Irish people are welcoming, very friendly and always willing to help others.
Irish phrases were a bit of a learning curve, and I continue to educate myself to this day. As for the weather, it does not rain as much as people think, but never a good idea to leave the rain jacket and umbrella at home.
What surprised you about moving to Ireland, if anything?
Ireland has its own way of operating, and at its core is a respect for humanity.
How does your working life help to make you feel at home here?
At ACIA, every individual is treated with respect and so are the individual’s opinions and values. It has an environment where everyone feels they have a voice, and the culture here is vibrant.
The positive attitude that flows within the centre has helped me develop great relationships at work. Being involved in Aon days such as the colleague and community days has really helped me get to know a lot of people within the company and make some new friends.
What do you like most about your adopted home?
The people and the warmth, the lifestyle, the pubs, and the scenic views. Home is where you feel connected, understood and loved. And I feel all of that in Ireland. I believe in becoming an active participant in the world around me. The more present and engaged you are with both yourself and the world around you, the easier it will be to feel at home anywhere.