Stepping up to the challenge of global mobility

Since his first foray into science and technology at a young age, Jethesh Prabhakaran had always been fascinated by how the world worked.

“We live in a technological world, and its complexity continues to throw up challenges that require answers,” he said. “It’s fun when new discoveries are made and are rapidly evolving.”

Armed with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, and currently completing a PhD in Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Jethesh believed that studying the sciences helped him to develop problem-solving skills, which would prove valuable in any kind of challenge he’d take on at work.

So, when he chose to participate in Smiths Detection’s international mobility program, which transplanted him from Malaysia to the UK in 2018, he was fired up and raring to go.

“I had picked up skills on-the-job in Malaysia in Finance and lean manufacturing methodologies – skills which I felt would make me useful and bring value to the new role in the UK,” he added.

Jethesh, who joined Smiths Detection back in 2015 as a Production Manager at the regional manufacturing facility in Malaysia, said, “The first three months were a steep learning curve but a fantastic experience. Moving to a new market means you need to learn, pick yourself up and sprint simultaneously.”

Echoing these sentiments is Kate Ellison, Director of HRBP Organisation Development at Smiths Detection: “We are an organisation that wants to provide every opportunity for our people to grow and develop their careers. A key part of this is to ensure our vacancies are advertised internally, enabling individuals to apply for roles, both local and international. We can provide the support to make international assignments possible, bringing and sharing knowledge across our global locations and creating meaningful and exciting career experiences.”

“Anyone who’s motivated enough about lifelong learning can of course seek opportunities in their existing capacities to upgrade their skills and certifications. But a program like Smiths Detection’s global mobility initiative is like rocket fuel for honing skills like business negotiation, decision-making, leadership and conflict management,” said Jethesh.