From Hyderabad to Penang: Two International Local Hires on their Journey to Intel Malaysia

Bharath and Janaki, married with two young daughters, have quite a story to tell. They graduated in the same class, are both engineers, and their expertise revolves around the silicon validation. They are also both International Local Hires (ILH) from Hyderabad in the Telangana state of India. They uprooted themselves, flying across the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea to embark on a journey with Intel Malaysia in Penang.

Both Bharath and Janaki have a keen interest in the domain of semiconductor engineering and their current roles in the company correlate strongly to that interest. Bharath’s responsibilities in pre-silicon validation exists before chips go into manufacturing, and Janaki comes into play before the chips are released for use.

They’ve been in Penang as a family since 2016, and we recently spoke with them about their journey thus far.

Before we talk about the present, let’s take it back to when you were younger. What got you into engineering?


Bharath: For me, it was a curiosity paired with the desire to lead, create and contribute to society. I didn’t know back then that engineering was for me, but I knew I wanted to be in a place that would make a difference for the common good.

 

Janaki: I was curious since I was young, and I grew up with a healthy dose of puzzles and math problems thanks to my uncle—the reward was chocolates then! My initial dream was to become a doctor but learning of the long road to becoming one put me off, and I chose the next best option.

Why choose Intel Malaysia?

Janaki: Working at Intel has always been a dream job for me, given its brand identity and impact on the world. I remember the time when I got my first computer. The conversation was never about hardware, brands, RAM size, or anything of that sort. It was always a question of which Pentium processor you were on! The job security that comes with being in such a reputable organization was also a big pull.

Bharath: I was previously in the service industry, and I used to listen my peers speak about Intel all the time. I’ve always wanted to make a difference and contribute to society, and I realized that being in a place that was at the forefront of tech innovation would enable me to do so. My journey started as an external contractor to Intel and when the opportunity arose, I didn’t hesitate.

Talk us through your biggest concerns about moving.

 Janaki: Education was a big concern for us when we arrived, as our daughter was six years old then. We eventually enrolled her in an international school that run the International Baccalaureate program, which is student-centered and holistic in its approach. We’re very happy with how she’s doing in school. International schooling is expensive, but we can say it’s well worth it.

Bharath: As Hindus, we were initially worried about not having a place of worship. But upon arrival and seeing how commonplace temples are really made us feel right at home. Food wise, we were also worried about there not being many vegetarian options but we were proved wrong—there are plenty of vegetarians among the Indian and even Chinese communities here. I do believe that this move was meant to be!

Janaki: There was a lot of paperwork, but we had a lot of help from the ILH community who gave us hands-on guidance on everything between schooling to settling down in general. The HR and finance teams were also great at helping us get our taxes in order, seeing how filing schedules vary from country to country.

What strikes you about Penang and what do you love most about your current home?

 Bharath: There’s no other place, to my knowledge, where I can get 3-4 different views from home: I’ve got nature (the hills), the city, the sea, and here on the island, a view of the Penang Bridge! I’m only a short drive away from my favorite hiking spot and the beach. Cycling is no stranger in my home country but I picked it up only upon moving here.

Janaki: As long as you love nature and breathing fresh air, Penang is the place to be. The most noticeable differences for me (compared to India) would be the traffic, pollution, and the weather. I spend much less time in traffic here which helps us plan our days better. The air is so much cleaner over here. The only tricky part is the weather. Back home we have the seasons but here, you don’t quite know when it’s going to rain! We definitely miss the chill of winter that we get for three months back home.

What do you have to say to others who are contemplating a career overseas?

Bharath: The opportunities to learn and grow at Intel have been immense, not just within the scope of work but also in the context of personal growth. I’ve developed in so many areas. The company has truly made a new person out of me—a new version of Bharath. And Penang has certainly become a home away from home for our family. So if you’re all about 360° growth, this is the right place to do it. Don’t be afraid to take the leap.

Janaki: If you’re looking to constantly challenge yourself and have job security, look no further. When I was just 5 months into the job, I fell ill and physically couldn’t move for more than a month. Naturally I was worried this would send a negative message to the company. But instead, all I got was support from both my manager and peers, who would often call to check in on me, and even refer their doctors. I was still willing to login to work but was told to only come back when I was prepared to. This is the kind of support and compassion that’s missing in so many organizations today. At Intel, I feel like I belong.

Looking to advance your career at Intel Malaysia located on the beautiful island of Penang? Check out open opportunities here.

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