Coffee and a Chat With Harindi Mapabandara
If you are feeling nervous to do something extra, that nervousness you feel means you're growing.
Meet the Team:
Our meet the team series, ‘Coffee and a chat’, allows us to showcase our wonderful team and give prospective clients an insight into their lives; both at work and at home. We want our clients to be able to put a face (and a story) to the name. Here at SearchMax, we are one big family and we thought we would use this opportunity to have some fun and introduce our digital marketing experts to you properly. So grab a seat and let’s have a coffee and a chat while getting to know Harindi!
Our very own high achieving multitasker, Harindi, has already made her way into the workforce from the young age of 18. Having skipped her Advanced to go straight into university studies at the age of 17, she has been able to fast-track her career in Digital Marketing. As an intern here at SearchMax, Harindi is now Google Ads certified and gets to manage Australian clients, building networks in the industry earlier than her peers. Harindi’s commitment and hard-work show that balancing a work/study lifestyle can be done, and that it’s okay to swim against the stream and chase your dreams.
01. Tell Us A bit about You
I was born and raised outside Colombo, hence the lifestyle has been very different. Country life is something I enjoy. I come from a family of 6. Growing up with 4 siblings has definitely taught me many things but most importantly anything remotely tasty will not last in the fridge for too long so you have to be quick!
Outside my studies I enjoyed extra curricular activities. I was a senior girl guide, a member of the school Interact Club, and played for the school’s senior western band.
I got through my ordinary level examination with 9 distinctions and decided to fast track my studies. I was fortunate enough to be accepted into Edith Cowan University for a Bachelor of Business Management and Marketing. I am proud to say that while my peers are still cramming through A/L I will be graduating with a degree in 2020.
I was hungry to gain industry experience hence I started my career at Searchmax just after turning 18. I am currently a Digital Marketing Intern balancing both my work and undergraduate studies at ACBT.
02. What do you do at Searchmax?
As a part-time intern I spend most of my time being involved in account management, account optimization, weekly & monthly reporting, and other ad hoc tasks. I am still learning the basics of digital marketing and am surrounded by amazing mentors who are highly talented Digital Marketing Specialists.
03. What was it like to join the workforce at such a young age?
By entering the workforce at a young age, I was able to start networking early. Searchmax has given me the opportunity to work with industry experts who are both coworkers and clients. My flexible work schedule allows me to balance my work with my university studies.
I get to work directly with Australian clients and exercise what I am learning at University. I feel my assignments are more practical as I was able to apply my work experience to the assignments.
Being a part of the workforce has not only helped me in my college work but has also given me the ability to think practically and to always look into the practical aspect of things. I think gaining these experiences is critical for my journey towards landing my dream career.
04. What was it like to choose a different path compared to the majority of people your age?
Deciding to skip advanced level was not an easy decision to make. The social pressure was high but my family was super supportive. I picked a Bachelor of Business Management and Marketing as I have always been interested and passionate in those areas.
Deciding to start working at the age of 18 was a big decision. Most of my friends relax and do fun things while not studying, and there have been times where I have missed out on these moments with my friends because I was busy working.
However, I think I have started to adapt to that change and so far, I’m enjoying what I’m doing and most importantly I’m happy with how far ahead I have gotten compared to my peers.
05. What have you learnt so far in your career & what’s the greatest take away?
Getting a degree is one thing but gaining practical industry experience is a whole different story. While we get academic experience through University, you have to start working to understand the practical side of things.
While I have done solo recitation and toastmaster challenges, I have always felt nervous during presentations. Over the past couple of years, on the job training has really helped me to improve on my presentation skills and confidence.
06. What is your favorite food/music/place to go (pick one)?
I am a huge fan of Ed Sheeran, but apparently, I am a terrible singer.
07. What do you think it takes to be successful in this position?
Passion & desire are the most important things which one should possess in order to be successful in a fast growing and competitive industry like digital marketing. I think taking the time to do extra reading and self learning goes a long way in this industry.
One of the most important life lessons that I have learned so far is to not be afraid to do the unexpected. If you are feeling nervous to do something extra that nervousness you feel means you’re invested and growing.
08. What has been your most rewarding accomplishment?
Music has been my passion since age 5. I completed my ABRSM (Royal Schools of Music) grade 5 piano music exam at the age of 16. However, the most rewarding accomplishment of mine was getting through my ordinary level examination with 9 distinctions. I worked really hard for it and all of that hard work and determination really paid off.
09. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I am very passionate about the work I do here in Searchmax. My number one goal is to do the best job I can do at this role and somewhere down the line be able to share my experience and mentor others who also have an interest in digital marketing.
10. What’s a fun fact about you that not many people know about?
To watch over my diet very carefully.
11. What Advice would you give someone who is considering work while studying?
Just do it! However, working and studying at the same time can be stressful so it is important to have a schedule and follow it. Trust me this is a great way to figure out your priorities and the amount of time you need to get everything done. The more detailed your work plan is the more likely you are sticking to it. Sticking to a schedule will let you know exactly when you are free so that you can schedule in leisure and social time accordingly.